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Ava DuVernay passes on directing Marvel's Black Panther

07.03.2015

Over the past few months the name most associated with Marvel's BLACK PANTHER was that of SELMA director Ava DuVernay. Marvel was reportedly pursuing her to take on directing duties for the film, but nothing had ever been confirmed or denied. In an interview with Essence, the director finally confirmed that she and Marvel had been talking but in the end, she decided to pass on the job.

I'm not signing on to direct Black Panther, I think I’ll just say we had different ideas about what the story would be. Marvel has a certain way of doing things and I think they’re fantastic and a lot of people love what they do. I loved that they reached out to me.

Discussions between Ava DuVernay and Marvel had progressed quite far, with the director having met with Chadwick Boseman and the writers involved. Unfortunately it seems as though DuVernay and Marvel couldn't see eye to eye on how the project would proceed.

I loved meeting Chadwick and writers and all the Marvel execs, in the end, it comes down to story and perspective. And we just didn't see eye to eye. Better for me to realize that now than cite creative differences later.

I find it a little concerning how often we get stories of the creative differences between Marvel Studios and their directors/writers; I get that the Marvel Cinematic Universe needs a certain amount of creative control from the higher powers, but why bother pursuing interesting talent when all they really seem to want is someone to show up and do what they're told. I've got to give props to Ava DuVernay for realizing early on that things wouldn't be able to work out between the two, saves us from writing yet another "so-and-so exited such-and-such due to creative differences" post a year from now.

There's no bad blood between DuVernay and Marvel however, as the director stated that "I love the character of Black Panther, the nation of Wakanda and all that that could be visually. I wish them well and will be first in line to see it." BLACK PANTHER is set for a July 6, 2018 release but Chadwick Boseman will make his first appearance as T’Challa in CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR.

Now that the search for a director is on once again, who would you like to see direct BLACK PANTHER?

Source: Essence

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+2
1:40PM on 07/05/2015
Thank god... Selma was an unbearably boring movie that was crafted by a film maker who is grankly not very good. How anyone felt she deserved an Oscar Nom for that terribly directed and paced movie is beyond me.

If they truly want a black filmmaker, go with someone talented like F. Gary Grey... he has shown he can handle great comedy (Friday) with intense Drama (The Negotiator)
Thank god... Selma was an unbearably boring movie that was crafted by a film maker who is grankly not very good. How anyone felt she deserved an Oscar Nom for that terribly directed and paced movie is beyond me.

If they truly want a black filmmaker, go with someone talented like F. Gary Grey... he has shown he can handle great comedy (Friday) with intense Drama (The Negotiator)
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6:23PM on 07/04/2015
I don't think you need to cast a black female to fit some diversity quota. Marvel, hire someone based on their talents, not simply their race and/or gender--not to suggest DuVernay isn't a good director. But if Marvel feels obligated to hire a black director, Rick Famuyiwa seems like a practical choices. "Dope" is getting great reviews, and he's an indie talent so Marvel can shape his project into what they want it to be versus suffering from creative differences like in the case of Edgar
I don't think you need to cast a black female to fit some diversity quota. Marvel, hire someone based on their talents, not simply their race and/or gender--not to suggest DuVernay isn't a good director. But if Marvel feels obligated to hire a black director, Rick Famuyiwa seems like a practical choices. "Dope" is getting great reviews, and he's an indie talent so Marvel can shape his project into what they want it to be versus suffering from creative differences like in the case of Edgar Wright.
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+1
3:24PM on 07/04/2015

Good.

She was the wrong fit from the beginning. Just because she's black and she made Selma is not a reason to give her Black Panther. Plus, call me sexist all you want, but historically, I'm not a fan of female directors.
She was the wrong fit from the beginning. Just because she's black and she made Selma is not a reason to give her Black Panther. Plus, call me sexist all you want, but historically, I'm not a fan of female directors.
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+2
11:04AM on 07/04/2015

DIrector of Creed

Ryan Coogler is a young hot director.
Ryan Coogler is a young hot director.
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4:42PM on 07/04/2015
Very good call. He showed a ton of potential w/ Fruitvale Station and I'd totally be down w/ him getting this.
Very good call. He showed a ton of potential w/ Fruitvale Station and I'd totally be down w/ him getting this.
10:23AM on 07/04/2015
I'm indifferent to DuVernay passing. She's a female, black director. That was all that made sense about her in connection to Black Panther. I get what Marvel is going for- they want a minority female director. That very well might happen. But maybe we need to groom or find more African American female directors who are interested in making action movies rather than plugging in anybody that fits that description.
I'm indifferent to DuVernay passing. She's a female, black director. That was all that made sense about her in connection to Black Panther. I get what Marvel is going for- they want a minority female director. That very well might happen. But maybe we need to groom or find more African American female directors who are interested in making action movies rather than plugging in anybody that fits that description.
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7:22AM on 07/04/2015
Selma was one of my favorite movies of the Awards season. DuVernay has some real talent. But she also understands the business, so I respect her decision to pass on this. It's still kind of a shame because there's a built-in audience for anything Marvel, and with the exception of James Gunn, they've been moving away from interesting directorial choices. But maybe that was to be expected once the MCU label became the selling point.
Selma was one of my favorite movies of the Awards season. DuVernay has some real talent. But she also understands the business, so I respect her decision to pass on this. It's still kind of a shame because there's a built-in audience for anything Marvel, and with the exception of James Gunn, they've been moving away from interesting directorial choices. But maybe that was to be expected once the MCU label became the selling point.
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2:05AM on 07/04/2015
Antoine Fuqua should direct. He's done more than enough solid action flicks.
Antoine Fuqua should direct. He's done more than enough solid action flicks.
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6:40PM on 07/04/2015
Beat me to it!
Beat me to it!
12:20AM on 07/04/2015

Good

I don't dislike her and had no problems with Selma. Yes it's irritating to hear a filmaker say she wanted to avoid the "white savior" narrative but I don't think it hurt the film and she will have to be more ignorant in the future to get me to really dislike her.

that being said It would be so pandering to get her to do Black Panther. There's no reason a white guy can't make this film. None. I don't know anything about the charecter but I'm guessing the cast will be predominantly black
I don't dislike her and had no problems with Selma. Yes it's irritating to hear a filmaker say she wanted to avoid the "white savior" narrative but I don't think it hurt the film and she will have to be more ignorant in the future to get me to really dislike her.

that being said It would be so pandering to get her to do Black Panther. There's no reason a white guy can't make this film. None. I don't know anything about the charecter but I'm guessing the cast will be predominantly black aand I'm down with that. Hell, I think it would even be cool to have a shady white colonialist villian (not the main villian but someone working with him to exploit Wakanda for it's natural resources).

And Gareth Evans should be thier first choice.
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4:11AM on 07/04/2015
Ulysses Klaw is kind of your suggested "shady white colonialist villain" in the comics. He might play the same role in the Black Panther movie. Klaw was in Age of Ultron.
Ulysses Klaw is kind of your suggested "shady white colonialist villain" in the comics. He might play the same role in the Black Panther movie. Klaw was in Age of Ultron.
6:39PM on 07/04/2015
I don't know what they're planning but I thought he would be the main villian (or at least the secondary one). I'm talking more of an Emperor Palpatine in the Pantom Menace typre. Not the primary antagnist but a shadowy background figure hoping to exploit the country's natural resources.

Seems like a cool (and far more historically relevant that a black director) angle to me.
I don't know what they're planning but I thought he would be the main villian (or at least the secondary one). I'm talking more of an Emperor Palpatine in the Pantom Menace typre. Not the primary antagnist but a shadowy background figure hoping to exploit the country's natural resources.

Seems like a cool (and far more historically relevant that a black director) angle to me.
12:06AM on 07/04/2015

Good for her for seeing the problems early

Marvel obviously has their way of doing things, and some directors might not be able to work within that frame. Kudos to her for recognizing it before she got too embroiled in the production.

If we're dreaming of the perfect director for BLACK PANTHER ... Mel Gibson. The guy knows story and he can direct the hell out of an action sequence.
Marvel obviously has their way of doing things, and some directors might not be able to work within that frame. Kudos to her for recognizing it before she got too embroiled in the production.

If we're dreaming of the perfect director for BLACK PANTHER ... Mel Gibson. The guy knows story and he can direct the hell out of an action sequence.
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10:48PM on 07/03/2015
I'm sure she was probably wanting her story to have some kind of repression on the black man and marvel didn't want a race issue formed in the story because it really has no place in marvel films.
I'm sure she was probably wanting her story to have some kind of repression on the black man and marvel didn't want a race issue formed in the story because it really has no place in marvel films.
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+5
9:48PM on 07/03/2015

Not bad news

Her directing job in Selma is arguably one of the most overrated things in years. The movie was fine but it looked and felt like a paint by numbers documentary on the O network.
Her directing job in Selma is arguably one of the most overrated things in years. The movie was fine but it looked and felt like a paint by numbers documentary on the O network.
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9:40PM on 07/03/2015

When will these asshats realize

that they need to stop giving movies based on black people to only black directors and movies based on women to women. Women can direct guy movies just as well as any movie. Same with black directors. If a black director can direct a Thor movie and make it friggin AWESOME then do it. Don't shove the affirmative action down our throats. If a white male or female can make an awesome black panther movie, then get them to do it. Forget about race and give good directors GOOD PROJECTS
that they need to stop giving movies based on black people to only black directors and movies based on women to women. Women can direct guy movies just as well as any movie. Same with black directors. If a black director can direct a Thor movie and make it friggin AWESOME then do it. Don't shove the affirmative action down our throats. If a white male or female can make an awesome black panther movie, then get them to do it. Forget about race and give good directors GOOD PROJECTS
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-3
9:27PM on 07/03/2015
Spike Lee should do this
Spike Lee should do this
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8:49PM on 07/03/2015
I would prefer an African American director, preferably an older one with more experience under their belt.

What about Lawrence Fishburn? I hear he's getting into the director's game.
I would prefer an African American director, preferably an older one with more experience under their belt.

What about Lawrence Fishburn? I hear he's getting into the director's game.
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+2
8:36PM on 07/03/2015

"Better for me to realize that now than cite creative differences later."

Amen. There's nothing wrong with having different opinions, it's what makes the world go round. It's nice to that Marvel's reaching out to top-tier young talent rather than just fanboy friendly people, and it sounds like she was flattered to be approach, so no harm done.
Amen. There's nothing wrong with having different opinions, it's what makes the world go round. It's nice to that Marvel's reaching out to top-tier young talent rather than just fanboy friendly people, and it sounds like she was flattered to be approach, so no harm done.
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8:15PM on 07/03/2015
She's only considered because of Selma, and that isn't really a good thing.

Looking at past Marvel films, I think they have a lot of options. They can do this movie with a director who isn't african-american too...
She's only considered because of Selma, and that isn't really a good thing.

Looking at past Marvel films, I think they have a lot of options. They can do this movie with a director who isn't african-american too...
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+4
7:57PM on 07/03/2015

Thank goodness!

She's got a very limited history, and admitted that she slanted Selma based on race because she "didn't want white people coming off too good." I'm so sick of people getting a pass despite their racist views.

That plus Selma was horribly incorrect historically, which is the entire purpose of a film based on true events.
She's got a very limited history, and admitted that she slanted Selma based on race because she "didn't want white people coming off too good." I'm so sick of people getting a pass despite their racist views.

That plus Selma was horribly incorrect historically, which is the entire purpose of a film based on true events.
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8:12PM on 07/03/2015
I was genuinely curious to what you said here about Ava that she didn't want white people to come off too good so I started googling to find anything regarding this. I didnt find anything about it, can you post where you read this about her?
I was genuinely curious to what you said here about Ava that she didn't want white people to come off too good so I started googling to find anything regarding this. I didnt find anything about it, can you post where you read this about her?
8:36PM on 07/03/2015
Actually Selma is pretty dang accurate in a lot of ways, and way, way, way, WAY more historically accurate than Imitation Game, Theory of Everything or most of the other recent Oscar contender biopics.
Actually Selma is pretty dang accurate in a lot of ways, and way, way, way, WAY more historically accurate than Imitation Game, Theory of Everything or most of the other recent Oscar contender biopics.
8:48PM on 07/03/2015
She downplayed the role of LBJ in the goings on of the day. Not only downplayed but basically portrayed him as a dubious enemy behind the scenes instead of the staunch ally he was in reality. She didn't want white people looking too good is the perfect way of putting it. I can't fucking stand her, so I'm glad she didn't fall in line with Marvel. She probably wanted to dress every white guy in a white hood and burn a few crosses just to hammer home the point that white people are bad.
She downplayed the role of LBJ in the goings on of the day. Not only downplayed but basically portrayed him as a dubious enemy behind the scenes instead of the staunch ally he was in reality. She didn't want white people looking too good is the perfect way of putting it. I can't fucking stand her, so I'm glad she didn't fall in line with Marvel. She probably wanted to dress every white guy in a white hood and burn a few crosses just to hammer home the point that white people are bad.
8:58PM on 07/03/2015
I'm not sure how much of a staunch ally LBJ was. [link]

Although that's fairly mild, given that we now have college professors who encourage whites to commit mass suicide. [link]

I'm so sick of racial grievances all ways that I could vomit.





I'm not sure how much of a staunch ally LBJ was. [link]

Although that's fairly mild, given that we now have college professors who encourage whites to commit mass suicide. [link]

I'm so sick of racial grievances all ways that I could vomit.





9:39PM on 07/03/2015
Half, I can't find the specific interview because there are so many dozens of them that come up on Google referencing her statements on the issue. She proudly identifies herself as a "black female film-maker" and makes films for black people (that she graciously says everyone can see if they want). I just despise people trying to corner a niche market by racially isolating themselves. It would be considered the height of racism for a white director (man or woman) to say something like that
Half, I can't find the specific interview because there are so many dozens of them that come up on Google referencing her statements on the issue. She proudly identifies herself as a "black female film-maker" and makes films for black people (that she graciously says everyone can see if they want). I just despise people trying to corner a niche market by racially isolating themselves. It would be considered the height of racism for a white director (man or woman) to say something like that or her comments about why she didn't want to make a "white savior movie" (which also eliminated contributions from the Jewish community).

If you read an interview with her, the subject of her race or her Liberal politics comes up a couple of dozen times. You don't have to do much reading between the lines to understand she sees everything in life from that one perspective, and I'd hate to see a comic book movie made by someone like that. Seriously, are we ever going to reach a point in society where people can be content just identifying themselves by what they do?
9:27AM on 07/04/2015
Des1 you said the same thing last time there was an article about her. Yet you still can't provide the source of this quote about her saying she doesn't want to give credit to white people or doesn't want to make them look good. I'm starting to think you made it up or you misinterpreted what she said.
Des1 you said the same thing last time there was an article about her. Yet you still can't provide the source of this quote about her saying she doesn't want to give credit to white people or doesn't want to make them look good. I'm starting to think you made it up or you misinterpreted what she said.
4:54PM on 07/04/2015
Well @CanI here is a little more tame article and you yourself can easily search and find her less cautious remarks yourself. When prodded about why she ignored LBJ's role in the movement and his help her response was "I wasn't interested in making a white-savior movie". So instead of any historical FACTS, she downplays the president "WHITEY" like they were unimportant in anything that transpired. In fact she plays him as almost a villain or reluctant adopter of the idea. At her heart she's as
Well @CanI here is a little more tame article and you yourself can easily search and find her less cautious remarks yourself. When prodded about why she ignored LBJ's role in the movement and his help her response was "I wasn't interested in making a white-savior movie". So instead of any historical FACTS, she downplays the president "WHITEY" like they were unimportant in anything that transpired. In fact she plays him as almost a villain or reluctant adopter of the idea. At her heart she's as much of a racist as whites who downplay black roles throughout history. Here is the tame article, like I said stop being lazy and making others do your work for you. It took two seconds to search this. [link]
9:23AM on 07/05/2015
Wopolopolus, So I read the article and I was right. It was a misinterpretation. What she says compared to what you and Des1 claim she says is so very different. The quote "didn't want white people coming off too good," is totally false, and bogus. It doesn't even appear in the interview. The "white savior" comment is taken out of context. Before she says it she says, "The script was the LBJ/King thing, but originally, it was much more slanted to Johnson." Key words "more slanted to Johnson."
Wopolopolus, So I read the article and I was right. It was a misinterpretation. What she says compared to what you and Des1 claim she says is so very different. The quote "didn't want white people coming off too good," is totally false, and bogus. It doesn't even appear in the interview. The "white savior" comment is taken out of context. Before she says it she says, "The script was the LBJ/King thing, but originally, it was much more slanted to Johnson." Key words "more slanted to Johnson." She wanted to make a movie about the people surrounding King and not a movie slanted towards Johnson being the hero. Again, the key word is "slanted."

She then goes on to say and give credit to Johnson, "But what's important for me as a student of this time in history is to not deify what the president did. Johnson has been hailed as a hero of that time, and he was, but we're talking about a reluctant hero." She then explains the process of LBJ's decision making and then concluding his steps to his final decision doesn't make it better or worse. What matters is he did what needed to be done, yet she wanted to show his process in getting there.

As for me being lazy, if you accuse someone of something, it's your job to back it up with some kind of source. Otherwise, I'm not going to believe you, the accuser. And I was right not to believe you implying she's a racist because it isn't true. You guys need to ditch the Spike Lee attitude and take off your racism goggles.
7:59PM on 07/05/2015
I'll say whatever I want whenever I want. No one is required to site sources for every single thing they say on the internet. You can read what she said the way you want, and I'll read it the way I want. The majority of the public that read it, did get the racist vibe from her. If a white person said "I', not interested in making a black savior movie" regarding a black person there would be hell to pay. It would sound and in fact be racist. Its just as racist as what she obviously believes.
I'll say whatever I want whenever I want. No one is required to site sources for every single thing they say on the internet. You can read what she said the way you want, and I'll read it the way I want. The majority of the public that read it, did get the racist vibe from her. If a white person said "I', not interested in making a black savior movie" regarding a black person there would be hell to pay. It would sound and in fact be racist. Its just as racist as what she obviously believes. Subtle as it may be, its racism none the less. Make all the apologies for it that you want, if it would be racist for a white person to say, its just as racist for a black asian indian latin person to say.
7:53PM on 07/03/2015

Not surprised

Wish they could have landed her. It seems a lot of people don't see eye to eye w/ Marvel.
Wish they could have landed her. It seems a lot of people don't see eye to eye w/ Marvel.
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7:51PM on 07/03/2015
I don't see it as disconcerting at all. Marvel has a specific creative vision for their properties which work out well. Unlike other studios, their concern is not marketability but in creating the best product they can. And people have different ideas what makes a film better. It happens, personally I'm glad they actually care and are creatively invested in what they're producing
I don't see it as disconcerting at all. Marvel has a specific creative vision for their properties which work out well. Unlike other studios, their concern is not marketability but in creating the best product they can. And people have different ideas what makes a film better. It happens, personally I'm glad they actually care and are creatively invested in what they're producing
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