‘Selma’ Director Explains Why She Passed on Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’

By July 4, 2015
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Marvel Studios is getting ready to introduce T’Challa, aka Black Panther, into their Cinematic Universe in next year’s Captain America: Civil War. He’ll be played by actor Chadwick Boseman, who’s then expected to move on into his own feature film. Rumors had recently placed director Ava DuVernay — who directed last year’s critically acclaimed historical drama Selma — as the front-runner of the project, which would give the first mainstream black superhero his own film in Marvel’s shared universe. We now know, however, that this won’t be the case.

According to an interview with Essence, DuVernay ultimately passed on the project due to a difference of vision with the studio.

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. 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.

DuVernay should definitely be credited for having the foresight not to get involved with something she felt there would eventually be a conflict over. Recent years have seen directors initially take on superhero projects before ultimately leaving due to a difference of vision. Director Patty Jenkins dropped out of what ultimately became Thor: The Dark World after being involved for a while, as did Michelle MacLaren on Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman. Still, it’s unfortunate that Marvel couldn’t secure a deal with her, as she would definitely be a feather in the cap of the studio’s corps of directors that they’ve been cultivating for a series of projects.

Black Panther’s debut in Captain America: Civil War hits theaters on May 6th, 2016. The Black Panther film is currently slotted for release in November of 2017. For future developments on their upcoming film slate, be sure to keep an eye on GeekNation! The Black Panther film is currently slotted for release in November of 2017

Chris Clow
As a former comics retailer at a store in the Pacific Northwest, Chris Clow is an enormous sci-fi, comics, and film geek. He is a freelance contributor, reviewer, podcaster, and overall geek to GeekNation, Batman-On-Film.com, The Huffington Post, and Movies.com. He also hosts the monthly Comics on Consoles broadcast and podcast. Check out his blog, and follow him on Twitter @ChrisClow.
  • David Johnson

    Edgar Wright dropped out of AntMan also I believe. Everything I’ve read Studio Heads drive Directors up a wall, why Joss Whedon left I believe!!