Last week, we reported based on a source with close ties to the pre-production of the Black Panther film that Ava DuVernay had been hired to direct, and the internet exploded (likely as a consequence of numerous outlets believing we were an official Marvel source). Unfortunately, it appears we jumped the gun a bit – while DuVernay seemingly confirms not only that she had numerous talks with Marvel execs and star Chadwick Boseman, but that the job was hers had she wanted it. Ultimately, however, she decided that she and Marvel weren’t meant to be. Speaking exclusively to Essence, the director said “I think I’ll just say we had different ideas about what the story would be…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.”
The news leaves many fans such as myself heartbroken, who were excited about what DuVernay’s vision would have brought to the MCU. Ultimately though, it is ideal that both parties realized their visions were not compatible at this early stage.
Marvel will now likely be reaching out to the other potential Black Panther directors they were in discussions with, and Feige said in a recent interview that we would likely have a director announcement by the end of the summer. If it’s not leaked before then, expect an announcement at Disney’s D23 in early August. Until then, we’ll take this time to mourn what might have been.
In the meantime, we’ll stick to reporting the news rather than breaking it.