Filmmaker Ava DuVernay has been doing the most since her feature documentary This Is The Life, but she recently earned a heap of praise for her breakout directorial feature Selma last year, the hard-hitting Civil Rights biopic that most of the country didn’t know it needed. She had such a profile after Selma that even the notoriously private Marvel Studios was knocking on her door with a film offer. Her background in hip-hop and the welcomely overt racial politics in Selma led many to suspect that she’d been tapped to direct the upcoming Black Panther feature; the rumor mill has been spinning between this and the Captain Marvel movie coming to screens in 2018, but DuVernay herself hasn’t spoken on either – at least not directly.
After yet another rumor that she’d officially signed on to direct Panther, DuVernay sent out a cryptic tweet yesterday (June 23) that proves her sense of humor and skills as a PR rep are still sharp:
Marvel big wig Kevin Feige also recently tossed a vague sort of rebuttal to the rumors our way earlier today (June 24), so we’re all still in the dark about whether or not she’ll be hopping in the director’s chair for Panther (she’s my #1 pick, so *please* don’t screw this up!). In the off chance that this deal falls through and Panther goes to someone else, we could *easily* see DuVernary bringing style and substance to the stories and lives of these four other Marvel heroes.
A police officer turned freelance detective with a cybernetic arm given to her by Tony Stark, fans are expecting Knight to show up during the upcoming Iron Fist Netflix series (she’s the titular character’s love interest), and if she catches on with audiences and warrants a movie or TV series of her own, who wouldn’t want to see DuVernay’s version of an ass-kicking action heroine?
Thought up by Underworld creator Kevin Grevioux, Adam Brashear, aka Blue Marvel was arguably one of the sharpest minds (he graduated magna cum laude with a degree in engineering from Howard University) and most powerful heroes in the Marvel Universe in the 1960s. When his face-concealing mask came off in a battle, it revealed to the world that he was Black, and the United States government asked him to step down, fearing how the public would react to a superpowered African American. The Civil Rights angle is obvious, but Brashear is also active in the present day Marvel universe, having started his own branch of the Avengers. Yet another chance for DuVernay to blend action and poignance!
We got a glimpse of Gamora’s character and backstory when she first turned up in Guardians of the Galaxy last summer, as played by Zoë Saldana, but there’s more to her than her steely demeanor. She’s Thanos’ adopted daughter, raised to be a killer mercenary from a young age, but there’s more probing into her backstory a skilled writer/director like DuVernay could bring to the character.
Contrary to popular belief, Deadpool wasn’t the first character to break the fourth wall in comics; Jennifer Walters aka She-Hulk was the first to do it back in the 1980s. She’d directly address the writers, editors, and artists about the way she’s drawn and the staleness of her storylines(!) and a going trend in her running series back in the day featured covers of She-Hulk threatening to throw out readers’ other comics if they don’t buy hers. Fans have thrown names like Gina Torres and Aisha Tyler out there for the hypothetical pic, and people are starting to wonder if Beyoncé’s meetings with Marvel are about going green for the role. Call this one a far shot because of the problematic notion of turning yet *another* Black/Latina character a different color, but Ava’s perspective could unearth some fruitful comic book filmmaking.