Diversity has become a key piece of Marvel's comic line heading into "All-New All-Different Marvel," and over in its film division studio President Kevin Feige says there's a "big shift happening" behind the scenes, even going up to the choice of directors for the upcoming Black Panther and Captain Marvel movies as touched upon in an interview for The Hollywood Reporter.
"It's an issue across the industry, for sure. And the issue is, we need to find the best director for any given movie. And that's really where we always start. If diversity is part of that, it's great. It's important," Feige said. "You will start to see things across the industry as a whole change as more filmmakers come up through the ranks and become part of making movies like this."
Although all of the Marvel Studios' have been directed by white men, the Studio has attempted to hire outside of that in the past. Patty Jenkins was hired for Thor: The Dark World but left two months in over "creative differences," and in the early 2000s they hired John Singleton for a planned Luke Cage film that was cancelled.
"I think it will happen sooner rather than later, without giving too much away," Feige said. "But you look back sometimes, and it's just the nature of this industry, or the nature of the culture. But there's a big shift happening. What's exciting about Marvel, go back and look at the source material: It's been diverse in a cutting-edge way going back to the '60s, and I think we've represented that effortlessly and accurately in the movies we've made up to this point, but certainly with Black Panther and Captain Marvel doing it in a much more overt and purposeful way."
Feige said that directors for both films should be chosen by the end of summer emphasizing Black Panther especially. Recently there's been rumors that Selma director Ava DuVernay had already been hired to direct, and Feige said that she's one of several directors the studio has met with but no decision has been made.
Recently, Warner Bros. studio head Greg Silverman said that the big difference between the DC and Marvel films was that DC's were more friendly to directors. Presented with this, Feige pointed to some of Marvel's past films as examples of the contrary.
"My response is: Look at the movies," Feige replied. "Iron Man and Iron Man 2 are as Jon Favreau films as you can see. Kenneth Branagh has his stamp all over Thor. Captain America: First Avenger is very much a Joe Johnston film. The greatest example of that, look at Guardians of the Galaxy withJames Gunn. And the one I always point out is Avengers. We knew the general structure when we sat down with Joss [Whedon]. But I don't want you to think we gave him a story. We gave him a 'Here's where we think the movie should start, here's where we think this character should come into it; it would be fun if something like this happened in the middle and in the end a hole opens up and aliens pour out into Manhattan.' So arguably, there were many pieces in place, and yet now that everyone has seen the movie, it's completely a Joss Whedon film. He was able to take all the elements that were handed to him – that were studio-imposed, if you want to look at it that way – and make it his own. We wouldn't have hired any of the filmmakers we've hired if we just wanted somebody who would do what we say."