AVA DUVERNAY On Why She Turned Down Marvel's BLACK PANTHER

Marvel Masterpieces Black Panther trading card art by Tim and Greg Hildebrandt
Credit: Marvel Comics
Credit: Marvel Comics

Marvel Studios' President Kevin Feige has talked about meetings with Ava DuVernay for the possibility of directing the announced Black Panther film, but now the Selma director has opened up on why she turned down the film, announced for release July 6, 2018.

"At one point, the answer was yes, because I thought there was value in putting that kind of imagery into the culture in a worldwide, huge way, in a certain way: excitement, action, fun, all those things, and yet still be focused on a black man as a hero — that would be pretty revolutionary," said DuVernay, during her closing keynote at the 2015 BlogHer conference as documented by The Hollywood Reporter. "These Marvel films go everywhere from Shanghai to Uganda, and nothing that I probably will make will reach that many people, so I found value in that. That’s how the conversations continued, because that’s what I was interested in. But everyone’s interested in different things."

DuVernay went on to stress the personal connection she has with the projects she works on, an alluded to compromises that would've needed to be made with Marvel that she wasn't willing to accept.

"What my name is on means something to me — these are my children. This is my art. This is what will live on after I’m gone," DuVernay said. "So it’s important to me that that be true to who I was in this moment. And if there’s too much compromise, it really wasn’t going to be an Ava DuVernay film."

The Selma director did say that even though she wouldn't be directing Black Panther, that "it should be good when it comes out. I'll be there, watching."

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