Ava DuVernay Reportedly Directing Marvel's Black Panther

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UPDATE: DuVernay has since announced that she has decided to turn down the potential opportunity to direct Black Panther.

It seems to be official: Ava DuVernay is taking her ample, Academy-underappreciated talents to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The Selma director has reportedly been hired to helm Marvel’s forthcoming Black Panther, according to MCU Exchange. It hasn’t yet been confirmed by Marvel, but this exciting development follows months of talk about whether or not DuVernay would take on the project as rumored. Now that she has agreed to direct the film, DuVernay is poised to bring an invaluable new directorial perspective to the MCU.

Black Panther ’s titular superhero will be played by Chadwick Boseman (Get On Up). Boseman’s Black Panther, as well as his home country of Wakanda, will first appear in Captain America: Civil War, which is currently deep into production and slated for a May 6, 2016 release. Marvel hopes to have DuVernay present on the Captain America: Civil War set.

As of now, it appears unlikely that DuVernay will have a hand in writing the film’s script—the director has admitted that she is largely unfamiliar with the MCU. “I’m not a big comic book fan,” said DuVernay, “but I know that I love to deconstruct heroes, deconstruct myths.” Given that the film is more than three years away, it’s safe to say DuVernay will have plenty of time to study up.

The news of DuVernay’s entry into the MCU has a beautiful karmic element to it. After she was snubbed by the Academy, which could have made her the first African-American female director to be nominated for an Oscar, DuVernay now becomes the first African-American female director to make a film for one of the world’s most successful movie studios.

In recent months, Paste’s 2014 Film Person of the Year has championed diversity in film and dabbled in TV. Now we know what’s next for the talented, history-making filmmaker. Back in February, DuVernay laughed off the idea of Marvel pursuing her. Who’s laughing now?

Black Panther is set to open on July 6, 2018. Read the full MCU Exchange report here.

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