Yes, Marvel’s Kevin Feige Met With Ava DuVernay for ‘Black Panther’
If you were hanging around the internet for even a few minutes the other day, then you undoubtedly saw reports that Selma director Ava DuVernay had been officially hired by Marvel to helm Black Panther. Those reports were unsubstantiated and unconfirmed by Marvel — little more than a rumor that was reported without a source to back it up. But at least one related report has now been officially confirmed by Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige himself.
In a lengthy interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Feige reveals that yes, he did meet with Ava DuVernay about Black Panther:
We’ve met with her for sure. We’ve met with a number of people for a number of movies. She has been one of them (…) 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. 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.
Speaking of diversity, the studio has been criticized for not delivering a solo superhero film featuring a woman in the leading role, as well as its lack of diversity in directors, who have all been white men. The studio's onscreen diversity will improve with Black Panther and Captain Marvel — previous reports suggested that DuVernay also met with the studio about directing Captain Marvel, so make of Feige’s response regarding diversity what you will:
I think it will happen sooner rather than later, without giving too much away. 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 went on to say that they’ll officially have a director for Black Panther by the end of the summer, so we’ll have our answer very, very soon.