Director Ava DuVernay has revealed that she asked to helm DC Films' adaptation of New Gods. The anticipated adaptation of Jack Kirby's comic classic turned quite a few heads when DuVernay was announced as the director. DuVernay's commitment to the property marks a continued effort by DC Films to deliver something different from it's previous cinematic offerings by looking for directors with a love of the property, as opposed to operating based on a desire to create a consistent MCU-esque cinematic universe.
DuVernay is a part of a growing collection of directors joining the major overhaul of DC's Film division in the wake of Justice League. The company committed to a significant reconstruction following that film's poor box office performance, hiring new executives to oversee their film studio and focusing on directors' passion projects. Multiple directors like Gareth Evans, Chris McKay, and Joss Whedon - who eventually bowed out - pitched their ideas to DC and were greenlit, a considerably different formula that seems to hint DC Films is focusing on specific properties as opposed to the overall vision, and looking for creators who are fans that would bring passion to the screen.
Ava DuVernay seemed to confirm as much, taking to Twitter during her #AskAva Q&A to share that she asked DC comics to direct New Gods directly. The Emmy award winning director was a sure bet for a franchise after multiple critical successes. DuVernay then made history as the first black woman to direct a feature film with a budget of over $100 million with A Wrinkle in Time. While A Wrinkle in Time wasn't a commercial success, it developed a fan following, making DuVernay an even bigger player in Hollywood.
DuVernay's New Gods has already grabbed writer Kairo Salem to pen the script with the director. DuVernay has also already begun looking to the comics for inspiration, sharing her work on instagram. As mentioned above, DuVernay isn't the first to successfully ask DC Films for a directing gig. For example, Gareth Evans originally met with the company about possibly helming Justice League Dark, ended up turning that film down, and then pitched his idea for a Deathstroke project, which impressed the studio enough that they decided to move forward with it.
DC Films committing to listening to independent pitches from directors could be a smart business move on behalf of the studio. While every property won't get green lit, it's probably much better in the long run to chose directors from all sorts of contenders who have passion for the material as opposed to whoever might feel like the safe choice. DC should take note of just how excited fans have been about New Gods in general since DuVernay signed on to direct, and remember that when making future decisions about who should tackle their adaptations.
Source: Ava DuVernay