It's been quite a week for non-movie related news in the United States of America: the Supreme Court handed down two landmark rulings which strengthened the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) and legalized the marriage of same-sex couples throughout all 50 states. This in tandem with a widespread backlash over the continued presence of the Confederate flag flying over a great many state capitol buildings in the South, a symbol of the racist vitriol that fueled the horrific mass shooting which occurred in a church in Charleston on June 17th.
As a result, South Carolina governor Nikki Haley has ordered the flag taken down and the governor of Alabama will remove several Confederate flags from a long-standing Civil War memorial, with many other states and businesses following suit. What does all of this have to do with comic book movies? Well, a report from back in May claimed that Marvel was eyeing Selma director Ava DuVernay for one of the Phase Three films, which would
finally inject some diversity into the MCU.
While Captain Marvel is poised to be Marvel's first female-led superhero movie, Black Panther is thought to be the most likely project for DuVernay to helm. This morning, DuVernay posted a tweet in support of Bree Newsome, a South Carolina activist and organizer who climbed the 30-foot flagpole outside the state capitol building in Columbia to personally remove the Confederate flag.
Here is DuVernay's tweet, which references a certain black superhero movie:
— Ava DuVernay (@AVAETC) June 27, 2015
Naturally, we're going to speculate here. DuVernay did not explicitly confirm or deny that she was in talks with Marvel, but movie chief Kevin Feige did during an interview with THR, saying:
"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."
First and foremost, DuVernay is signalling her support for an activist who decided to take a stand and at least temporarily remove the flag - an act which landed her in jail on the charges of "defacing monuments on capitol grounds." The South Carolina legislature has to vote on whether or not to remove the flag permanently.
Still, we can safely take this as confirmation that DuVernay has at least spoken with Marvel and could be interested in the job. The Oscar winning (for Best Song) Selma was a critical success (read our review), capturing a pivotal moment in American history with grace and an articulate sense of cinema. Having achieved this level of critical and mainstream acceptance, would she want to jump into the realm of superhero movies, especially one like Black Panther, which could be a crucial entry in the MCU's Phase Three?
A filmmaker like DuVernay is - on paper - unlikely to hop aboard a franchise machine like Marvel... but few expected a name like Kenneth Branagh to be involved in something like Thor. It's possible that this might also signal some kind of decision on Black Panther sooner rather than later. Stay tuned for more details as they emerge.
Ant-Man opens in theaters July 17, 2015; Captain America: Civil War – May 6, 2016; Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man reboot – July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Black Panther – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – November 2, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019.
Source: Ava DuVernay