Ava DuVernay Has Dropped Out of Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ Project

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During the Essence Festival this weekend, director Ava DuVernay dropped a bomb on fans who were gleeful about the Selma director tackling Marvel’s Black Panther feature. “I’m not signing on to direct Black Panther,” she said. “I think I’ll just say we had different ideas about what the story would be. Marvel has a certain way of doing things, and I think they’re fantastic and a lot of people love what they do. I loved that they reached out to me.” We certainly can’t fault the filmmaker for always standing her ground and choosing her projects carefully. But we were hoping to see Marvel’s first female director behind the camera — especially someone as sensitive and nuanced as DuVernay. Chadwick Boseman is attached to the film, set to play T’Challa, the black superhero who rules Wakanda — an advanced African nation. He would be the first African-American actor to play a Marvel lead. “I loved meeting Chadwick and the writers and all the Marvel execs,” said DuVernay. “In the end, it comes down to story and we just didn’t see eye to eye. Better for me to realize that now than cite creative differences later.” Diversity has been an ongoing issue in the Marvel universe — the gender and racial kind.