In an interview with Essence Magazine today, Selma director Ava DuVernay noted that she decided to pass on directing Marvel’s Black Panther adaptation. The movie, which will star Chadwick Boseman (42) as the titular character, is set to be released on July 6, 2018.
DuVernay had spoken with Marvel about directing the film, to much speculation, but noted that both she and Marvel had different visions for the project.
“I’m not signing on to direct Black Panther,” she added. “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.”
“I loved meeting Chadwick and writers and all the Marvel execs,” said DuVernay. “In the end, it comes down to story and perspective. And we just didn’t see eye to eye. Better for me to realize that now than cite creative differences later.”
Black Panther was the first black superhero created by Marvel Comics, and was introduced in Fantastic Four #52 in 1966. The character, T’Challa, is the ruler of Wakanda, and works to protect his homeland from the outside world. Boseman will portray the character first in Captain America: Civil War, before headlining his own film in 2018.
This isn’t the first time that this has happened with Marvel: Edgar Wright, director of Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World had been hired to direct Ant Man before he left the project, citing creative differences, although he retains a writing credit for the film. Peyton Reed has since directed the film.
There is no word on other directors who have been approached for the project.