Why Ava DuVernay decided to walk away from directing ‘Black Panther’

Ava DuVernay was set to make history. In 2015, there were speculations in the film industry that DuVernay would become the first Black woman to direct a Marvel film. DuVernay had just directed the critically-acclaimed Selma and was set to take on the role as director of Black Panther.

Although Chadwick Boseman had signed on to be the lead in Black Panther, the film was still in the planning phases. Boseman and DuVernay even met at one point during the process.

However, DuVernay reportedly did not agree with some of the ideas that were given by Marvel. During the BlogHer conference DuVernay said she and Marvel, “just didn’t see eye to eye.” She also added, “It really wasn’t going to be an Ava DuVernay film.”

At the time, DuVernay had to make a hard decision about her career. “Is this important enough for me to do? Are these people I want to go to bed with? This would be three years of not doing other things that are important to me.”

Ryan Coogler would eventually become the director of Black Panther after impressive films, Fruitvale Station and Creed.

Black Panther has since become a cultural phenomenon earning $426 million in four days.

DuVernay, who directed A Wrinkle in Time, congratulated Coogler and the entire cast on their success. But we could only wonder how Wakanda would have been shaped had it been created on film with DuVernay on board.

A.R. Shaw
A.R. Shaw

A.R. Shaw is an author and journalist who documents culture, politics, and entertainment. He has covered The Obama White House, the summer Olympics in London, and currently serves as Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine. Follow his journey on Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.



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