A shiver of rightness went through the air last week, and the source has at last revealed itself. Ava DuVernay is open to directing a Marvel movie, and all is right with the world. Or at least it will be, once Marvel gets off its butt and actually calls her and starts the process of begging her to take on one of their movies. We need this, Marvel, just give us this much.
DuVernay's one of the most talked-about directors of the year, and for good reason: Her direction of Selma imbued Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy with some much-needed humanity while also utilizing tropes from the horror genre to paint a picture of the terror all-too present in so many fights for human rights. She was also perhaps the biggest snub of this year's Oscar nominations — an honor she herself says she didn't expect, but that many people (myself included) feel she very much earned.
As one of the newest big names in directing, of course she'd be asked about the prospect of taking on a Marvel movie — superheroes are the biggest trend in blockbusters for this particular ongoing era of Hollywood, and Marvel has been known to pick (some would say "gamble on") somewhat unexpected but vision-filled directors who can bring their special talents to the studio's grand experiment. See: The Russo brothers, who had mainly been known for sitcoms prior to Captain America: The Winter Soldier and who are taking on the mega-responsibility of Captain America: Civil War next.
DuVernay admits in her interview with HitFix that she's not a huge comics fan, so that may disqualify her from Marvel directorship for a lot of people. But if you ask me it's the rest of what she said that proves that she could be a great fit for Marvel if she found a character she could really glom onto and connect with: "I know that I love to deconstruct heroes, deconstruct myths. I'd probably want to do some kind of origin story, you know, where you get to the core of it before they get their powers."
The biggest detractor to DuVernay's eligibility might actually be that she hasn't directed much in terms of action fare — but even there, Selma delivers a number of compelling, edge-of-your-seat action sequences. And besides that, there just aren't a lot of women hired to direct action movies — and it's not for lack of talent or ability, so pretty much the only way to create more is to, well, hire some more and see what they can do.
Marvel's slate right now includes a number of director-less projects that are set to introduce new heroes to the MCU and act, I'm sure, at least partially as origin stories. Black Panther and Captain Marvel are chief in my mind as the ones I could easily see Marvel knocking on DuVernay's door for if they know what's good for them. In fact, if DuVernay ever finds herself interested in finding an entryway into Marvel's modern take on heroism, I'd highly suggest she start with Kelly Sue Deconnick's Captain Marvel and the G. Willow Wilson-written, Sana Amanat-created Kamala Khan Ms. Marvel .
The latter doesn't have a Marvel movie in the making and is one of the company's newer titles, but I know I'm not the only one itching to see them add Kamala Khan to their roster either as part of their feature films or on television.
There is plenty going on at Marvel at the moment — and I can't imagine that there's not a place for DuVernay somewhere over there. In fact, it kind of feels like a space that is already begging for a voice like hers.