Ava DuVernay Passes on Directing ‘Black Panther’ Movie

DuVernay says she and Marvel had different ideas about what the story should be

subject: Ava DuVernay

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Last month, it was reported that award-winning director Ava DuVernay would make history as Marvel’s first African American female director with the upcoming film Black Panther. While the rumors were true that DuVernay was offered the job, she reveals to Essence.com that after much consideration she has decided to pass on the offer.

“I guess I’ll declare my independence from this rumor on 4th of July weekend and Essence weekend,” the Selma director said during the Essence Festival in New Orleans.

“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.”

[Related: Chadwick Boseman to Become First Lead of Color for Marvel]

Get on Up actor Chadwick Boseman has reportedly been tapped to play T’Challa, who is the ruler of the fictional nation of Wakanda in the film. He is the first African American to play a leading role in a Marvel Studios and Hollywood blockbuster collaboration.

DuVernay, who is currently filming a love story set against Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, makes it clear that despite turning down the opportunity to be involved with the Black Panther movie, she is still in full support of the film.

“I love the character of Black Panther, the nation of Wakanda and all that could be visually. I wish them well and will be first in line to see it.”