Ava DuVernay was never going to direct Black Panther. Even if she’d accepted the job, even if they’d gone into pre-production, even if they were a week out from cameras rolling, she was never going to direct Black Panther. Yet when rumors circulated that Marvel wanted her for the job, I allowed myself the delusion of thinking about what her version of the character might look like.
Naturally, that version will never exist because the only version that can be allowed to exist — regardless of who gets the directing job — is Marvel‘s. Now that DuVernay has made plain that she won’t be making the movie, Marvel can find a new yeoman filmmaker on the rise (or on the other side of the down slope) who either sees perfectly eye to eye with what they want or is willing to go along with it for the paycheck and exposure.
Kim Masters and Borys Kit made this point beautifully back when Edgar Wright left Ant-Man after Marvel handed him a rewritten script he had nothing to do with. It’s not so much that Marvel is making movies, as much as they’re making $150m big-screen television episodes where Kevin Feige is the showrunner and the directing talent is treated like they would be in TV Land: capable conduits for a singular vision (that’s not theirs).
The funny thing about creative differences is that it’s only one person that walks away. Marvel waved goodbye to Wright, they fired Patty Jenkins from Thor 2, they gave Joss Whedon hell on Age of Ultron even after he helped them bust the box office with Avengers, Jon Favreau didn’t want to do Iron Man 3 because there was no clear vision, Alan Taylor echoed the sentiment that Marvel is “making it up as they go,” Edward Norton stopped playing The Hulk because he couldn’t get control over the character, and even directors like Kenneth Branagh who have expressed public willingness to return to the Marvel fold clashed with the studio during production.
What’s interesting is how open these actors and directors have been in criticizing Marvel after their time there. The consensus seems to be that Marvel works with too-tight budgets, too-tight turnaround on productions, and goes into a shooting schedule with incomplete scripts because of it. Elements that are typically found in a recipe for disaste"
Scott Beggs, “Mourning The Ava DuVernay Black Panther Movie that would never been made.”
“I know you play mysterious and aloof just to avoid getting hurt. And I
know you have reasons for not wanting talk about your past. I want you
to know that I don’t care about any of that stuff. Because I’m in
lesbians with you.”
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World