Ava DuVernay Confirms She Won’t Direct Black Panther

Ava DuVernay says they didn’t see eye to eye

Despite Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige confirming a meeting with director Ava DuVernay just last week, the Selma filmmaker has announced today that she will not helm the highly-anticipated Black Panther movie.

“I guess I’ll declare my independence from this rumor on 4th of July weekend and Essence weekend! I’m not signing on to direct Black Panther,” DuVernay tells Essence. “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,” she adds. “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… I love the character of Black Panther, the nation of Wakanda and all that that could be visually. I wish them well and will be first in line to see it.”

In confirming his meeting with DuVernay, Feige previously mentioned that the studio has also met with “a number of people” for their upcoming slate of movies, though who remains in contention for the position remains a mystery.

“We need to find the best director for any given movie, and that’s really where we always start,” he said. “If diversity is part of that, it’s great. It’s important. You will start to see things across the industry as a whole change as more filmmakers come up through the ranks and become part of making movies like this.”

Chadwick Boseman is set to star as the title hero in Black Panther, which is currently being scripted by Mark Bailey and set for release on July 6, 2018. Boseman will make his debut as the character in Captain America: Civil War, slated to debut in theaters May 6, 2016