Ava DuVernay Passes on ‘Black Panther’, Who Is Next?
With recent news that Ava DuVernay is passing on the “Black Panther” movie (via The AV Club) we should probably explore who her replacement should be.
First of all while I think Ava DuVernay is an outstanding director I think her at the helm of Black Panther would not have been a great match. The dramatic points of the movie would have been outstanding for sure but with a Marvel movie comes so much hype and expectation. The action will have to be top notch and I am not sure that is Ava’s bailiwick. I’m glad she passed and look forward to her next venture but my Marvel movies need extra oomph that I think is not part of Ava’s current artistic makeup.
Now with that said who should direct the Black Panther Movie. May I suggest my top 5…
5. Euzhan Palcy
While I am not as familiar with her work as I would like to be (I’ll be catching up this weekend) everyone that sees it is immediately blown away and enthralled with her work. She’s brought Marlon Brando out of retirement, Robert Redford loved her work so much he picked her for a directors panel at Sundance, and she has plenty of accolades that solidify her standing as an incredible filmmaker. She would also bring a view point that is not through the American Prism. T’Challa is from another land, lets explore what that means without the American slant to it. I think Palcy could bring that. While she isn’t an action director per se there are plenty of second directors and assistants that can handle the money shots while she oversees the story making it “super” complete. A long shot certainly but interesting choice nonetheless. But Marvel is known for these outside the box choices that have not failed yet. This wouldn’t be much different.
4. Forest Whitaker
If the tone you want to go for in “Black Panther” is introspective and deep, may I submit Forrest Whitaker as a contender. I loved “Ghost Dog” and as an incredible actor I think he can certainly give guidance to Chadwick Boseman on the dramatic beats that make the Black Panther tick. While I think the action may be muted and less “Marvely” with this selection I would welcome it and enjoy seeing what Whitaker does with the material.
3. John Singleton
With movies like “Four Brothers,” “2 Fast 2 Furious,” and “Shaft,” Singleton knows action. He has also done amazing work with drama. “Baby Boy,” “Boyz N the Hood,” “Higher Learning,” and “Poetic Justice” all point to a strong sense of character development, story, and internal conflict that would be perfect and necessary for “Black Panther.” Now can he put all these together into what is sure to be a blockbuster? I think so and would be excited to see it.
2. Antoine Fuqua
Fuqua’s name is synonymous with action and drama. “Shooter,” “The Equalizer,” “Bait,” “The Replacement Killers,” and “Training Day” all were incredible action-packed thrill rides. Insert a great multi layered character like the Prince of Wakanda and how could it not be incredible? This should happen, this better happen. Come on guys make it happen!!!
1. F. Gary Gray
I love Gray’s work. Love, love, looooove it!. “Law Abiding Citizen,” so fun. “Set it Off,” seen it like 30 hundred times. “The Italian Job,” own it… on HD DVD and Blu-Ray. That’s right just in case it makes a comeback I kept the HD DVD version!!! Gray makes edge of your seat fun and engaging movies. Everything you want T’Challa’s film debut to be. I can see a movie garnering my coveted 5 rewatchability rating with Gray at the helm. If you want a Marvel movie that’s fun, fast, and action packed you can’t do much better than Gray. He is my top pick for bringing this phase 3 film to fruition.
There are many other directors out there that would be interesting choices. However this movie needs special attention, being such a pivotal Marvel character. These directors can handle this film without folding under the immense pressure a project of this magnitude would come with.