Marvel Studios’ news cycle has been more active in the past week than the last three months combined. With the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic, fans worldwide have been denied the summer blockbusters this year. Now, reports suggest Marvel’s search for the female director for Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel 2 has ended with the unlikely indie director Nia DaCosta.
The chaos that shook the industry hurt Marvel projects more than others because of their dependence on continuity and strict deadlines. Marvel Phase 4 is yet to see the light of day with the entire phase now pushed back till 2022 along with Captain Marvel 2. The movie was added to the roster post-pandemic. However, it’s unclear that it’ll mark the end of phase 4 or start of phase 5.
Nia DaCosta, MCU’s First Black Female Director
The directorial chair of Brie Larson led Captain Marvel 2 is undeniably the contract of the decade. The studio was very specifically looking for a female director for its much-anticipated sequel. With drying ink on paper, Nia DaCosta will join the league of Marvel’s handful female directors, Anna Boden (Captain Marvel), Cate Shortland (Black Widow), and Chloé Zhao (The Eternals) as the first woman of colour.
Watch: Captain Marvel 2 Official Announcement
For Nia DaCosta, with Captain Marvel 2 chair comes the responsibility of Marvel’s cosmic universe. A lot is at stake for both the studio and fans with this particular movie. Previously, the studio has trusted its crucial movies like Civil War, Infinity War and Endgame to director duo Joe and Anthony Russo. On the flip side, DaCosta comes from Indie movie-making scene and received recognition with crime-thriller Little Woods starring Tessa Thompson. Her much anticipated next, horror flick Candyman, has been delayed to October 2020. But by the looks of the trailer, it looks GOOD!
Over the first three phases, Marvel indeed has a track record of changing directors for the sequels. Iron Man, Captain America, Thor all were highly improvised compared to the prequels. DaCosta takes over from duo Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck who co-directed the 2019 origin story that earned over $1 Billion worldwide. Brie Larson will return in the titular role as Carol Danvers from a script by scribe Megan McDonnell who is also the story editor for Disney+ ‘WandaVision.’
It’ll be very interesting to see what Larson, DaCosta and McDonnell together bring to the character of ‘Captain Marvel’ as a whole. The leading ladies of the moment are known for their stand on equal opportunities and diversity.
Marvel’s Indie Touch
Marvel is prone to taking chances with their now big-budget productions like hiring Sam Raimi over Scott Derrickson for Doctor Strange sequel, reinventing Thor with New Zealander director Taika Waititi, firing and rehiring of James Gunn for Guardians of the Galaxy, among others. Simultaneously, the studio is seeking to become more diverse in its hiring behind the camera.
Chinese director Chloe Zao is at the helm of its first superhero team origins film, The Eternals. The cast and crew of Shang Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings is majorly Asian. DaCosta joining the MCU talent pool is one of Marvel’s diversity moves. But it’s certainly not on a whim.
Watch: All MCU Directors Ranked
The two projects old Nia Dacosta had a humble beginning with Little Woods that led her to direct Candyman. Marvel bestowing her with the responsibility to carry forward the story of its franchise face Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel is HUGE. If the rumour mill is anything to go by, in the past week reports have surfaced about Captain Marvel 2 being a major Secret Invasion crossover event with Tom Holland’s Spider-Man in a featured role alongside Larson. Meaning it’s not a major Avenger level crossover event but a story defining conflict with a huge ensemble like Captain America: Civil War. Ms. Marvel will also be a part of this event which, if it happens, will open doors for a Young Avengers feature film.
In the comic Secret Invasion storyline, the Avengers are infiltrated by the Skrulls. Their presence in both Captain Marvel and Spider-Man: Far From Home has made fans believe in the plausibility of the rumour. DaCosta and the studio have a lot on their plate!
Watch: Captain Marvel 2 Plot leak
With Captain Marvel 2, DaCosta is also join the league of directors with humble beginnings and blockbuster franchises on their resume. Off the bat, some names include Tim Burton (Beetlejuice to Batman), Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects to X-Men), Chris Nolan (Memento to Batman Begins), and Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station to Black Panther). Taika Waititi who went from indie films to Thor: Ragnarock to his Academy winning production Jo Jo Rabbit.
But that was a pre-pandemic world. Today, it’s still unclear how live-action and stunt productions will resume. That weirdly works to Nia’s advantage who has a low budget indie project and solid experience as a studio programmer under her belt. Nia DaCosta is better prepared for $200 million Captain Marvel 2 franchise than Marvel is expects of her.