Filmmaker Nia DaCosta will make history by becoming the first Black woman to direct a major Marvel movie.
According to Variety, DaCosta has been confirmed as the director for “Captain Marvel 2” for Marvel Studios. She will replace Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, who directed the original 2019 “Captain Marvel” movie. The original had a domestic gross of $426.8 million and a worldwide gross of $1.13 billion. Brie Larson will return in her role as Captain Marvel, a.k.a. Carol Danvers, from a script by Megan McDonnell.
DaCosta is the fourth woman to direct a Marvel Studios picture and the first Black woman. Other women who have taken on the powerful position including Boden, Cate Shortland for “Black Widow”, and Chloé Zhao for “Eternals”. The move to have DaCosta direct is apart of Marvel Studios’ continued push for more diverse inclusion in their top creative positions.
DaCosta’s career was launched with the 2019 indie movie “Little Woods”, starring Tessa Thompson. As described on IMDB, the movie is “a modern Western about two sisters who work outside the law to better their lives.”
DaCosta’s role in “Little Woods” led to her receiving the directing job for the new “Candyman” movie. The film is co-written and produced by Jordan Peele of “Get Out” fame. “Candyman” was initially set to open in June, however, it was pushed to October due to the coronavirus pandemic. In June, DaCosta released a shadow-puppet preview of “Candyman”, tweeting, “CANDYMAN, at the intersection of white violence and black pain, is about unwilling martyrs. The people they were, the symbols we turn them into, the monsters we are told they must have been.”
When talking with Vulture about her experience with the original “Candyman” movie, DaCosta said, “I always loved horror when I was younger, I just loved all creepy films.”
The 1992 “Candyman” tells the story of a Chicago graduate student researching urban legends, which leads her to the legend of Candyman, a ghost of an artist and son of a slave who was murdered in the late 19th century. A portion of the movie takes place in Chicago’s Cabrini-Green housing project where Candyman is believed to be killing residents.
“Today, I understand that it’s special because it has a black antagonist in a very white space, which is problematic,” DaCosta told Variety. “But at the time I was like, ‘Oh cool, we have black dudes, it’s terrifying. Virginia Madsen, and what, bees? Honey? What’s happening?’ It was very much of that.”
DaCosta, a NYU Tisch School of the Arts graduate, also has directing credits on “Top Boy”, the British television drama about two London drug dealers which streams on Netflix.
The “Captain Marvel 2” directing position was highly sought-after despite uncertainty surrounding its production in a COVID-19 world. According to Variety, the other directors considered for the project included Olivia Wilde (“Booksmart”) and Jamie Babbit (“But I’m a Cheerleader,” “Russian Doll”).
“Captain Marvel 2” is set to open on July 8, 2022.