Ava DuVernay, known for her movies Selma and A Wrinkle In Time, will direct the upcoming film adaptation of the comic book series New Gods. As Variety reports, the film will be part of Warner Bros’ DC Extended Universe (DCEU) and is based on the comic by Jack Kirby, originally released in 1971. The series follows an eternal war between twin planets: the utopian New Genesis, ruled by the benevolent Highfather, and the dystopic Apokolips, dominated by the tyrant Darkseid. Variety notes that the film is aimed at creating a new “universe of properties” for Warner Bros.
DuVernay has indicated her love for New Gods in the past, previously tweeting that Big Barda (a character from the series) is her favorite superhero. DuVernay also paid tribute to Kirby in a tweet yesterday. Her appointment is notable as she is the second woman, and the first woman of color, to helm a major superhero film. Patty Jenkins was the first woman to do so for Wonder Woman, which was lauded by critics and made $821.8 million globally. DuVernay was also the first woman of color to direct a movie with a budget of over $100 million for A Wrinkle In Time.
Warner Bros’ launched its DCEU in 2013 to compete with Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). But so far it’s been unable to keep up. Films like Justice League and Suicide Squad have suffered from poor critical reviews and disappointing box office returns, prompting Warner Bros to announce a new strategy for films in the DCEU. Wonder Woman was a bright spot for the studio and it’s most likely Warner Bros is hoping DuVernay will be able to lift the DCEU’s prospects.
The next films from the DCEU are Aquaman, due out this December and the sequel to Wonder Woman, which will see Jenkins return as director and Gal Gadot reprise the titular role. DuVernay is also currently working on an upcoming limited series about the Central Park Five for Netflix.