Over the course of the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far, the studio has brought into the fold many interesting directors, from Jon Favreau (Iron Man) to Sir Kenneth Brannagh (Thor) to James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy). Now they may be adding another fascinating choice in the form of Selma director Ava Duvernay.

The Wrap reports from “multiple individuals with knowledge of the situation” that Marvel wants the lauded director for a certain “diverse” Phase 3 movie – those sequels beyond this summer’s Ant-Man – and although it’s not certain which, insiders say that Black Panther is the most likely option. A lot of the other Phase Three films already have directors in place: Captain America: Civil War (Joe & Anthony Russo), Doctor Strange (Scott Derrickson), Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (James Gunn) and Avengers: Infinity War – Parts 1 & 2 (Joe & Anthony Russo). Thor: Ragnarok, Inhumans and the Spider-Man reboot directors have yet to be announced but it’s highly doubtful DuVernay would be up for any of those.

It’s said that even though the studio has other directors on their list, there’s a general interest in DuVernay taking the reins. If she does end up directing Black Panther – or failing that, the female-led Captain Marvel? – it will amazingly be the first MCU film directed by a woman (Patty Jenkins was hired for Thor: The Dark World before she dropped out and was replaced by veteran TV director Alan Taylor). Not only that but she will be the first African-American director, too, which could be looked at as at least partly a PR move because the news comes hot on the heels of the American Civil Liberties Union which is investigating discriminatory hiring at Hollywood’s top studios.

Despite failing to pick up a Best Director Oscar nomination for Selma earlier this year – much to the chagrin of many who wondered why the hell The Imitation Game’s Morten Tyldum was there instead – DuVernay has been sought in the months since and has everything from an Oprah Winfrey-produced Queen Sugar adaptation to an as-yet-untitled Hurricane Katrina movie set to star her Selma actor David Oyelowo.

Neither the studio or the director herself has commented on the inside news but we’ll be sure to keep you updated. Do you think DuVernay is a good fit for the MCU?

Black Panther is set for release on July 6th, 2018.

Sources: The Wrap, THR (image)