I was listening to the Afronerd podcast this week, and the subject of Ava Duvernay came up.
Duvernay has directed such films as “13th” and “Selma,” and she’s currently in talks to possibly direct “The New Gods.”
If you don’t keep up with comic books, “New Gods” might be difficult to explain. It was written by the legendary Jack Kirby, and the illustration for the comic book has a psychedelic feel to it. The DC Comics that are turned into movies fall under the DC Extended Universe (DCEU).
Afronerd is a Black-male-orientated podcast that discusses comics and Sci-Fi movies. The hosts discussed the possibility of Duvernay directing “The New Gods,” and it didn’t sound promising.
They liked her other work and gave it rave reviews. But they basically felt that she wasn’t the right person to helm this New Gods project, and they used “A Wrinkle In Time” as proof.
I didn’t watch that movie, but I saw that the reviews were all over the place. Also, apparently it didn’t make enough money in the United States.
Dburt, one of the men on the podcast, said he was being attacked on social media for his views on Duvernay directing.
In my opinion, it’s not about Duvernay’s directing but rather the material. Aside from the Christian Bale “Batman” movies, the DCEU has not been able to string together a successful run. If it weren’t for “Wonder Woman,” they’d have no recent hits under their belt.
In the case of “The New Gods,” Duvernay would be tasked to make a movie based on a comic book that is mostly known by purists. DCEU couldn’t even turn “Justice League” into a hit, yet they think they have the formula for “New Gods?” A large majority couldn’t even name a New God if you gave them money to do it.
We live in a polarized society where people get offended easily; you never know whether someone has an ulterior motive when they critique you. I also understand that what I heard on the podcast might sound different to female ears. It could be viewed as a great conversation or as a bunch of men picking on a woman.
It’s unfortunate that there is such a thin line between honesty and sexism.
Meanwhile, I will still be rooting for Duvernay if this project comes to fruition. Her successes make opportunities available for other Black directors. And ultimately, that is what we all truly want to see — a plethora of movies directed by minorities that we can enjoy and critique.