The Ninjabot

Categorized | Movies, News

Marvel Wants F. Gary Gray to Direct BLACK PANTHER

Posted on October 6, 2015 at 10:27 am by David "Snackbar" Edmundson

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F. Gary Gray has been a steady journeyman director since the 1990s, but he landed a massive hit this summer with Straight Outta Compton. Now he’s getting courted for some serious blockbusters.

Yesterday, it was reported that Gray was on the shortlist to direct Furious 8, and early this morning we got confirmation that he had entered early negotiations to take on Universal’s prized action franchise. While he wasn’t a particularly inspired choice, he was the safe bet. Not only had he scored a big hit for the studio with Compton, he had previously worked with star Vin Diesel on A Man Apart.

However, Variety’s story mentioned that Marvel was seeking Gray for Black Panther. Paired with the studio also eyeing Ava DuVernay for the gig black-panther-comic-image(she passed on the project), it looks like they’re set on hiring an African-American director for the job, which is the smart play. It bypasses any race controversy before the film begins.

But if Gray has taken the Furious 8 gig (he’s still in negotiations, which I suppose could fall apart), then he’s likely out for Black Panther. Furious 8 is due out on April 14, 2017, and Black Panther opens July 6, 2018. There’s no time to do both films of this scale, so unless Gray gets unhappy with what Universal is offering for Furious 8 or Marvel comes along with an amazing offer for Black Panther, then it looks like Marvel’s search is going to continue for a director.

And that puts them in a tough position, although perhaps they’ll be comfortable doing what Warner Bros. did yesterday and hire someone with minimal directing experience for one of their key franchise. But I would hope that Marvel is treating the property with a little more care. While I’m not a die-hard Gray fan, he’s a capable director who would probably do an adequate job with whatever material he was given.

Follow Snackbar on Twitter @snackie_cakes for all your Geek News.

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