Marvel has its eye on an intriguing director for a Phase Three movie

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May 13, 2015, 2:07 PM EDT (Updated)

Later this year, Marvel Studios will close out Phase Two of its ambitious superhero movie plan with Ant-Man, then kick off Phase Three next spring with Captain America: Civil War. Phase Three is set to be the biggest Marvel slate yet, not just because of the sheer scope of the movies, but because the Marvel Cinematic Universe will finally be launching films with diverse leads. In 2018, we'll get both the first Marvel Studios film with a person of color as the lead (Black Panther), and the first Marvel Studios film with a female lead (Captain Marvel). Those are both films the studio really needs to nail, and they're surely gunning for top-tier talent to make it happen. Now a new report claims to know one of the directors Marvel wants.

According to The Wrap, Marvel is "courting" Selma director Ava DuVernay to direct either Captain Marvel or Black Panther. The report notes that other directors are in the running, but there is "mutual interest" in DuVernay working with the studio, and Black Panther seems the most likely choice at the moment.

DuVernay worked for several years in documentary film before earning critical acclaim with her debut feature I Will Follow in 2010, but she's best known now for Selma, the period drama documenting the civil rights protests in Selma, Ala., in 1965. DuVernay earned both Golden Globe and Independent Spirit nominations for her work on the film, and her lack of a Best Director nomination at the Oscars is considered one of the year's biggest snubs.

Now, at first glance, it might seem like comic-book movies would be a weird fit for DuVernay, but don't count her out. Selma is a moving period drama, and it's clear she knows how to build characters, but there are also elements of thrillers, romances, action movies and more in that film. As far as I'm concerned, it's proof she can direct the hell out of anything, and I'm looking forward to seeing if she takes a Marvel gig. If she does, she would become not only the first woman, but the first African-American to direct for the studio.

Black Panther will be released July 6, 2018. Captain Marvel will be released Nov. 2, 2018.

(Via The Wrap)