Amid a sea of salacious reports about the current hectic state of Marvel Studios in a report by Hollywood trade Variety last week—including rumors that the studio could attempt to reunite its original Avengers stars for a new film—one unexpected detail that sparked a swirl of commentary wasn’t really about Marvel at all.
“Eyebrows were raised again when [Nia] DaCosta began working on another film while The Marvels was still in postproduction,” Variety’s report read in part. “The filmmaker moved to London earlier this year to begin prepping for her Tessa Thompson drama Hedda.”
“If you’re directing a $250 million movie, it’s kind of weird for the director to leave with a few months to go,” an undisclosed source “close to the production” added to the trade. But after the aside drew a wave of backlash condemning Variety’s framing of the decision—on what is not exactly an unusual move for a director committed to multiple projects—DaCosta herself has now clarified why she ended up finishing The Marvels’ production remotely.
“It was literally just that they moved the date of the film four different times,” the director explained at a press junket for The Marvels this past weekend to Jake’s Takes. “So instead of it being a two year process, which I was deeply committed to, it became a three and a half year process.”
DaCosta noted that she had already committed to production on Hedda—an adaptation of the Henrik Ibsen play about a woman trapped in a loveless marriage—and that Marvel were aware of that commitment as The Marvels repeatedly shifted dates. “I pushed [Hedda], and then I pushed it again, and then I pushed it again, and then eventually, we all knew ‘Okay, if this pushes again I’m not gonna able to be in L.A. to do the rest of [The Marvels] in person.’”
“We figured out a way to do it remote,” the director continued, saying that she and Marvel “figured out the best process” for her to finish The Marvels remotely in the UK—and that really, at the point she had to leave the film was already so far along that the director and her crew were already aligned on the choices she wanted to make for the film.
“Everyone was so clear about what the film was, what we wanted, everyone knew what I wanted,” DaCosta concluded. “So it really wasn’t the dramatic thing that I think people are sort of feeling it is.”
The Marvels finally hits theaters this Friday, November 10.
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