It was everyone’s low-key worry, right? That after A Wrinkle in Time merely whelmed, Ava DuVernay would not get the same second (third, fourth, fifth) chance that her white male peers get to go on and make another blockbuster, like, say, Zack Snyder who made a divisive Superman movie and then went on to make two more divisive Superman movies. Well worry not, because DuVernay is already moving on to her next nine-figure project, and in a fanboy sh*t-stirring twist, she’ll be making a movie for DC Films.
She’ll be adapting the New Gods, which is basically the weird side of the DC universe, the legacy of legendary comic book artist Jack Kirby. At Marvel, Kirby co-created, among others, Captain America, Black Panther, the Fantastic Four, Thor, and “cosmic” characters like Ego the Living Planet, Groot, and Galactus. When he got sick of how he was treated at Marvel, Kirby packed up and went to DC, where he created the Fourth World, filled with gods and monsters and a war between the heavenly New Genesis and the hellish Apokolips.
If you have retained any memory of Justice League, you might remember Apokolips as the home world of the villain, Steppenwolf. So the New Gods are not coming out of nowhere in the DC extended universe—they’ve been teasing one of the core NG characters, Darkseid, since Batman v Superman. But instead of forcing upon us another dark and gritty Snyderian take, they’ve invited DuVernay to put her spin on the New Gods. DuVernay is optimistic, hopeful, and views cinema as an instrument of inspiration. I am VERY interested to see what she does with something like New Gods, which has hundreds of characters at its disposal. The possibility is, literally, endless.
But of course, she is stepping into the arena of the WORST FANS ON THE INTERNET. That is not an exaggeration. I write about movies and superheroes—I have encountered DC fanboys. My social media mute list is pretty much just DC fanboys. All are DC fans awful? No. Does the DC fandom contain the most toxic cadre of fans? Yes. You can find annoying Marvel fans for sure, but mostly they just want to correct you when you type “Dr. Strange” instead of writing out the full “Doctor Strange”. The DC fanboys, however, will call you a c*nt and hope you get raped because you aren’t showing proper deference to Batman v Superman, a movie in which the central conflict is resolved because the heroes’ moms have the same name.
And now these diaper babies have to contend with Ava DuVernay making a movie for DC. There was almost certainly an organized campaign to affect the audience rating of A Wrinkle in Time, as there has been for every movie recently that features inclusive casts and progressive themes. Some of those down-voting assholes are DC fanboys. And now they have Ava DuVernay in their wheelhouse. What will they do?! I wait with baited breath, kind of hoping they just implode from the irony.
This is a good step for DC Films, though. One of the main lessons of Wonder Woman is that people prefer hopeful, inspiring heroes. We’ve simply moved past the moment for dark and gritty. It’ll come back around, I’m sure, but with the real world the way it is, people are looking to movies, particularly the ones about heroes, to be uplifting. That’s a HUGE part of the success of Wonder Woman and Black Panther—those movies don’t just make you feel good, they make you feel like you can save the world, too. And that’s the kind of filmmaking Ava DuVernay is interested in, so she’s a good fit for the recalibration of DC Films. Now she’s an experienced blockbuster director, and she has actual gods and monsters at her disposal. I cannot wait to see what worlds Ava DuVernay imagines next.