Nia DaCosta is what you might call “in demand” right now. The up-and-coming filmmaker has audiences eager to see her remake of the 1990s horror film Candyman, and she was recently hired to helm Marvel Studios’ sequel to Captain Marvel. It turns out she was also evidently being eyed for a potential Star Wars project, because Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy specifically name-checked her in a recent interview when discussing how hiring women is a priority for the company. But does this mean we’ll never see a Nia DaCosta Star Wars movie?
In a new interview with The Wrap (via The Playlist), Kennedy confirmed that Lucasfilm is still shaping the future of the Star Wars franchise in the wake of the Skywalker Saga. “We just need the time to step back and really absorb what George [Lucas] has created, and then start to think about where things might go,” she said. “That’s what we’ve been doing, and we’ve been having a great deal of fun doing it, and meeting with lots of different filmmakers and talent. There’s so many fans out there and so many filmmakers that have been influenced by Star Wars for so long that it’s a fantastic opportunity to get a sense of who wants to be a part of this. So that’s what we’ve been doing.”
As you might expect, some of the people who want “to be a part of this” are women. While several episodes of The Mandalorian have been directed by women and there are projects in the works with women in key roles behind the scenes – Deborah Chow‘s Obi-Wan Kenobi show and Leslye Headland‘s mystery show among them – a woman has never served as the primary director on a Star Wars movie. (The Rise of Skywalker‘s Victoria Mahoney was the first woman to work as a second unit director on a Star Wars film.)
Elsewhere in the interview, Kennedy specifically pointed to DaCosta (whose debut feature, Little Woods, is currently streaming on Hulu) as someone she had her eye on. “It’s absolutely a priority,” Kennedy said about hiring women in the future. “I was actually sad because I love Nia DaCosta, who was just announced to do Captain Marvel . She’s another director I’ve been watching, and I think she’s enormously talented.”
Of course, being hired by Marvel Studios does not somehow mean that DaCosta is off the table for a Star Wars project. Taika Waititi is developing a Star Wars movie and Thor: Love and Thunder right now, and Peyton Reed is directing at least one episode of The Mandalorian as well as Marvel’s Ant-Man 3. If Kennedy wanted to hire DaCosta for something, she would, so forgive me for finding this quote slightly disingenuous. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to the day when we write about news that a female filmmaker has been hired to direct a big-tent, theatrical Star Wars movie, because I want to see what different perspectives bring to the stories set in a galaxy far, far away. Thankfully, that day is closer than ever.
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/Film – ‘Slash Film: Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy is “Sad” Marvel Beat Her to Hiring ‘Candyman’ Director Nia DaCosta’
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August 21, 2020