Marvel’s ‘Captain Marvel 2’ Slated to be Largest-Budget Film With a Black Female Director

While the world waits for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (and the rest of Hollywood, for that matter) to restart, Marvel Studios announced a breakthrough: They have hired Nia DaCosta to direct Captain Marvel 2

This is a breakthrough not only because DaCosta is the fourth woman hired by Marvel to direct a movie. She’s also the first Black woman they have hired, and DaCosta will bear the distinction of helming the film with the biggest budget ever handed to a Black female director. 

Nia DaCosta smiling in front of a light up sign
Nia DaCosta | Rachel Murray/Getty Images

Who is Nia DaCosta? 

According to Deadline, DaCosta started gaining attention with her 2018 film Little Woods, starring Tessa Thompson and Lily James as two sisters who get mixed up in illegal cross-border drug trading after the death of their mother. The movie has a 95 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the Critical Consensus reading, “Led by standout work from Tessa Thompson, Little Woods tells a grimly absorbing tale that marks a commendable debut for writer-director Nia DaCosta.”

That film got the attention of Jordan Peele, the writer/director of Get Out, who is producing and co-writing a remake of Candyman, the 1992 horror movie, about a vengeful ghost of a man murdered for having an interracial affair. Tony Todd terrified audiences playing the title role and returns in DaCosta’s film, described as a spiritual sequel to the first movie. It is scheduled for release on October 16. 

While the budget for Captain Marvel 2 is not publicly known, MCU movies typically have budgets well north of $100 million. That would be the highest budget for a movie made by a Black female director, with the record up to now being held by A Wrinkle in Time, directed by Ava DuVernay, who made Selma. A Wrinkle in Time cost $115 million. 

DaCosta will be the fourth woman to direct an MCU movie

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Marvel had initially hired a woman, Patty Jenkins, to direct Thor: The Dark World, which came out in 2013. However, she and Marvel didn’t see eye to eye on the direction of the movie, and she departed the production, going on to direct Wonder Woman and its sequel for Warner Bros. and DC. The Thor sequel was ultimately helmed by Alan Taylor. 

It was not until 2019 that Marvel released a movie with a female director. This was Anna Boden, who co-directed Captain Marvel with her partner Ryan Fleck. The pair had mostly made indie dramas, including Half Nelson and Sugar, before taking on the Captain Marvel chair, and there was some question about whether they could pull off a mega-budget action tentpole. The movie grossed more than $1 billion worldwide, according to MarketWatch

Since then, Marvel has hired two women to take sole directing credits on two Phase Four films awaiting release. These are Black Widow, directed by Cate Shortland, and The Eternals, directed by Chloe Zhao. The former is scheduled to be released November 6, and the latter February 12. 

What will ‘Captain Marvel’ 2 be about? 

As is ever the case with a future Marvel movie, information is scant. Most of what has been revealed so far is what the film won’t be about. Unlike the original, the sequel will not be set in the 1990s and will presumably take place sometime after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Some people expressed disappointment that the first movie didn’t feature the music of the ’90s as well as the Guardians of the Galaxy movies mined the music of the ’70s. 

An intriguing wrinkle is that Captain Marvel will share some kind of connection with WandaVision, that mysterious Disney+ show that mixes all kinds of TV tropes. Set photos have revealed the presence of the adult Monica Rambeau, seen as a child in Captain Marvel. So WandaVision connects not only to Captain Marvel 2 but to Loki and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness as well. Hopefully, we’ll know what this all means by the time Captain Marvel 2 comes out in July of 2022.