Nia DaCosta, the talented director behind the highly anticipated superhero film ‘The Marvels,’ recently shared some insights into her journey while working on the Marvel blockbuster. In a candid conversation with Vanity Fair, DaCosta revealed that despite the excitement of the project, there were moments of stress and doubt during filming. During these challenging times, she turned to a fellow Marvel director, Destin Daniel Cretton, who directed ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,’ for support.
DaCosta described instances where scenes left her and her actors bewildered, as they grappled with the challenge of reacting to imaginary elements in the vast world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She acknowledged that there were days when it felt like things just weren’t coming together as planned.
Marvel, recognizing the pressures she faced, encouraged DaCosta to seek advice from directors who had previously worked on Marvel projects. She reached out to luminaries like Chloé Zhao (‘Eternals’), Taika Waititi (‘Thor’), and James Gunn (‘Guardians of the Galaxy’) to discuss her concerns and even humorously wondered if Marvel’s Kevin Feige might be a formidable adversary. Their reassurance and encouragement helped put her fears to rest.
Before stepping into the Marvel universe, DaCosta had made her mark with the box-office success of ‘Candyman,’ which also marked her as the first Black woman to open at No. 1 at the box office with a major film. She credited Jordan Peele, with whom she collaborated on ‘Candyman,’ for teaching her to be fearless and navigate the intricacies of working with studios.
However, she didn’t shy away from mentioning that, on occasion, she faced inappropriate comments from crew members during her earlier work, often related to her gender, race, and age. This experience led her to appreciate her newfound creative freedom on ‘The Marvels,’ where she had the opportunity to assemble her own team.
In her journey as a director, DaCosta highlighted that her success was not solely about personal accolades or industry expectations but, more importantly, about the people she surrounded herself with. She expressed her surprise and gratitude for the respect she has received from her colleagues, particularly middle-aged white individuals, in her current endeavours.
As the director of ‘The Marvels,’ Nia DaCosta makes history as both the youngest director in the Marvel franchise and the first Black woman to helm one of its films. Her unique approach and unwavering commitment to her vision continue to set her apart in the world of filmmaking.