As we reported earlier this year, Selma’s Ava DuVernay is set to direct Disney’s film adaptation of A Wrinkle In Time, which will star Oprah Winfrey. And according to the LA Times, DuVernay’s new gig marks a major milestone: She will become the first woman of color to direct a live-action film with a nine-figure production budget. Yup, in directing A Wrinkle In Time, DuVernay is smashing through the glass ceiling to become the first woman of color to direct a movie with a budget over $100 million, joining the very small ranks of women who have directed a movie of that scale.
The only other women who have helmed live-action projects of that size are Kathryn Bigelow for the 2002’s K-19: The Widowmaker and Patty Jenkins, who is directing next year’s Wonder Woman movie. The pool of directors of color who have made $100 million movies is ridiculously small, too. It includes Star Trek Beyond’s Justin Lin, Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer’s Tim Story, and Fast 8’s F. Gary Gray. But the pool of Black women who have directed a movie of this magnitude consists of only one. There is only Ava DuVernay. Meanwhile, if you look at the most expensive live-action films of the 21st century, they’re all directed by white men. More than 300 movies have been made with a $100 million or more budget, but none of them were directed by Black women.
Meanwhile, DuVernay stepped in to drop a major truth bomb: She may be the first to do it, but she wasn’t the first one qualified.
Here’s to hoping studios stop giving all the expensive shit to white dudes. Bust open that blockbuster glass ceiling, Ava.