Genre film producers just won’t leave poor Ava DuVernay alone. Just a few months after the Selma director reportedly turned down the director’s chair for Black Panther, The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams has tapped her as his pick to be the first woman to direct a film in the Star Wars franchise. Talking to Nerdist’s Dan Casey, Abrams said DuVernay would be his “knee-jerk” selection, and that he’s confident she would “kill it“ if asked to direct a story in that galaxy far, far away.
After taking a moment to deflect heat from the franchise’s gender issues by reminding everybody that current Lucasfilm president and Star Wars mastermind Kathleen Kennedy is, in fact, a woman, Abrams went on to praise both DuVernay’s skill as a filmmaker, as well as her love of the genre in which Star Wars exists. Referring to Selma, Abrams said, “If she can do that story, that well, there’s no question she’d kill this movie.” (Indeed, many historical scholars agree that the Civil Rights movement was more complex than morally monochrome sword battles between laser-wielding space wizards.)
Anyway, that’s all assuming DuVernay would actually want the job; she’s currently pretty busy with her upcoming TV series, Queen Sugar (not to mention the demands of being a limited edition Barbie doll.) Also, she reportedly passed on Black Panther because it wouldn’t be “an Ava DuVernay film,” a problem that would only be exacerbated by her insertion into the massive Star Wars movie machine.
Still, she hasn’t rejected the notion, either; instead, she responded to Abrams’ assertion with a seemingly supportive, “The Force is with this one” on Twitter.