Lulu Wang, the Chinese-American filmmaker behind the acclaimed Awkwafina-starring The Farewell, was approached by Marvel Studios to direct one of their upcoming films. The rising star filmmaker — who earned a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Film Not in the English Language and a Critics Choice Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay, both for The Farewell — previously expressed an interest in helming a female-led superhero movie, telling Variety in August, "I would absolutely love to do a superhero movie. It just has to be the right one. It has to have the right message. Yes, I’m putting it out into the universe. Bring me all the superheroes. Definitely female. I definitely want to do a female superhero."
When participating in a Hollywood Reporter filmmakers roundtable with Todd Phillips (Joker), Noah Baumbach (Marriage Story), Fernando Meirelles (The Two Popes), Greta Gerwig (Little Women) and Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), Wang raised her hand after host Stephen Galloway asked who among the table has been approached to direct a Marvel film. "I don't know if I'm supposed to say that," Wang admitted with a laugh.
Wang did not reveal the unidentified Marvel film or provide details on when she was approached, but the Disney-owned studio sought out a female filmmaker for the Scarlett Johansson-led Black Widow. Cate Shortland (Berlin Syndrome) emerged as the victor over a reported shortlist that included Amma Asante (Belle), Kimberly Peirce (Carrie) and Maggie Betts (Novitiate).
Following Black Widow, Marvel Studios next releases The Eternals from director Chloe Zhao, who won the job over Nicole Kassell (HBO's Watchmen), Travis Knight (Bumblebee), and Cristina Gallego & Ciro Guerra (Birds of Passage).
A potential candidate for Wang is Captain Marvel 2, following word first film directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck will not return to direct star Brie Larson in the sequel. Marvel is said to be searching for a female director.
In December, Marvel Studios president and producer Kevin Feige said Marvel Studios was committed to diverse storytelling behind and in front of the camera in Phase 4 and beyond.
"Both films we have coming out in 2020 are directed by women,” Feige said of Black Widow and The Eternals during an appearance at the New York Film Academy. "We’ve got three other [Disney+] shows that we’ve announced, but we haven’t announced the players. Spoiler alert: two out of three of them are women. And it makes for better stories, I say. When you’re sitting at a table, and everybody looks like you, you’re in trouble. You’re not gonna get the best story out of that."
Marvel Studios next releases Black Widow, out May 1, followed by The Eternals on November 6, 2020.