Nia DaCosta Wondered If Joining MCU Would ‘Destroy My Soul’ Before Directing ‘The Marvels’

Filmmaker Nia DaCosta was skeptical when it came to joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a director, and even called in her own team of “Avengers” for advice. The “Candyman” helmer revealed to Vanity Fair that, before signing on to direct “The Marvels,” she contacted fellow MCU filmmakers Chloé Zhao, James Gunn, and Taika Waititi to confirm that Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige was worth working for.

“Are they going to kill me and destroy my soul?,” DaCosta recalled asking her fellow filmmakers, all of whom, like DaCosta, joined the superhero fray after directing independent features. “Is Kevin Feige a bad man? And they were like, ‘No, he’s just a good guy who was a nerd.'”

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During “The Marvels” production, DaCosta also texted “Shang-Chi” and Marvel Phase 5 lead director Destin Daniel Cretton to vent when she felt “overwhelmed” and “so stressed.” “Sometimes you’d be in a scene and you’d be like, ‘What the hell does any of this shit mean?,'” DaCosta said. “Or an actor’s looking at some crazy thing happening in space, and they’re [actually] looking at a blue X. There were obviously hard days, and days where you’re like, ‘This just isn’t working.'”

DaCosta added that, despite directing “The Marvels,” the film is still “a Kevin Feige production, it’s his movie.” She summed up, “I think you live in that reality, but I tried to go in with the knowledge that some of you is going to take a back seat. It was really great to play in this world, and to be a part of building this big world, but it made me just want to build my own world more.”

Before helming “The Marvels,” DaCosta directed a post-credits scene for the MCU television series “Ms. Marvel,” which introduced Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) to Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani). The two superheroes team up in “The Marvels.”

DaCosta recently told Total Film that while “superhero fatigue absolutely exists,” her “Marvels” takes a unique approach unlike other MCU titles to date. According to DaCosta, “The Marvels” is “really wacky and silly” and opens the door to “worlds unlike others you’ve seen in the MCU.”

“The Marvels” marks DaCosta’s third feature film after her indie debut “Little Woods” and her well-received “Candyman” remake. DaCosta is one of four credited writers on “The Marvels” screenplay, along with Megan McDonnell, Elissa Karasik, and Zeb Wells. The film opens in theaters on Fridta, November 10.

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