A Wrinkle in Time director Ava DuVernay is closing a deal with Warner Brothers to direct a movie based on DC’s New Gods comics.
The news was first reported in Deadline, and DuVernay seemed to confirm it by subsequently tweeting a tribute to New Gods creator Jack Kirby.
While beloved by many comics fans, The New Gods aren’t as well-known as DC or Marvel’s biggest superheroes. They were part of an interconnected series of 1970s titles known as Kirby’s Fourth World, which told the story of the cosmic war between the planets Apokolips and New Genesis.
The Fourth World included some of Kirby’s most compelling heroes, including the brooding soldier Orion and the escape artist Mister Miracle (true story: my first tattoo is drawn from Mister Miracle), but the most durable character was Darkseid, ruler of Apokolips and master of the Anti-Life Equation.
Darkseid’s relationship with Orion provided a clear model for the Star Wars movies (it almost seems too on-the-nose that his name is pronounced “dark side”). Thanos, the villain in Avengers: Infinity War, is sometimes described as a Darkseid knockoff. And DC often brings him back as one of its most reliable bad guys.
“Our dreams make us large.”
Thank you, #JackKirby. pic.twitter.com/gv3SiccV6a
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) March 15, 2018
Batman v. Superman and Justice League seemed to be setting Darkseid up as the ultimate villain of the DC Cinematic Universe. However, those plans may be changing due to the disappointing performance of Justice League.
In fact, Deadline suggests that DuVernay’s New Gods film (to be scripted by Chasing Mavericks screenwriter Kario Salem) will be unconnected to the other DC movies. DC is supposedly working on a slate of standalone, creator-driven titles including Todd Phillips’ Joker origin story — a strategy that should result in some interesting films, even if it’s confusing for casual moviegoers.
Back in December, DuVernay tweeted that one of the New Gods characters, Big Barda, was her favorite superhero. DuVernay had previously said she passed on directing Black Panther because she and Marvel had “different ideas about what the story would be.”