• Nia DaCosta's upcoming MCU film, The Marvels, is a significant milestone in her career and marks a "before and after" moment.
  • DaCosta has experienced mistreatment and conflicts on previous projects, facing issues related to her gender, age, and race.
  • Although given the opportunity to choose her crew for The Marvels, she acknowledges that it is ultimately a Kevin Feige production and understands that her own vision will take a backseat to the larger MCU universe.

So far, filmmaker Nia DaCosta has had a short, but highly praised, time in the world of cinema. MCU outing The Marvels is her first step into blockbuster superhero movies, and ultimately offfered the director a very different experience when working on the film. And there was one element particular that brought her a lot of satisfaction.

DaCosta began her career as a director in 2009 with the short film The Black Girl Dies Last, which was followed by three other productions of the same format, Night and Day, Celeste, and Livelihood. Her first feature film was 2018's Little Woods, a drama starring Tessa Thompson, Lily James, Luke Kirby, James Badge Dale and Lance Reddick. In 2021, she was chosen to direct the sequel to the 1992 horror classic Candyman, which was also the fourth installment in the entire saga.

But there is no doubt that her upcoming project from the MCU will mark a 'before and after' in her career. Since she began working behind the camera, DaCosta had some bad experiences on set because she was not allowed to choose the entire crew herself, something she was able to change for The Marvels. In an interview with Vanity Fair, the director shared one of the things she enjoyed most during her work on set: getting respect from the "middle-aged white dudes" she worked alongside.

"I realized it wasn't ever gonna be about how much power I amassed or how many great movies I made, or if I won awards, it was always just going to be the people that I surrounded myself with. The thing that I've been most surprised by lately is how much respect I'm getting from these middle-aged white dudes that I work with."

Candyman was the project that got the filmmaker the recognition she now enjoys, however, she had several conflicts with some members of the team, from whom she received mistreatment in relation to her gender, age and race, as DaCosta also recalled during the interview, revealing that crew members would say “things that are super inappropriate, that you would just never say to anyone else because they were so specific to my gender, my race, my age."

Related: The Marvels: Nia DaCosta Reveals Villain Dar-Benn Diverges From Traditional Canon

Is The Marvels a Kevin Feige Movie More Than a Nia DaCosta Movie?

Brie in The Marvels
Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios chose DaCosta to take over The Marvels for the same reason they chose Chloé Zhao for The Eternals or Ryan Coogler for Black Panther, to bring a different vision to the MCU. Despite this, and the fact that she was able to choose who to work with to make the film, the seal of the studio and Kevin Feige's vision will still be very present in The Marvels.

For this reason, the director had many doubts when she was offered the project. In fact, in a previous interview with Variety, she revealed that she reached out to Destin Daniel Cretton, director of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, for advice. Ultimately, she decided to take the chance, knowing that although she could bring her vision to the story, it would still be part of a much larger universe led by Kevin Feige:

"The Marvels is a Kevin Feige production, it’s his movie. So 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."

Starring Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, and Iman Vellani, The Marvels is scheduled to be released on November 10, 2023, as part of Phase Five of the MCU.