'The Marvels' Director Leaned on Fellow MCU Directors After Being "Overwhelmed" During Filming

"Sometimes you'd be in a scene and you'd be like, 'What the hell does any of this shit mean?'"

Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios

BY Ben OkazawaPublished Sep 19, 2023

Between an unmatched pressure to succeed and the watchful eye of higher-ups, being at the helm of a Marvel movie can't be easy. For Nia DaCosta, who had relatively little experience when she stepped in to direct The Marvels, that pressure was heightened. 

The 33-year-old Candyman director told Vanity Fair that she leaned on the support of past Marvel directors, particularly Chloé Zhao (Eternals), Destin Daniel Cretton (Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings), Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok) and Ryan Coogler (Black Panther).

"Are they going to kill me and destroy my soul? Is Kevin Feige a bad man?" she remembers joking about the studio. "And they were like, 'No, he's just a good guy who was a nerd.'"

Cretton in particular was a positive force for DaCosta while shooting the movie. She says she would text him, saying she was "overwhelmed" and "stressed" over the scale of the film. 

"Sometimes you'd be in a scene and you'd be like, 'What the hell does any of this shit mean?' Or an actor's looking at some crazy thing happening in space, and they're [actually] looking at a blue X," she explained. "There were obviously hard days, and days where you're like, 'This just isn't working.'"

She also acknowledged that knowing you're not completely in charge as the director is key to fitting in with the sprawling — and controversial — Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

"It is a Kevin Feige production, it's his movie," she said. "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."

DaCosta's The Marvels is set to hit theatres on November 10. Until then, watch the trailer below. 


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