Ava DuVernay
"Selma" director Ava DuVernay, pictured here at the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills in February, is reportedly being courted by Marvel Studios to direct an upcoming Phase 3 movie. Reuters

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has some big plans to diversify its cadre of superheroes in its post “Avengers: Age of Ultron” phase of movies. Now it looks like it’s eyeing “Selma” director Ava DuVernay to help kick start these plans.

According to The Wrap, the 42-year-old director is being courted by the comic book giant for one of its upcoming Phase 3 movies – likely “Black Panther” or “Captain Marvel.” The studio announced in October that it will introduce Marvel comic’s first black superhero to the big screen by way of Chadwick Boseman. In addition, Captain Marvel will be the first female-led superhero movie for the franchise. The director has reportedly been in talks with the studio to helm one of these two characters when their movies hit theaters in 2018.

If DuVernay decides to take one of the jobs, she’d be both the first African American, as well as the first woman to direct a Marvel superhero movie. Previously, Marvel Studios hired Patty Jenkins to direct “Thor: The Dark World” but she dropped out due to creative differences with the studio. Interestingly enough, she’s now signed on to help Marvel rival DC Comics roll out its version of “Wonder Woman” in 2017.

As IGN notes, DuVernay rose to prominence in 2012 with the release of two independent movies -- “I Will Follow” and “Middle of Nowhere.” The latter earned her an award for Best Director at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. She rode that accolade all the way to last year’s Oscar nominated Martin Luther King Jr. story, “Selma.”

Entertainment Weekly points out that there’s a real danger for any director signing on to a Marvel film that the studio will ask him or her to sign away too much control in order for studio president Kevin Feige to craft his cinematic universe. However, with important characters like Black Panther and Captain Marvel seeking to prove that the world is ready for black and female superheroes, DuVernay will bring a much-needed perspective to whichever project she signs on for.