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Gina Prince-Bythewood billed as the first woman of color to direct a superhero movie

Sony is moving fast to create buzz for its own Marvel Universe. Deadline reports that writer-director Gina Prince-Bythewood will direct Silver & Black, the studio’s upcoming film starring classic Spider-Man characters Silver Sable and Black Cat. The decision will make Prince-Bythewood the first woman of color to direct a superhero movie, so long as the move isn’t derailed between now and the film’s release in 2018.

Prince-Bythewood is known for her character-driven work on such films as Love & Basketball and Beyond the Lights, which she both wrote and directed. She’s also already familiar with on-screen superheroes, having directed the pilot for Marvel’s upcoming series Cloak & Dagger on Freeform. She’ll now be charged with rewriting the current Silver & Black script, originally penned by Thor: The Dark World writer Christopher Yost. Silver & Black is expected to hit theaters after Sony’s Venom movie, which just got Tom Hardy for the title role.

Today’s announcement is significant, since, save for Patty Jenkins with Wonder Woman and Ryan Coogler directing Black Panther, there’s a dearth of women and people of color directing studio superhero movies. However, while this is a milestone for Sony and studio-driven superhero fare, we’ve heard similar before. A Wrinkle in Time director Ava DuVernay was initially in talks to direct Marvel’s Black Panther before passing due to creative differences. And movies change direction all the time. At a time when studios like Warner Bros. lose directing talent over and over again for their cinematic universes, there’s plenty of reason to watch what becomes of this production closely.

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