In an exclusive interview with Vanity Fair, DaCosta spoke about being prepared for the daunting task of directing an MCU project. When the director was under consideration to sit in the director’s chair for the Captain Marvel sequel, DaCosta reached out to previous MCU directors to get insight into their experiences. Among the directors that DaCosta contacted included Eternals’ Chloé Zhao, Thor: Love and Thunder’s Taika Waititi, and Guardians of the Galaxy’s James Gunn. “Are they going to kill me and destroy my soul? Is Kevin Feige a bad man,” DaCosta asked. “And they were like, ‘No, he’s just a good guy who was a nerd.’”
Once DaCosta accepted The Marvels, the director was faced with the challenge of balancing the star power of Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, and Iman Vellani. Simultaneously, DaCosta, whose previous credits include 2018’s Little Woods and the 2021 reboot of Candyman, had to learn how to direct Marvel’s visual effects-heavy sequences with her cast. “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. There were obviously hard days, and days where you’re like, ‘This just isn’t working,’” DaCosta recalled.
Which MCU director did Nia DaCosta lean on the most for moral support?
While directing The Marvels, DaCosta would vent her exhaustion on the physically demanding production to Shang-Chi: Legend of the Ten Rings director Destin Daniel Cretton. DaCosta revealed how she would text “I’m overwhelmed” and “I’m so stressed” to Cretton during some difficult days on set. Ironically, Cretton sought the advice of Black Panther director Ryan Coogler when he felt uneasy about helming Shang-Chi.
“The thing that Ryan said to me, which really eased my mind, was the pressure is hard,” Cretton said. “It’ll be the hardest thing potentially that you have done up to this point, but none of that pressure or complications come from the people you’re working with or for.”
Directed by DaCosta, The Marvels continues the story of the events from Captain Marvel and 2022’s Ms. Marvel series on Disney+. Its premise finds Monica Rambeau investigating an intergalactic wormhole when her powers get entangled with Carol Danvers and Kamala Khan to the point where they swap bodies. The film co-stars Zawe Ashton, Gary Lewis, Park Seo-Joon, and Samuel L. Jackson.
The Marvels is scheduled for release in theaters on November 10.