From developing a biographical TV show about one of the most talked about athletes in history to producing the long-awaited adaptation of a much celebrated sci-fi novel series, Ava DuVernay is one busy lady. In fact, the former helmer of DC's shelved The New Gods movie, has more than 10 items on her lengthy to-do list by our count. We will go over the status of each right now, one by one, starting with an additional DC Comics adaptation she has been working on with one eerily relevant premise.
DMZ - 2021 (Filming)
New York City becoming ground zero for a dystopian America torn apart by a new civil war is the premise for the HBO Max exclusive DMZ, based on the DC Vertigo comic book from Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli. In April 2020, producer Ava DuVernay tweeted that she already finished directing the pilot for the mini-series, starring The Mandalorian’s Ahsoka Tano actress Rosario Dawson, which reportedly resumed filming in January 2021.
Colin In Black & White (Post-Production)
Filming wrapped in January 2021, according to executive producer Ava DuVernay’s Instagram, for this Netflix original series inspired by the life of Colin Kaepernick, who will narrate the scripted drama starring Vampires vs. the Bronx star Jaden Michael as the football quarterback and civil rights activist in his youth. Colin in Black & White has no confirmed release, but appears to be on the right track for a 2021 debut, despite nine reported Covid-19 cases and threats of anti-Black Lives Matter protests forcing stronger security measures on set.
Naomi (In Development)
After the shelving of The New Gods, DMZ is not the last of Ava DuVernay’s plans to bring comic book properties to life. In December, the filmmaker was reportedly adapting Brian Michael Bendis’ multiverse-spanning teen superhero series Naomi into one of the upcoming DC TV shows expected to join the Arrowverse.
Caste (In Development)
Around the same time Colin in Black & White was announced for Netflix, in October 2020, Ava DuVernay also announced her first feature-length drama for the streaming platform. The filmmaker will write, direct, and produce an adaptation of Caste, Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson’s non-fiction examination of the origins of systemic racism in the United States, which was added to Oprah Winfrey’s book club selection shortly after it was published in August 2020.
Sovereign (In Development)
Also in October 2020, Ava DuVernay signed on as an executive producer for an upcoming NBC series that will follow a family of Indigenous people and their struggles against outsider threats. Sovereign is notably the first Native American family drama developed for network television in history.
Home Sweet Home (In Development)
Ava DuVernay is also bringing her eye for powerful non-scripted material to the small screen on NBC. In July 2020, she announced her creation of Home Sweet Home, a ten-part reality series in which two families from vastly different socioeconomic background will exchange lives for a week in each episode.
Wings Of Fire (In Development)
Ava DuVernay will be trying her hand at animation for the first time with Wings of Fire. The Warner Bros. Animation production, first announced in March 2020, is based on Tui T. Sutherland’s bestselling children’s book series set in a world entirely inhabited by dragons.
Dawn (In Development)
As of February 2020, Ava DuVernay is also producing an adaptation of a popular work of literary fantasy for Amazon Studios to be written and helmed by Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’s second unit director Victoria Mahoney. The series is inspired by 1987’s Dawn - the first of Octavia Butler’s dystopian Lilith’s Brood trilogy, in which the Black, female title character must revive the human race with help from extraterrestrials centuries after a nuclear war.
Untitled Nipsey Hussle Documentary (In Development)
February 2020 also saw Netflix secure distribution rights for a documentary about rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was murdered less than a year earlier. Ava DuVernay is producing and directing the currently untitled film.
Untitled Ava DuVernay/Kat Candler/TNT Project (In Development)
In collaboration with Kat Candler (a producer on the hit Netflix drama 13 Reasons Why and Ava DuVernay’s OWN series Queen Sugar), DuVernay seems to be pulling an Upton Sinclair with drama a about the Texas oil industry. First given the greenlight in November 2019, the still untitled scripted series will air on TNT.
Untitled Lupita Nyong’o/Rihanna Project (In Development)
Earlier in 2019, while promoting Jordan Peele’s thriller Us, Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o refused to give E! News details about her upcoming collaboration with actress and singer Rihanna, which came to be after a photo of them looking like heist movie stars went viral. What is known is that Ava DuVernay will direct the untitled mystery project from Insecure creator and The Lovebirds star Issa Rae’s screenplay.
The Last Amazon (In Development)
Ava DuVernay has been attached to executive produce what sounds like another DC Comics adaptation, first announced for “commissioning club” AtriumTV in 2018, but will likely follow the original mythology that later inspired Wonder Woman more faithfully whenever it airs. Written by Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. producer Rafe Judkins, The Last Amazon is said to be a retelling of how Antiope and Hippolyta led their war against the Ancient Greeks.
Battle Of Versailles (Announced)
Ava DuVernay is directing, co-writing, and producing what sounds like another HBO original war epic, first announced in 2016, but will likely be a less violent affair whenever it airs. Based on the book by Pulitzer Prize-winning fashion critic Robin Givhan, Battle of Versailles will focus on the rivalry between European designers Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Cardin and Americans Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass, Anne Klein, and Halston at a historic French fashion show in 1973.
Like I said, Ava DuVernay is a one busy woman. Yet, is there anything from the A Wrinkle in Time director’s many, many to-do list items that you are most excited for?