Friday, March 16, 2018

Ava DuVernay to Direct DC's THE NEW GODS Film Adaptation


Deadline is reporting director Ava DuVernay is closing a deal with Warner Bros. to direct a big-budget film adaptation of DC Comics characters The New Gods.  Back in December, DuVernay answered a question on her Twitter account stating that her favorite superhero was "Big Barda.  Many reasons."

According to the article, Warner Bros. has tapped Kario Salem (Chasing Mavericks) as the screenwriter, who will develop the story and work closely with DuVernay.  The article also claims there is no connection to other DC films, although New Gods character Steppenwolf was the featured villain in last year's Justice League.

DuVernay is best known for her films Selma, which was nominated for Best Picture in the 2015 Academy Awards, and for the recent adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time.  In 2017, she was also nominated for Best Documentary Feature for her film 13th, and her other films include The Door, Middle of Nowhere, I Will Follow, and This is the Life: How the West Was One.

Created in 1971 by Jack Kirby, the New Gods first appeared in The New Gods (vol.1) #1 as natives of the twin planets of New Genesis and Apokolips. New Genesis is an idyllic planet filled with unspoiled forests, mountains, and rivers and is ruled by Highfather, while Apokolips is a nightmarish, polluted and ruined dystopia filled with machinery and fire pits, ruled by the tyrant Darkseid.  The two planets were once part of the same world, a planet called Urgrund (German for "primeval ground"), but it was split apart millennia ago after the death of the Old Gods during Ragnarök.

In Kirby's saga "The Fourth World", Darkseid sought the Anti-Life Equation, which would allow him to control the thoughts of all living beings.  Opposing him was Orion, his son raised by Highfather and his enemies on New Genesis.  Other characters caught in the deadly battle included the Forever People, Mister Miracle (the son of Highfather raised on Apokolips, who triumphed over a torturous childhood to become the world's greatest escape artist), and Lightray, the heroic warrior of New Genesis. Their adventures would take them to Earth where the war continued.

In the current DC Comics continuity known as The New 52, is was revealed that Darkseid and Highfather (Izaya) were some of the only survivors of a previous larger world, where they were brothers and peasants.  Their world was also inhabited by colossal beings known as Old Gods, who spent much of their time brawling with each other, feeding off the worship of the "mudgrubbers", whose lives were often lost in the battles.  One day, the man formerly known as Uxas, having tired of his idol's destructiveness, decided to spark a war between them which would in turn devastate their world fatally wounding his sister, Izaya's first wife. After which he opted to kill all the wounded Old Gods, steal their powers and bring about a new order.  One by one, the Old Gods were destroyed by Darkseid, who became more horrific in turn as he leeched their essence from them.  As Darkseid's schemes started to tear the planet apart, Highfather ran with his wounded Avia in hand towards one of the last and greatest of the Old Gods, acknowledging his time had come and passed he chose to pass on the last of his power to reward Izaya's beloved's devotion to them.  Empowered in a blinding flare of light, Highfather arose a New God to battle Darkseid.  The brothers, now equal, tore the world apart during their battle, leaving them to rebuild on the remains, which became Apokolips and New Genesis.

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