According to a new report, Marvel is moving one step closer to beginning production on its Black Panther movie.

What we know so far: Black Panther is scheduled to release on July 6, 2018, though the character will make his Marvel cinematic debut in next year's Captain America: Civil War. The title character, the ruler of fictional African nation Wakanda, also known by his given name T'Challa, is played by Chadwick Boseman.

His arch-nemesis in the comics is Klaw, aka Ulysses Klaue, who we just saw introduced in Avengers: Age of Ultron, as played by Andy Serkis. Serkis' involvement in Black Panther isn't confirmed, but it might as well be. The movie is being written by Mark Bailey, who penned the documentary Last Days in Vietnam.

Today, TheWrap is reporting that Ava DuVernay is Marvel's top choice to direct Black Panther. DuVernay is best known for last year's civil rights drama Selma, though she has other directing credits and a long history in the movie business prior to that as a publicist. DuVernay's star has risen sharply since the release of Selma, and Marvel is said to be among the studios interested in working with her.

But there's a twist to the story.

Marvel insiders have suggested that the superhero studio is dead-set on hiring an African-American director for Black Panther, and a female director for its first female-fronted flick, Captain Marvel. Since DuVernay fits both profiles, it's possible that Marvel could be eying her for Captain Marvel instead.

Captain Marvel follows the story of Carol Danvers, a military officer who encounters a being from an alien race called the Kree, who gifts her with superpowers. The movie adaptation is currently scheduled for release later in the same year as Black Panther, on November 2, 2018.

Should Ava DuVernay sign on the dotted line, she'll be Marvel's first female director and its first African-American director.

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