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'Silver & Black' director Gina Prince-Bythewood discusses landing the 'Spider-Man' spinoff

Director Gina Prince-Bythewood. (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)
Director Gina Prince-Bythewood. (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

“There’s this really idiotic belief that women don’t have the desire to do these kind of films,” said Gina Prince-Bythewood to a captivated audience at Comic-Con. “These kinds of films” being superhero  franchises. 

But the "Beyond the Lights" director is on a mission to break that belief. Prince-Bythewood recently signed on to direct Sony Pictures' next superhero flick and spinoff from the new “Spider-Man” franchise “Silver & Black,” featuring the comic book characters Silver Sable and Black Cat.

Prince-Blythewood had assembled along with directors Tina Mabry (“Dear White People”), Rosemary Rodriguez (“Jessica Jones”), Victoria Mahoney (“Gypsy”), Aurora Guerrero (“Queen Sugar”) and Angela Robinson (“Professor Marston and the Wonder Women”) as well as Women in Film L.A. executive director Kirsten Schaffer for the “Women Rocking Hollywood: Female Directors Changing the Faces of Film and Television” panel on Saturday. 

Though Prince-Blythewood couldn’t say much about her next, top-secret film, she was able to talk about the process of getting hired for the job.

“I had my next film ready and set up to go and I get a call about ['Silver & Black'],” she said. 

Despite originally declining, Prince-Blythewood recircled the project after learning who the characters were. She was only 10 pages into the script when she changed her mind. 

“I was just so excited about these two women and the story that I’d able to tell and the world I’d be able to play in. I went in and talk to the producers," Prince-Blythewood said. "It’s not always this quick but [I had] an innate feeling that I was the right person for it and I really had to believe it.”

It was during these talks when Prince-Blythewood envisioned her film as a “a very grounded story in this fantastic world of Marvel.” 

“Silver & Black” is not Prince-Blythewood’s  first venture into the superhero world. She also directed the pilot of the upcoming TV series “Marvel's Cloak & Dagger.” The director explained that while she loved being a part of Marvel’s venture into the young adult world with “Cloak & Dagger,” a large reason she took part in the show was because of her son.

“Four years ago now, [my younger son and I] were sitting watching something and he turned to me and asked ‘how come we never get to see black superheroes?’”  Prince-Bythewood said. “And that stuck with me.… That got me into the world.”

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