ava duvernay jack kirby

Earlier this year, comic book writer Tom King was hired to co-write New Gods, the upcoming Warner Bros. adaptation of Jack Kirby‘s cosmic superhero series. But King is praising his co-writer and the film’s director Ava DuVernay as the real expert who carry on Kirby’s legacy.

In an interview with Publisher’s Weekly (via Cinema Blend), King was asked for an update on the project, which he was confirmed to board as screenwriter in May, and he had the highest of praise for his co-writer DuVernay, who he called a genius on par with Jack Kirby:

“I feel like I have this genius, Jack Kirby, who created this [series] and this genius Ava DuVernay. I see them as parallel figures. Both taking their uniquely American backgrounds and using them to push American art forward into places it’s never been before. I feel like it’s my job to bring those two geniuses to together and to make it work.”

That’s the highest of praise for DuVernay, as Kirby is a legendary writer and artist who helped shape the comic book industry. Kirby created New Gods in the 1970s, and it was considered one of his most imaginative and challenging works. The New Gods hail from the planets New Genesis and Apokolips, and (per the DC Wiki) “live outside of normal time and space in a realm called the Fourth World. These New Gods have evolved due to their close proximity to the Source, a primeval energy, believed to be one of the ultimate foundations of the Universal Expression of Energy, along with their superior technology, into beings of genetic stability and evolutionary perfection. The denizens of New Genesis are stronger, faster, and smarter than homo sapiens, despite their resemblance to the same.”

DuVernay is making a concerted effort to do right by New Gods, asking King to find a team of Kirby experts to bring the story to life. “She invited me out, and she asked what team I wanted to bring. Because she wanted to assemble people who knew Kirby, and she was like, ‘Can you put together a team?’” King recounted earlier this summer. So we put together this team. And she was smart, and a good storyteller, and it was one of the best storytelling experiences I’ve ever had.”

No cast or release date has yet been set for New Gods.

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