When Nia DaCosta was offered the job of directing The miraclesshe already had studio experience with 2021’s Candyman. But that doesn’t mean she didn’t ask her friends for advice before joining the great machine that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. DaCosta spoke with many of Marvel’s roster of directors, including Black Pantherby Ryan Coogler, Eternals‘Chloé Zhao and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten RingsDestin Daniel Cretton.
“I’ve talked to a lot of Marvel directors,” says DaCosta The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s such a specific experience and they make films in such a unique way, it was really cool to get some insider knowledge.” From everyone she spoke to, DaCosta says Guardians of the universe‘s James Gunn was perhaps the most helpful.
“He really contextualized what we were doing and how hard it was,” DaCosta says. “A kind of reframing of the way you think about it.”
She also spoke with her friend and frequent collaborator Tessa Thompson, who stars in DaCosta’s Small forests and upcoming Heddaand plays Valkyrie in the MCU.
“(Tessa) was the first person I talked to. For Tessa…I wanted to know all the tea on Kevin Feige. I thought, ‘is he the worst? Is he going to torture me for however long this movie is?” DaCosta explains: ‘She said, ‘He’s a really great guy, and he really cares, so that was very reassuring.’
Of The miraclesDaCosta had the challenge of filming fight sequences in which her three leads trade places with each other every time they all use their powers.
“One of my favorite scenes is the first big fight they have where they all switch and don’t know what’s going on,” DaCosta says of Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel scene, Ms. Marvel by Iman Vellani and Capt by Teyonah Parris. Monica Rambeau. “I tried to be as specific as possible on the page with who goes where, where are we when someone switches in or out.”
As for working with her three stars, DaCosta says the moment they all finally got together was one of the best on set. “Because their individual relationships are so specific, Monica and Carol seeing each other for the first time is huge,” says DaCosta. “Kamala and Carol meeting is huge because Kamala idolizes her, and then so much happens between the three of them… it’s pretty special.”
DaCosta also explains how Ms. Marvel Star Vellani’s Marvel fandom was an asset to the film.
“She’s incredibly professional… she was ready to go, she’s smart, she’s creative, she has great ad libs and has great suggestions… at the same time that Sam Jackson came on set for the first time, she hid behind me,” DaCosta recalls. ‘I thought she was joking, but she was really stressed about meeting him. It was really beautiful to see that. That enthusiasm is so contagious and reminds us all why we are here.”
The film, which opens this weekend, earned $6.6 million in previews on Thursday.