Why ‘Marvels’ Director Nia DaCosta Bailed on the Cast-and-Crew Screening

The cast of box office-beleaguered The Marvels couldn’t even attend its own cast-and-crew screening, held Nov. 8 at Westwood’s Fox Village Theatre. That’s because the screening began at 7:30 p.m. — but, even though the actors strike ended that night, SAG-AFTRA members had to wait until 12:01 a.m. before they could participate in studio events.

Yet that doesn’t explain the absence of Nia DaCosta. The director had attended the film’s toned-down premiere in Las Vegas the night before. But, according to miffed Marvel staffers grumbling at the Nov. 8 screening, DaCosta opted to ditch the cast-and-crew screening for a birthday party instead — for herself. (The Candyman helmer turned 34 that night.)

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Marvels executive producer Mary Livanos introduced the film in DaCosta’s absence.

A rep for DaCosta responded that “it would be quite disrespectful and upsetting to suggest Nia has anything other than adoration for her creative team.”

According to the rep, DaCosta had not been invited to the cast-and-crew screening. Only when she invited some crewmembers to her birthday party did she learn of the screening, and by then it was too late, the rep says.

“Nia would have been there,” the rep continues. “She would do anything for her cast and crew.”

DaCosta is now in London in preproduction on her next film, Hedda, an adaptation of the Henrik Ibsen play Hedda Gabler for Orion Pictures starring Eve Hewson and Tessa Thompson.

A version of this story first appeared in the Nov. 16 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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