My Thoughts on Upcoming Superhero Movie Directors

Preface

  • This is a post I’ve wanted to do for a while because I love superhero movies and I love film direction.
  • Ever since I saw Zodiac for the first time like 4 years ago I’ve always been fascinated in the vision of one person in a movie, and as more and more superhero movies are made, more and more big directors are signed onto them.
  • So these are my thoughts on about a dozen of the upcoming or rumored directors for upcoming comic book movie projects!
  • (As of June 2015, because God knows there will be drop-outs, disagreements, and disproved rumors before I even post this…)

James Wan – Aquaman

  • The most recently announced and OFFICIAL name on this list is James Wan as Aquaman.
  • When I first heard Wan was doing Furious 7 I thought, “that’s weird… Can he handle a budget that big?”
  • This guy had made unbelievably low budget horror movies before Furious 7 so I was nervous for him to take over such a big project.
  • And I actually thought the action, and more specifically the directing, was the best part of Furious 7.
  • I know there are rumors swirling around that he was forced to make some changes based on what the studio wanted and say what you will, but the cuts in that film were impeccable and the wide scope and scale of it was done well.
  • For someone like Aquaman that a lot of people still think to be a joke (have you SEEN that Jason Mamoa picture though!?) I think he’s going to put the perfect dark spin on it from that horror background, manage his characters well (as films like Saw and Insidious have shown he can do), and create that big scope under the sea that Furious 7 proved to us he can do.
  • So I think James Wan is a really good choice for Aquaman, though he is one that has a lot of projects including Furious 8 (which I don’t think he’ll do) so I wouldn’t be shocked if he eventually dropped out…

Phil Lord and Christopher Miller – The Flash

  • I don’t even know if this is confirmed or not, but they’re definitely writing it!
  • Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are the comedy duo of Hollywood today.
    • Not Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, though I love those ladies, not Key and Peele, but these guys.
  • They released The Lego Movie and 22 Jump Street in the same year and hit gold with both of them.
  • These guys also produce (I believe) Brooklyn Nine-Nine which I thought was one of the funniest shows on TV in its first season (and I haven’t seen the second season of).
  • A lot of people complain about how dark and gritty some superhero movies are nowadays. Batman I think needs to be. Superman even, yeah in this edition should be. Wonder-Woman doesn’t need to be super dark or super gritty but should have a war-like feeling to it, making it dark by default. Even Aquaman so they take him seriously, and Suicide Squad goes without saying.
  • That leaves Flash and Shazam to be fun.
  • And considering that DC has gotten the two funniest comedy writers to write and probably direct one of those GREATLY excites me and I can’t wait to see the Flash movie.
  • Yeah, yeah I’ve been told to try the TV show again because it gets better. That will not be happening anytime soon.

Patty Jenkins – Wonder-Woman

  • Now this is one I’m sad about…
  • I’ve only seen a couple of Patty Jenkins films and ultimately she’ll probably be a fine director.
  • The reason I’m sad is because Michelle MacLaren was originally signed onto to do this movie and she dropped out for “creative differences.”
  • If you don’t know who Michelle MacLaren is, she directed various Breaking Bad episodes, Game of Thrones episodes, and what I consider to be the single best episode of The Walking Dead (Season 4, mid-season finale).
  • She directed so well and so grandly for television I was waiting for her to break onto the big screen and I think she would have been the perfect director for something as big, action-filled yet importantly character-driven as Wonder-Woman.
  • When Warner Brothers first announced they were looking at various female directors she was the first one I went to.
    • Literally before any other director, I thought Michelle MacLaren would be the perfect fit so she could break onto the big screen and show her talent.
  • Unfortunately she won’t be anymore which is disappointing but I think Patty Jenkins will probably do a solid job.
  • (Those “creative differences” don’t sound good though, since MacLaren knows how to do her character development and what a script should look like…)

Zack Snyder – Justice League

  • So apparently Zack Snyder is also tackling Justice League (as well as Batman v. Superman, which is already done).
  • I think Justice League will turn out to be a fine movie but that directing part is a little weird to me…
  • I thought he did a really good job directing Man of Steel but that was an effects heavy movie with a perfect single character for him to tackle.
  • I’m not saying he won’t be able to do this, but DC could use somebody like Joss Whedon who balances characters really well, yet still does action in the Snyder style to direct this one.
  • Granted Snyder will probably do a good job with Justice League, but I guess we’ll see.
  • It would be hilarious if Whedon directed Justice League Part Two though…

David Fincher – “The Batman” ???

  • This hasn’t been rumored anywhere, this hasn’t been confirmed by anybody and I doubt it would even happen but this is perfect in my eyes.
  • Most people think Ben Affleck will direct the Batman standalones but I’m not too sure about that…
  • Maybe one of them, but who should direct the other 3 or 4? David Fincher of course.
  • David Fincher is my favorite director right now after Christopher Nolan (hey, he did those other Batman movies!) and I think his style is a match made in heaven for Batman.
  • The new Batman movies will have a much older feel to it, considering the older Batman but it will also reflect the comics with its dusty and dark Gotham.
    • Not super grim and dark though like Nolan, it still has an element of comic book-ness.
    • It should be like The Dark Knight Trilogy combined with Gotham City from the show Gotham, then we have Fincher’s comic book perfected Gotham.
  • You want to talk character development, let’s examine every single one of Fincher’s films (besides Alien 3…).
  • He can use elements from Fight Club in portraying the internal struggle of Bruce Wayne that he’d have after Justice League and after all the loss in his life. They could even do an arc like the comics where Bruce is framed and has to be full Batman for a while.
    • That actually isn’t what I think they’ll do, I think The Court of Owls will probably be the first in the trilogy and it will probably end with Death of the Family.
  • But I mentioned Zodiac earlier, one of the best directed (and simply best ever) films in my eyes: Fincher pays SUCH close attention to detail, that the comics would be honored but not required to love these movies and he would make everything so crisp, clean, yet dirty and rugged.
  • As long as they don’t have an unnecessary extra 20-25 minutes at the end, this is a PERFECT match.

Angelina Jolie – Captain Marvel

  • I’m not gonna talk about David Ayer’s Suicide Squad because that’s already in production and will probably turn out fine.
  • Same with Batman v. Superman which I guarantee is just sitting on somebody’s shelf somewhere waiting to come out.
    • DC is saying, “ohh… I guess we could have released it July 17th of this year.” Which I now realize is when Ant-Man comes out, that’s funny.
  • But okay, let’s talk about a recurring Internet rumor that actively infuriates me.
  • Yeah I’ve either been happy, super happy or kinda enthusiastic for all of these so far but I HATE with all of my being that Angelina Jolie could direct Ms. Marvel.
  • I’ve heard Charlize Theron being thrown around as cast for Ms. Marvel which I think would be awesome, she’s a great actress, she looks like Ms. Marvel (or Captain Marvel, I’m not totally sure which…) and that is another phenomenal casting call by Marvel.
  • Now if you guys haven’t checked it out already, here’s the link to my review of Unbroken, Angelina Jolie’s last film and still the worst movie I have seen all year.
  • The reason I hated Unbroken and this rumor so much is because Angelina Jolie isn’t a director, she’s an actress.
  • Unbroken conveyed NO emotion to the characters and I think the direction is what made the movie so unwatchable.
    • Whenever we were supposed to have an emotional moment with this soldier, it would just show him getting beaten down. That doesn’t make me relate to him or want to root for him, that makes him go, “okay, this guy is getting beaten. The director isn’t showing it in a way that makes me care.”
  • If she couldn’t even show a couple of beating sequences the right way with the most emotion, there’s no way I think she could nail a character as complex as Captain Marvel and she’s definitely the wrong choice for Marvel’s first female-led superhero flick.
  • I think Kathryn Bigelow could be a phenomenal choice because she directs action incredibly and does character development extraordinarily well.
  • If they want a female director that is.

Ava DuVernay – Black Panther

  • Another unconfirmed rumor, but this one seems pretty likely.
  • I haven’t seen Selma, but from what I’ve heard it captures this really great character drive and motivation which I think is great for Black Panther.
  • Plus Selma probably had that character drive that a guy like Black Panther should have.
  • So ultimately, I can’t speak too much for this one, but for some reason I didn’t even think of Ava DuVernay for Black Panther directing but since I have in the past couple of months, I think it could be a really cool choice.

Jonathan Levine – Spider-Man

  • We’ve heard the fake shortlist, we’ve heard the real shortlist, and we’ve heard the maybe real maybe fake short-shortlist.
  • It seems like Jonathan Levine will probably be the guy to do the new Spider-Man and since they’re going for a John Hughes-ish high school movie (which greatly excites me) I think this could be done really well.
  • Plus he isn’t gonna be the only director of this standalone franchise for the next 10-12 years, however long they have Peter Parker in the MCU so Levine will probably just be the first guy to tackle the character.
  • Who I wanted from the start and who was rumored for a while was Drew Goddard.
  • He was working with Marvel on Daredevil, he was developing Sinister Six over at Sony, collaborator with Joss Whedon, this guy knows how to write a script and how to direct some entertainment.
  • I was disappointed when he wasn’t listed on the real shortlist, but like I said, Spider-Man will be in the MCU for a while so I guarantee he’ll tackle a Spider-Man, or perhaps other Marvel property, at some point in the next 10-15 years.
    • He would be super cool for Inhumans…
  • And before I move on, I didn’t tackle Doctor Strange because I think Scott Derickson is the perfect fit. I would’ve said maybe James Wan, but I think Derickson’s style will work more for Marvel and Wan’s for DC.
  • Also Thor: Ragnorok I don’t have much say on because there aren’t a ton of rumors or care out there about it right now…
  • And James Gunn returning for Guardians 2 is great, I love how passionate that guy is. Check out his Facebook of Twitter too, you guys will love all the stuff he posts.

The Russo Brothers – Avengers: Infinity Wars Parts 1 and 2

  • This is one where I’m like, okay…
  • I think the Russo Brothers will probably do a fine job because they were great with Winter Soldier and they’ll do even better with Civil War but Avengers I’m curious about…
  • I thought that the Infinity Wars should be these MASSIVE event movies with a scale unlike anything we’ve ever seen.
  • Joss Whedon did great with the scope of the first two Avengers, but I thought James Gunn would have been PERFECT.
  • He could have brought in his cosmic Guardians vibe, but also manage the characters really well like he did in Guardians. His action was great in that movie too and I’m disappointed he isn’t doing at least Part 2, where more action would be assumed to be found.
  • Or thinking even bigger, what about James Cameron!?
  • He would have created this immense feeling to these movies unlike anything we’ve ever seen.
  • He’d have Whedon’s crispness, yet also his own style of character development and scale unlike anything we’ve seen so far in the Marvel Universe.
  • I think the Russo Brothers will do well, but Whedon was worn out after 2 Avengers movies, so I hope the Russos won’t be after 2 Captain America’s AND 2 Avengers…

In Conclusion

  • In Conclusion though guys, I’m really optimistic for the future of Superhero Movie Directors it seems like more and more talent is being brought on to these projects and I can’t wait to see who Marvel and DC come up with next.
    • Please be David Fincher, please David Fincher!
  • And feel free to leave your thoughts on any of these directors in the comments down below, and who your dream superhero movie director is. And as always, thanks for reading guys.
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