Big news out today that Joss Whedon has signed on to write and direct The Avengers 2. Marvel is now in a stage with their film universe that they’re calling “Phase Two” that Whedon will oversee as part of his deal with Disney and Marvel. The directing jobs of Phase Two are slowly being snapped up: Shane Black on Iron Man 3, Alan Taylor on Thor: The Dark World, Joe and Anthony Russo on Captain America: The Winter Solider, Edgar Wright is doing something with Ant Man and Whedon is now locked on The Avengers 2.
The gig is still up for grabs is Guardians of the Galaxy that’s set for a 2014 release. When it was announced that Marvel was making Thor many proclaimed it to be the biggest challenge. Since its release it has become the lynchpin for opening up the Marvel film universe to cosmic possibilities and making it believable as well as giving The Avengers its villain. Personally, Guardians of the Galaxy is Marvel’s biggest risk to date because the characters are mostly unknown, the film will probably be CGI heavy and one of the main characters is a talking gun happy Raccoon.
In Marvel I trust but they need to get the best person to pull it off so here’s a list of the five best directors for the Guardians gig.
1. Gil Kenan
Probably the director out of the group that’s the cheapest, and has worked in both digital animation and live action with the excellent Monster House and the so-so City of Ember – it’s just good value Marvel. Kenan also is connected to both Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis who produced Monster House that was nominated for an Academy Award in 2006 for Best Animated Feature. Kenan is currently working on A Giant for the Jim Henson Company.
2. Neill Blomkamp
Have you seen District 9? Enough said.
3. Brad Bird
One of Disney Pixar’s golden boys who made the leap from Pixar to live action with Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol. Pixar have always made it clear that they only make original films and will not work on anything else, but considering Guardians will be so CGI heavy Bird could be the ambassador for combined production especially considering Disney works with Pixar and Marvel. Bird has superhero cred with The Incredibles and can pull off live action spectacle. Guardians lives between these two worlds and Bird could help pull it off successfully. Bird is currently working on the mysterious project titled 1906 so unfortunately he may not be available.
Staying with the Mission: Impossible theme and awesome filmmakers why not throw Mr. Abrams into the ring? Super 8 and Star Trek combined are the best arguments for the director to take on galactic superheroes. He is currently working on Star Trek 2 and besides serving as a producer on several film and television projects, his directing to-do list looks clear. The only problem with Abrams working with Marvel/Disney is that the old distributor of Marvel Studios films was Paramount Pictures before Disney purchase the comic book empire. Abrams is pretty loyal to the studio and it would take expert boardroom wheeling and dealing to lure him away from Paramount without annoying the important people.
5. Matt Reeves and Drew Goddard
The protégés of Abrams and Whedon assemble! Despite the minor motion sickness that came with Cloverfield, it’s still a kick-arse monster film and I’m sure lots of different beasties will inhabit Guardians. Reeves connections to Abrams also add confidence and the only film he has in development is a sequel to Cloverfield that can’t seem to get off the ground. Goddard collaborated with Whedon on the brilliant Cabin in the Woods and it would be amazing to see Whedon oversee the project that will possible lead directly into the plot of The Avengers 2. The collaborative efforts of Reeves and Goodard would be amazing with Whedon guiding everything from the background. Warning: geeks will explode if this happens.
Cameron Williams - follow Cam on Twitter here: @popcornjunkies