As Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures narrow their list of Deadline is reporting Sony is looking at Ted Melfi (St. Vincent) or Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies) to sit in the director’s chair.
Both directors definitely wouldn’t be the first choices for most studios to direct a high profile superhero epic, but Marvel Studios has a history of hiring directors that are new to the action adventure genre. Last year, Marvel released movies from Joe and Anthony Russo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy). Both movies went on to perform incredibly well domestically and worldwide. The Russo Brothers were most famous for directing episodes of “Community,” while James Gunn graduated from Troma to direct indie movies before Guardians.
Of the two directors mentioned by Deadline, I would be most excited for Levine. Warm Bodies, which was also written by Levine, isn’t the best movie ever, but it’s definitely full of heart. Released in 2013, the movie went on to surprise most by earning over $116 million worldwide off a $35 million budget. Melfi, on the other hand, wrote and directed St. Vincent, which went on to be nominated for two Golden Globes. Both would be strong choices, but Levine might be best to bring that John Hughes tone Marvel is looking for.
Also mentioned as outside contenders for the gig are the team of John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein, writers of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and directors of the upcoming sequel/reboot (rebootquel?) Vacation, and Jon Watts (Cop Car) who is the most inexperienced of the bunch.
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, Producer Amy Pascal, and Sony Pictures head Tom Rothman are expected to make a decision shortly. With this movie featuring the third incarnation of Spider-Man in less than 10 years, none of those involved want to rush to a decision.