Marvel Films has been known to reach for unusual directors and make the choice work. However, one thing the studio has always done is make sure the directors fit the material. While not all filmmakers fit the comic book genre, they at least fit the subject matter.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Anthony and Joe Russo are finalizing an arrangement to direct "Captain America 2."
"Captain America 2"
"Captain America: The First Avenger" was a period piece set in the time of World War II. The movie provided Captain America's origin story and showed him fighting both the forces of Hitler and HYDRA before getting whisked to modern America at the end of the movie.
Marvel Films hired Joe Johnston to direct, which at the time raised eyebrows. Johnston was coming off a commercial failure with "The Wolfman," begging the question whether he had what it took to direct the movie up to the level of his predecessors.
However, Johnston's past proved reassuring. He directed the fun superhero movie "The Rocketeer" in 1991 and served as the art director for the original "Star Wars," trilogy as well as the first two Indiana Jones movies.
When watching "Captain America: The First Avenger," it was clear those efforts provided inspiration.
The second "Captain America" movie takes place in modern day America, post-"Avengers." Thor has gone back to Asgard and Iron Man has returned home. The new "Captain America" movie will feature the hero trying to get his bearings in the strange new world, since "The Avengers" showed him as a recluse up to those events.
The Russo Brothers
If gaining bearings in a strange new world is the focus of "Captain America 2," maybe the Russo brothers are a good match for the material. They served as executive producers for the hugely successful television sitcom "Community," the story of a group of mismatched people in a study group at a community college. However, the humor of that show doesn't seem to fit into what should be a big Marvel superhero flick.
The brothers got their start with the caper movie "Welcome to Collinwood" before directing the Owen Wilson comedy "You, Me and Dupree." Once again, there is little to suggest a good fit for "Captain America 2."
Past Marvel Success Stories
The one thing Marvel fans have to hang their hat on is the success rate of studio head Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios when it comes to picking directors for superhero projects. Jon Favreau, who had made a number of relatively successful films, was the first tapped by Marvel, creating the first two "Iron Man" movies. Those remain huge fan favorites, largely due to Favreau's love of comics showing through in his work.
Kenneth Branagh, someone few could see directing a comic book movie, took over "Thor" and brought with him his Shakespearean sensibilities, a perfect match for the Asgardian god. Joe Johnston brought his past with "Indiana Jones" and "Star Wars" into the "Captain America" project. Louis Leterrier brought his manic filmmaking from "The Transporter" series with him to make sure "The Incredible Hulk" was more action-packed than the Ang Lee version. Finally, super comic book fan Joss Whedon directed the most successful movie of them all.
While the Joe and Anthony Russo are not the obvious choice, Feige has yet to disappoint fans of the Marvel Universe.
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