Marvel is going forward with sequels to their 2011 Superhero slate, and though it took a while to nail down the Thor 2 director, it finally looks like Game of Thrones‘s Alan Taylor is helming that one. But Captain America 2 has yet to find its director, and today four names were mentioned: George Nolfi, F. Gary Gray, and Anthony and Joseph Russo. Who are they, you ask?
F. Gary Gray got his start in music videos, and moved on to Friday, which launched Chris Tucker into stardom. He then moved up and up, helming Set If Off, then The Negotiator, and in 2003 had two films with A Man Apart and The Italian Job. Since then, he’s mostly been in charge of mid-range studio productions like Be Cool, and Law Abiding Citizen. He’s had some hits, but nothing that’s given him much control, and a film like this could put him back in good graces.
George Nolfi wrote on Ocean’s Twelve (which proves that movie once had a screenplay), but his biggest credit is as the writer who saved The Bourne Ultimatum. Matt Damon went public with his complaints about Tony Gilroy’s initial draft, which Damon called garbage. Damon went on to appear in Nolfi’s directorial debut, The Adjustment Bureau, but that high concept film did middling at the box office. If Nolfi wants to keep directing he needs a hit, and this would be that sort of picture.
Anthony and Joseph Russo have been toiling in television for a while now, where they’ve been directors and producers on both Community and Happy Endings. They got their big break cinematically with Welcome to Collinwood, a remake of the Italian classic Big Deal on Madonna Street. Though it had George Clooney behind it (as a producer) and in it the film didn’t find much of an audience, but their work on Arrested Development led to another big screen-stab with You, Me and Dupree, which was another big-screen misfire. Though their roots are comedy, they currently have a good track record on the small screen and this would open bigger doors for them.
Short lists can change, but if I’m to read this like a multiple choice option, my initial impulse is that the Russo’s would be out immediately. Nolfi – though obviously having worked on big studio movies – is the both the best and most risky choice. For him it would be a situation where he’d be second in command to the Marvel way, and for them he’s a little untested. For both it’s a question of whether he’s hungry enough to not be in full charge. Gray would be the more hacky choice, but that’s not to say Gray is without merit. He’s just someone they would hire because they know they could push him around. Of this list, Nolfi looks like the best choice, and it wouldn’t be the worst thing to have a writer on the set.
Who would you pick to direct Captain America 2?