‘Captain America 2′ Director Shortlist Revealed

Published 3 years ago by

captain america sequel director Captain America 2 Director Shortlist Revealed

Following the release of The Avengers this year – with Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 due in 2013 – it appears likely that a second solo venture with Captain America will be the next movie on Marvel Studio’s to-do list. Screenwriting team Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have spent over a year now plugging away at a script for the Cap sequel – and, the most recent word on the project from costar Neal McDonough (Dum Dum Dugan in The First Avenger) was that production would likely begin before 2012 draws to a close.

Hence, the next obvious step for Marvel is to secure a director for Captain America 2. However, you’ll probably be surprised to learn just who is on the shortlist of candidates the studio is said to be eying for the job (right now).

Vulture‘s insiders are saying that Marvel has narrowed down its list of potential Captain America sequel helmers from ten prospects to three (one being a directing duo) – none of whom are the director of the first movie, Joe Johnston. All things considered, though, that’s not too shocking to learn – seeing how Marvel has already set a precedent for recruiting new filmmaking personnel for its comic book movie sequels (see: Iron Man 3, Thor 2).

Here is the shortlist of directors currently being eyed for Captain America 2:

  • F. Gary Gray, a director who’s worked in such genres as stoner comedies (Friday), high-octane capers (The Italian Job), and violent crime thrillers (Law Abiding Citizen).
  • George Nolfi, the co-screenwriter of such films as Ocean’s Twelve and The Bourne Ultimatum, who made his writing/directing debut with last year’s sci-fi romance/thriller The Adjustment Bureau.
  • Anthony and Joseph Russo, the brotherly filmmaking duo behind comedies like Welcome to Collinwood and You, Me and Dupreee. The pair has also served as co-showrunners/writers on Community.

Obviously the Russo siblings stand out as the odd choice of the lot to direct the Captain America sequel. According to Vulture, the pair hit it off well with Marvel head Kevin Feige while meeting about the project. More so, the two are already taking steps to avoid being pigeonholed as comedy directors – by working on the upcoming Ciudad graphic novel adaptation (starring Dwayne Johnson).

That Marvel is looking at either directors with experience working on grittier, modern action-thrillers – or, as is the case with the Russos, directors interested in handling such material – also makes more sense when you remember that the second Captain America movie is expected to be relatively darker than its predecessor (as perhaps best indicated by rumors that the film’s antagonist will be The Winter Soldier).

captain america avengers Captain America 2 Director Shortlist Revealed

Markus and McFeely previously revealed that Captain America 2 will take place primarily in a contemporary setting. Hence, the sequel will see Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) continuing to struggle as he navigates his way through an unfamiliar present that’s far less black-and-white than the world he left behind in the early 1940s. In other words, the romanticized, old-fashioned adventure feel that Johnston brought to The First Avenger wouldn’t fit with that comparatively darker setup.

With all that said: Nolfi and Gray in particular read as filmmakers who can bring something worthwhile to the table with the Cap sequel. The former, for example, could do well handling Rogers’ personal journey as someone displaced by time and space from his loved ones – whereas Gray has demonstrated a knack for creating terse character interactions (see: The Negotiator) that would befit a Winter Soldier-centric storyline, on the chance that’s the route Markus and McFeely have gone.

Expect to hear an update on the director situation for Captain America 2 in the near future. In the meantime, be sure to let us know what you think of the proposed candidates so far in the comments section.


Source: Vulture

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  1. Darker? really? Seems to be every movie these days.

    • Sequels are usually a bit darker. To be honest, I didn’t think Iron Man 2 was dark enough. It SHOULD have covered the “Demon in a Bottle” storyline more. Admittedly no Captain America storyline really comes to mind, except for the time he decided to separate himself from the American government.

      • I hope they revisit Demon in the Bottle in IM3. I actually would like to see Tony (secretly) suffering from Post Traumatic stress due to the events of The Avengers. A lil shaken up.

        As for Cap, Bucky return as Winter Soldier is his darkest moment.

      • I’d MUCH rather have IM3 center around ‘Demon In a Bottle’ than ‘Extremis’. I’m just hoping those rumors were just rumors… :(

  2. I did tweet Agent M of Marvel to see if this was one of the 2014 releases and he said they could not release that information at this time. I hope we’ll get more of an idea what their release schedule is soon.

    Back in 2009, they released the 3 year schedule with IM2, Thor, Cap, and Avengers. I want that type of announcement. That was awesome.

  3. I like the idea of George Nolfi the best. The Adjustment Bureau had an old-fashioned quality that could translate real well for Cap 2.

    • I agree. Of the three he would be my choice, plus he has more experience.

      • I third that motion.

    • I think the Russo brothers would shock the world if given the chance.I say why not give them a opportunity to prove themselves.

    • The clear choice is def nolfi. Adj bureau was the first great original movie in a long time

  4. i would like to see joe johnston back but since we wont i think the first two sound better then the duo. and maybe with joe johnston not directing the sequel they can get to work on jurassic park 4!!!

  5. I like the idea of having Winter Soldier introduced already, but then again, could it be rushed a little bit? how many solo films is Chris Evans under contract for? Plant the seeds for Winter Soldier in the second film and make the third film. I could see the positives and negatives either way. Regardless though, the second solo film of Cap has to have a darker/modern tone than the first, just because of what has happened to him. I really enjoyed the 80′s adventure feel the first film gave.
    I vote for George Nolfi. The Adjustment Bureau wasn’t breath taking but it put on a decent enough show.

    • A winter soldier storyline would be a great way to incorporate flashbacks to WW2. Maybe Cap2 could also serve as a set-up for the return of Red Skull as well.

      • I was hoping we’d have more HYDRA in Cap 2: with Baron Zemo Jr. in the present, with flashbacks of Zemo Sr.
        And if they do that, they could even integrate the Masters of Evil for Avengers 2… (Zemo from Cap2, Enchantress from Thor2, Leader from TIH, etc.)

        And then, in Cap 3, have him face off against his best friend-turned Russian spy: the Winter Soldier (OBVIOUSLY!!!) — it would be an excellent way to end the trilogy IMO.

        • Basically: keep the best arc for last ;)

          • ^^^ Exactly what you said. I don’t mind them hinting or even showing some evidence of Winter Soldier in the second movie. I will have to say, there has to be another Villain in the 3rd movie, besides winter soldier. Red Skull, AIM, etc etc.

  6. I much prefer Nolfi out of everyone on that list, Captain America 2 seems like a Bourne type film in the modern era

    • Cap filmed like a Bourne movie would be cool. Its a little more SHIELD, Black Widow & Hawkeye but it still could work with Cap very well if adjusted for his character.

      The one thing I really wanna see in Marvel Sequels and Avengers 2 is other countries uncomfortable that Amerca has its own team of Super Soldiers. Its like the arms race all over again.

      This could lead to a coalition of Governments creating the Anti-Avengers, leading to the Avengers going independent sponsored by Tony Stark.

  7. I knew it wasn’t going to happen but I was hoping Joe Johnston and Marvel would work something out and he would return.
    But from the 4 people named I see Nolfi as the best choice. I think The Adjustment Bureau was pretty solid and somewhat underrated and even though Ocean’s 12 is usually said to be the worst of the 3 films it’s actually my favorite.

  8. Im glad Joe Johnston is not coming back. The cheese did not suit Captain America. I

    I hope flashback scene reveals Cap was a bad ass soldier of WW2. Gritty is good.

    As for Cap in modern day, it be intresting to see him address America’s current “wars” as they are in a more grey area than the good vs evil outlook of WW2. Maybe even open up with Cap leading a raid on a group of terrorist. I mean he didnt even fight Nazi’s WW2!

    • I highly doubt we would see anything like that. Disney is now paying the bills and that paints a huge target on Marvel if they address “Real World” conflicts. I could instantly see Fox News going on the record saying, “Comic Books And Their Movies, push the liberal agenda.”

  9. Captain America was my favorite movie of all the Marvel films.
    Joe Johnston’s brilliant direction was a key reason why and
    his not returning is bad news as far as I am concerned.

  10. A proper look at the “Aliens” in “The Avengers” in new footage in a new TV spot!!


    • Sorry, was supposed to post in an “Avengers” related thread. Oops.

      • SR are covering it now.

  11. Having the Winter Soldier as the antagonist would be brilliant for the next one! They planted the seed in Captain America and seeing Cap having to face off against Bucky/WS would have enormous potential. The drama that would come with that could be explored in a million different ways.

  12. I wasn’t really that big a fan of Johnston’s directing in Cap:TFA – he did a great job with some scenes (he really got the feel and setting just right), but for the biggest part, he wasn’t that great IMO.
    I just felt that his focus wasn’t on the characters and if you watch the director’s commentary you’ll notice how he hardly ever talked about the characters and their development, 90% was about the sets/locations…

    That said, I’m kinda scratching my head at this list… the only guy that makes sense (and the guy that I would pick out of this list) is George Nolfi.
    Anyway, I was hoping for some other names :(

    Hopefully Marvel Studios will make the right choice…

    • I agree about everything you said about Johnston.That’s why im not sad about his departure from Cap 2,he only got the settings right but the characters and some of the action seemed lacking a bit.

  13. I’m never really read Captain America when I collected comics, but I really didn’t see that much wrong with the direction and tone of the film. Considering the naive, wholesome nature of the Steve Rogers/Captain America character and the time period I think the movie presented itself well. And that said I was surprised by the amount of killing in the movie, so while it might not have been “dark & gritty”, it didn’t sugar coat the actions associated with a war situation.

    • The tone, setting and feel of the first act of the movie was PERFECT. Along with that romantic/tragic scene of Cap and Peggy at the end.
      But all the bits inbetween (Cap on the battlefield, Cap losing Bucky, Cap’s leadership skills), weren’t translated that well IMO – not saying it was terrible, but I think Johnston’s directing was at fault during those moments.
      Cap is still my second favorite Marvel movie though, I just felt Johnston could have taken it a BIT more serious during some moments, ye know?

      • Yeah some of the battle scenes were very “animated”, but I have kind of come to expect that from these types of movies. One of the gripes I have had with movies like Wolverine and Daredevil has been the total lack of attention given to any type of fight choreography. The Blade movies were the only ones where some attention was given to actual martial arts or hand-to-hand combat that wasn’t comic looking for the most part. And oddly even the second Hulk movie with the toons had decent fighting and combat scenes.

        It seems like some film makers have an issue of trying to make things pop out at the audience like printed comics do. Some of what you are probably talking about in Cap are the moments when motorcycles fly through the air in a totally unrealistic manner, and stuff like that. Yeah it looks totally put on, but the director probably was trying to make it stylized like a comic book because of the source content.

        • “but the director probably was trying to make it stylized like a comic book because of the source content.” — you got it.
          And if you’re not a fan of that, then you’ll probably be disappointed, because Whedon will also have a lot of CB influences in the fight scenes from TA.

          Personally, I like the fact that some of those scenes have the CB influences, BUT it only works when it’s combined with a sense of realistic fighting/action (I’m guessing that’s what Whedon’s aiming at as well)

          • There is a middle ground that is probably hard to reach when a studio really starts pressuring everyone involved due to wanting that box office payoff. Action in these type of movies can go from being cool to just falling apart in just a few frames. It’s like what happened with the Matrix movies. The first film had a great pitch with the stunts and special effects, by the second and third movies they had some scenes that were just over the top and not well done effects-wise.

            At this point with the amount of computer work they use it seems like they get tempted to take things to much toward a cartoon or bad video game level. I think that more practical effects and old school stunt work would help prevent much of the really groan worthy moments in some films these days.

            • All I know is, that they used stunt guys in mo-cap suits for the aliens in TA (so some of them, at least, won’t just be generic CGI models).
              Same goes for Hulk: Full mo-cap from Marc Ruffalo: we’ll literally be seeing Ruffalo BE the Hulk – the motions, the facial expressions, etc.
              So in that sense, I’m pretty sure TA won’t be overly “cartoony” – they have gone through a lot of effort to make it as practical as possible.

        • Blade got so much right. Its one of te greatest CBM’s and best example of doing a cbm without an origin story.

          • Blade had the advantage of people not having any expectations due to the character being relatively obscure. It also was done at a time when a Marvel property had never really made it to a movie theater and actually made some money. They pretty were able to set up and atmosphere and world that fit the character, and actually worked in reverse of the other properties and kind of established the look and feel of the character more than the comic books actually did. That was until the third movie which came out after the trend began and reeked of Goyer trying to fit in with everything else, and just reeked in general.

            Ironically Blade did actually follow the origin of the character and explained how he was born to a mother that got bit and then was abandoned. The Deacon Frost character was even used correctly in that capacity, so they did at least follow the skeleton of what had been done in the comics even though few people would have known or noticed.

            • That’s why i believe Wesley Snipes was pi**ed off b\c he had no say so in the third film where he had a huge input in the previous ones.

  14. It’s too bad Cap 2 couldn’t get Spielberg, he’s got a knack for WWII action directing, but it’s set in the present with flashbacks so I’d like it to be more like FIRST BLOOD. Yeah maybe even get Brian Dehnenhey.

    So Winter Soldier will probably be involved in some contemporary terrorist plot with either Iran or North Korea. But he becomes a russian spy so russia I guess, I’d say MODOK brought him to the KGB.

    Still, I loved cap 1, even the cheesy bits. It was a great introduction that respected the source material fairly well. I wouldn’t mind if johnston returned, as long as he made it DARKER!!! ha.

    • Speilberg would have made an epic Captain America.

      • Agreed.

  15. F. Gary Gray directed some damn fine movies over the last fifteen years. Arguably, two modern day classics (Friday, The Italian Job), and two absolute thrillers (The Negotiator, Law Abiding Citizen).

    Captain America 2 doesn’t have to be “darker,” it’s just needs to be as good or better than the first one.

    Marvel should look to the Bronze Age storylines in their comics and introduce the Falcon in the sequel. Cap and Falcon took on some great villains like the Grey Gargoyle, Batroc the Leaper, and the Constrictor that would look incredible on the big screen.

  16. Gary Gray it is for me

  17. I think George Lucas should come back and direct the sequel to Captain America

    • George Lucas?!
      I’d like some of what you’re smoking buddy ;)

      • Lol I THINK he was talking about all the Lucas references (Star Aars&Indiana Jones) in the film Joe Johnston put in b/c Lucas was his mentor.

        • I liked all the little references to Indy and SW, but I would NEVER want Lucas to near any Marvel movie lol.
          HE’s good as VFX, but directing? No, might as well keep Johnston.

  18. I am curious to the back story of the vanishing Joe Johnston.
    During and after the release of the first Joe talked about
    directing the sequel in detail including story and cast.

    • I think if they were planning on having Cap 2 in WW2, then they would have gotten Johnston to direct it, but seeing as it’ll mostly be set in present time, his style wouldn’t really work that well IMO.
      It goes without saying that isn’t necessarily the reason Johnston isn’t returning, but it would be my guess…

  19. RIDLEY SCOTT. If not for Cap 2, then for “HFH”(Heroes for Hire) or H4H(Luke Cage,Iron Fist, Misty Knight,and Collen Wing).

    • I really want a double feature grindhouse special for Luke Cage & Iron Fist. Two 1.5 hr long filns that would lead ibto Heroes for Hire as its sequel the year after.

  20. If not Ridley Scott for HFH, then Antione Fuqua.

  21. looking forward to sequels for thor captain america, and ironman,but i really want to see a hulk sequel with the leader.

  22. I hope the future Marvel sequels turn out better than Ironman 2 did. Man was that movie bad!

  23. I didn’t read if anyone said this yet but i think Ed Brubaker should direct..i know it’s weird and why would he? But yeah. At the very least he should be on board to do script edits since it is based on his run.

    Why would the Community guys EVER be on this list? EVER. That has to be a mistake.

    • I agree, Brubaker should be a wing man for the director almost or maybe even an Assitant Director.

  24. I loved Captain America(film) but my only thoughts are who`s gonna be the next villain ?

  25. I think Joe Johnston did a great job as the director of the first movie.

    My choice would be F. Garry Gray, The Negotiator and Law Abinding Citizen were great powerful movies but should Captain Ameican maybe become darker as The Dark Knight?

    In my opnion, I wouldn’t mind but Captain America is like a kid’s favourtie superhero.

    • No Cap doesnt need to be darker but shouldnt be light hearted either. Cap should be presented as a bad a** super soldier. first

  26. Any marvel comics reader knows that Cap gets more respect in the comics than any other superhero. He’s like a super hero’s hero. So we need to see why this man is lauded above any other marvel charecter. Reed Richards is smart, Tony Stark’s rich. Hulk is powerful. But Cap has an honor and strength that always seems to translate through his stories…
    That being said, this is what i’m hoping for in the Cap sequel, a reason to care, a reason to hold this hero in higher regards than all the others.

    If it was handled like a true war film, colors, tone, pacing, dialogue, action. Then this would be one of the better film franchises. Imagine if Cap looked like Saving Private Ryan or Black Hawk Down but with Captain America,a cool kid sidekick, because young Bucky is bad ass, whether he would be realistic in the film or not, TFA should have been Cap telling the story of his origin, like an older battle hardened Steve Rogers remeniscing on his origins, that would have been pretty dope. Not all comic movies should be the same, just because theyre all superheroes doesnt mean they cant call for their own genre specifications in solo films. Batman (live action) was campy crap in the 60′s…and 90′s, but now look at him, TDKR. Nuff Said right?

    The problem is the director has to take his film seriously, he has to want to believe in this world he’s creating, imagine it 100%. Rather than just seeing it as yet another mediocre film to add to the resume, or even worst, just a paycheck. Film is art, storytelling is art, comics are art. The directors need to remember that.


    Iron Man-Political thriller, international espionage and corporate wars (Tony Scott, Ridley Scott)
    Captain America-Dramatic war film, dark sad dreary. Its war, not Raiders(Spielberg)
    Thor-Epic, filmed in New Zealand wannabe Lord of the Rings fantasy! (Imagine Peter Jackson on Thor)
    Shield-Spy,Caper, espionage thriller with ties to Iron Man
    Hulk-Epic slober knocker giant monsters actioneer…like Transformers(Bay or Berg)

    • Man you really hit the nail on the head. If I ever get a screenwriting job consider yourself hired lol

      As for you ur tones/Genre

      IronMan – Mixed feelings. This feels a too SHIELD in a sense But I see your angle. IronMan is always more internal IMO. An alcoholic Howard Hughes on a redemptive path.
      Cap -I agree!
      Thor – I agree!
      SHIELD – I agree! IMO a Jason Bourne/Jack Ryan thing. Saving millions of lives on Black Ops missions.
      Hulk – I see it as two b/c I count Hulk as a main character. Banner is a Fugitve story reminiscent of Fugitve with Harrison Ford&Tommy Lee Jones. Hulk is a Frankenstien story – A child percieved as a monster with “Epic slober knocker giant monsters action”

    • Pretty much agree with what you’re saying here (except for Bucky: “kid sidekick” doesn’t work anymore… it’s campy — I loved the way Bucky was portrayed in Cap:TFA – my opinion of course).
      That said, even though I do agree with you, I can’t say I didn’t enjoy the “lighthearted” and somewhat “campy” style of TFA, it made it different, ye know? – but still, I agree. A war movie with Captain America would have been awesome – hopefully the sequel will be a bit darker and edgier.
      Anyway, onto your “Hero-Tone/Genre”. Once again, I agree on all account except one: Iron Man. Keep the espionage out of it (that’s SHIED stuff), I agree that they should keep at it with the “corporate wars”, but that shouldn’t be the main focus – it should kinda be an added “villain” to Stark’s other problems (terrorists, super villains and the biggest villain of all, his drinking problem).

      As awesome as those ideas sound, I don’t think they’ll FULLY go ahead with it… I’m sure a lot of those elements you mentioned will be incorporated into IM3 and Thor2 and most likely Cap2, but I think they’ll always maintain that sense of “lightheartedness” and comical feel.
      Guess we’ll find out next year!

  27. And why isnt Brubaker writing these!?!?