Peter Berg – Berg has put out some solid films in the last few years (The Kingdom, Hancock) and if word about his upcoming sci-fi/action film adaptation of Battleship is strong, by 2012 he’ll be in a good position to make another big studio project. If his Entourage cameo has any bearing on his real life, Berg is a working man who prefers to cut the B.S. and get the job done when it comes to making movies. I know Marvel would appreciate that.

Brad Bird – He helped Pixar’s rise to greatness by writing and/or directing some of their best films (The Incredibles, Ratatouille) and now he’s making the jump to live-action, directing the highly-anticipated Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. Bird seems like a visionary guy who gets story – and most importantly, he knows how to both move and entertain audiences. The Incredibles made a lot of superhero movies look like child’s play – why wouldn’t Bird be able to deliver a good Iron Man 3?

Joe Carnahan – Depending on where Marvel is with their post-Avengers continuity, Iron Man 3 could find Tony Stark in a much more complicated, gritty world than where he started off.  If you’ve seen Narc you know Carnahan is a guy who knows grit, and he successfully added a dimension of fun to his palette with The A-Team this year. An Iron Man movie that plays like the end of Smoking Aces? I’d see it!

Rubin Fleischer Zombieland was a really good time, and most people thought that Fleischer blended so many genres – horror, comedy, action, rom-coms – together into something truly fresh and fun. If he can replace “horror” with “sci-fi” then I think Fleischer is capable of cooking up a tasty batch of Iron Man 3. Also, if I had to point to the most “Favreauesque” director on this list, Fleischer would be it.

Joseph Kosinski – This guy had enough clout for Disney to invest one of its most ambitious multi-media franchises in his vision of the Tron universe. The box office receipts are still being counted, but so far it looks like Kosinski may have done good by the Mouse House. If he does really good, he may be tied up in the Tron grid for the next few sequels (read: years) – but if he only does kind of good then who knows, maybe instead of a demotion Kosinski will be “transferred” to a less financially risky property…say, Iron Man?


Shawn Levy – This is my personal pick – not out of any desire, but simply intuition. Levy has been turning in a lot of solid  movies that make good money – Night at the Museum(s), Date Night – and his upcoming robot battle flick Real Steel is holding a slim margin of favor right now, I’d measure. If Steel and Levy’s other upcoming projects – How to Talk to Girls, The Hardy Boys – turn out well, he’ll be a firmly established name in the primary demographics Marvel likes to court – just in time to take over the reigns of Iron Man.

Greg Mottola – If you want to maintain the humor and lighthearted scampery of the Iron Man series (especially if Robert Downey Jr. is still involved), then a guy with good comedic sensibilities isn’t a bad pick. Superbad managed to be funny and loose within a tight narrative frame, and Mottola’s new film, the sci-fi/comedy Paul, looks to follow suit. If we could go back to that mischievous-but-purposed feel of Iron Man 1, I think we’d all be happier people. Mottola could be the man to take us there.

Matt Reeves – The director of Cloverfield and Let Me In is a good example of someone who has unique vision but is still looking for that big breakout opportunity. His writing credits are a plus and he’s seemingly a level-headed guy who turns in solid work on time and intact. With only Cloverfield 2 occupying his immediate future, Reeves has potential for landing the Iron Man 3 gig.


Louis Letterrier – Is this one any surprise? Like Brett Ratner, Letterrier has become that go-to guy when you want a solid action movie tentpole flick, but aren’t willing to pay premium prices for a spectacular one. Letterrier has also made it clear that since The Incredible Hulk he is down to keep playing in the Marvel Movie sandbox. Having him on Iron Man 3 wouldn’t be terrible…but it wouldn’t be awesome, either.

Brett Ratner – Hey, you never know. They say if a director’s chair is left vacant for too long in Hollywood, Ratner shall appear to fill it.


Carl Rinsch – The protege of Ridley Scott became famous for his imaginative sci-fi-themed commercials. He was suppossed to get his big break directing Scott’s Alien prequel, but Fox didn’t have the same faith in the young man that Sir Ridley did. Rinsch was given the remake of Logan’s Run to helm, but dropped that to focus on a 3D samurai epic called 47 Ronin. If Ronin looks to be a hit, maybe Marvel will learn from Fox’s mistake and give Rinsch the opportunity to bring his unique vision to a sci-fi-themed superhero like Iron Man.

David Slade – Another solid and dependable (but still affordable) director. He made 30 Days of Night a notable vampire flick and used those same talents to make Twilight: Eclipse the best entry in the franchise so far. Slade was also reportedly up for Wolverine 2 before it went to Darren Aronofsky, so maybe Iron Man 3 can be his consultation prize?

Joss Whedon – He’s already tackling the writing/directing duties on The Avengers (and re-writing Captain America as well). If Marvel feels confident handing him the big jobs, it’s a safe bet there’s nothing on the table that they won’t at least consider passing off to geek-guru Whedon.

Sylvain White – Like Reeves, White is a guy who is slowly but surely building a reputation for turning in solid work.  The Losers ultimately lost at the box office, but I think that had to do more with it being the lite version of A-Team and/or The Expendables rather than any fault on the director’s part. White would likely be happy to pay some dues working on a Marvel franchise, and could certainly handle the job.


Kathryn Bigelow – This pick comes from the Screen Rant staff bullpen: if you want somebody who could really bring forth that part of  the Iron Man mythos that speaks to politics, economics and the dangers of technology, then Oscar-winner Kathryn Bigelow would be the director for the job. Basically, what I’m saying is that if Iron Man 3 were to use the Iron Man: Extremis storyline as its basis, someone like Bigelow would be perfect for telling that story onscreen.

Edgar Wright Scott Pilgrim vs. The World may have been a letdown at the box office but it was certainly one of the most stylistically innovative and fun films of recent years. Wright is already working on the script for Marvel’s Ant-Man, and if he is not going to direct that film (as rumored) then maybe his talents as a director don’t have to go to complete waste? We hear there’s this guy named Iron Man who needs a cool, innovative and witty director…

Those are our picks for directors who might actually end up getting the job of directing Iron Man 3. Do you agree with the picks? Like to add any we missed?

Iron Man 3 will be in theaters on May 3, 2013

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