As soon as Spider-Man was announced to finally be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, fans began posing a number of questions about how this new take on the Peter Parker character would differ from previous live-action versions (played by Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, respectively). Little by little, we've begun to get some answers.
Marvel was quick to announce that the webslinger will return in (another) movie reboot in 2017, featuring a high school aged Peter Parker who has already endured his fateful spider bite. The question of who exactly will play the character is still up in the air (though longtime favorites Asa Butterfield and Tom Holland appear to be continuing to duel for the part), but that should be resolved in short order - considering Spider-Man's long-rumored cameo appearance in the now-filming Captain America: Civil War (scheduled to arrive in May 2016). Now we have an update on who could be directing the wallcrawler's next solo adventure.
Deadline is reporting a new shortlist of filmmakers in contention to direct Marvel's 2017 Spider-Man, and the list includes a number of names we've heard before. Jonathan Levine (50/50, Warm Bodies) and Ted Melfi (St. Vincent) were previously rumored to be up for the job, and both men are reportedly favorites to take on the film. Levine is perhaps the most accomplished name on the list, with a pair of hit films already to his credit.
John Francis Daley & Jonathan M. Goldstein - who wrote and directed this summer's Vacation reboot - have also been in the conversation for a while, which bodes well for their ability to revamp an existing property. They are joined by Jon Watts, who just made his feature debut with Kevin Bacon thriller Cop Car. It's interesting to note that all four options include writer/directors, though it's unclear if the selected director(s) will also be involved in shaping the script for the new Spider-Man.
Producers Amy Pascal and Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige - as well as Sony Pictures chief Tom Rothman - are expected to make a decision soon, regarding the Spider-Man director. All of the considered filmmakers have solid work to their names, though it makes sense that Marvel and Sony would zero in on Levine and Melfi, as their filmography includes a balance of a more serious tone with grounded humor. Spider-Man is known for lending a bit of levity to the proceedings even when chaos ensues. So it's essential that the new film bring on a director that can keep his adventures grounded without sacrificing the laid-back sarcasm that is the character's trademark.
Whoever ends up directing Spider-Man, they're likely to be getting to work fairly soon. The film's release is roughly two years away, and for a production of this size and scope, that doesn't leave a whole lot of time from locking down a script through to post-production and marketing. Since Marvel's plans are usually pretty set in stone (and Spider-Man is by far one of the studio's hottest commodities), expect this project to be whooshing along at lightning speed once a filmmaker is brought onboard to shepherd the film - featuring whichever young star ultimately wins the part.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron is now in theaters, followed by Ant-Man on July 17, 2015; Captain America: Civil War on May 6, 2016; Doctor Strange on November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on May 5, 2017; Spider-Man on July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok on November 3, 2017; Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 on May 4, 2018; Black Panther on July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel on November 2, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 on May 3, 2019; and Inhumans on July 12, 2019.