Absent from both the initial Phase Four reveal about a year ago and the last panel they did a couple of months ago, Marvel has been pretty tight lipped about their plans with their newly acquired mutants. The only news we’ve gotten, is that Deadpool 3 is officially happening and that the writers from Bob’s Burgers are writing it. That’s about it. They haven’t mentioned what they’re doing with Wolverine or the X-Men but it doesn’t matter. There will be new films of both, it’s just a matter of time. Once they inevitably announce the new reboots, these are the directors I’d most like to see tackle the next big chapter within the MCU.
These are the Top Ten Best Directors to Helm Wolverine.
10. Jean-François Richet
There’s many ways to approach a Wolverine adaptation. You can focus on the action or the coolness or the fun or, in the case of Richet, you can go raw. If you’re unfamiliar with his work, he makes hard edged crime thrillers that pull no punches. Since the majority of his movies are foreign, his most popular movies are the surprisingly decent Assault on Precinct 13 remake and the John Wick inspired Blood Father. He most likely has no interest in being attached to the Marvel machine but if he didn’t mind making a one off for a ton of cash, he’d be a perfect fit for Wolverine’s unbridled rage.
09. Jason Eisener
If you aged up the character considerably and made everything around him super stylized, there’s not much difference between the Punisher and the movie Hobo with a Shotgun. They’re both men pushed to the edge who then become ultra violent vigilantes because of a broken justice system. They’re basically the same movie, which means Eisener already has a superhero movie under his belt, now it’s time to give him one for real. If he ditched the grimy grindhouse aesthetic of his debut and adopted a more audience friendly tone, I can see Eisener becoming the next James Wan or David F. Sandberg. Successful horror directors who have made the jump to mainstream cinema. He’s got the talent and can clearly deliver something special, all he needs is his shot and the Wolverine can be it.
08. Michael Davis
Shoot Em Up is one of those films that, in a perfect world, should’ve bought the director the rest of his career. It’s so strong, it should’ve catapulted Davis into the A list but unfortunately, this isn’t a perfect world. For every John Wick, there’s a million A-Teams (films that should be bigger and more beloved, but never find an audience), and while Shoot Em Up is among the latter, it really belongs with the former category. It’s super over the top, violent as hell and it’s action packed. It’s the perfect film to show a 12 year old boy. But don’t do that or you’ll most likely end up on a list.
07. David Leitch
While his old partner is probably the more obvious pick, I’m going with Leitch mostly due to the fact that his films are bit more fun. Chad Stahelski has turned the John Wick series into something really special and while they have some of the best action sequences of the last couple of years, they’re getting a bit too “up their own ass” for their own good. The more they stray from their comic book influences, the more bogged down in their own mythology they become. Of the two, Stahelski is the better director but Leitch gets comic books. He understands how to craft a fun story, which makes him the better choice for Wolverine in my opinion.
06. John Hillcoat
Hillcoat doesn’t make family friendly films. He makes cold, brutal tales of bloody revenge, oppressively bleak post apocalyptic stories and family dramas where everyone is an outlaw and no one is likable. He shouldn’t direct the Wolverine; his style is better suited to something like Blood Meridian or Peacher. Disney would never greenlight a movie within the MCU that would be this bloody without any levity. Deadpool can get away with the extreme violence because the humor balances it out but Hillcoat doesn’t do humor. He doesn’t make movies that have comedic sidekicks. Disney would never let him make the hard R Wolverine movie he would inevitably make but if they did, I have no doubt in my mind that it would be incredible.
05. Gareth Evans
It’s extremely ironic that the only project DC has announced that ever got me excited, was one of the only ones that never got made. While I would’ve killed to have seen Del Toro’s Dark Justice League, I was far more pumped for a Deathstroke movie directed by Gareth Evans. An action film set within the universe of Batman directed by the guy who did the Raid? Sign me the fuck up. But alas, it, along with Refn’s Wonder Woman, Whedon’s Batgirl and Miller’s Justice League, never saw the light of day. But DC’s loss could be Marvel’s gain. I don’t know why that project fell apart but if Evans and Marvel can make a deal, it would produce the most badass Wolverine movie imaginable.
04. Adam Wingard
The most wildly inconsistent director on this list, Wingard has made two great films (You’re Next and The Guest), a couple of solid shorts and a whole lotta shit but he still shows an immense amount of promise. Godzilla vs Kong looks like a rock ’em, sock ’em good time and his newly announced Face Off remake could be fun. Maybe I’m an optimist or maybe he’s just hit a patch of bad luck but I truly believe there’s a good director in there somewhere and with a guiding hand like Feige, it can potentially lead to something special.
03. Jeremy Saulnier
02. Joe Carnahan
Alternating between the hard edged realism of Narc and The Grey and the cartoonishly over the top action of Smokin’ Aces and The A-Team, Joe Carnahan can adapt to whatever the story demands and because of this, I think he’s perfectly suited for comic book fare. The best superhero movies are more than just jokes or action. You need a balance of the two and depending on the tone of the movie, a believable universe. There has to be the illusion of realism or it all falls apart. We have to buy that a billionaire would dress up like a bat and punch people in the face and there’s many ways to sell that universe. Burton leaned into the fantastical and made it crystal clear that this is a comic book movie, whereas Nolan focused on the minutia and the psychology, making the viewer understand the decision which made everything else believable. It’s a tricky balancing act, especially if the character has metal bones and can heal but based on his filmography, Carnahan looks like an expert trapeze artist. He can deliver the Disney safe comic book world that’s nothing but action and quips or he can go the more grounded approach ala Logan. Whatever Feige decides on, Carnahan can deliver.
01. Guillermo Del Toro
Del Toro clearly loves comic books and the fact that Marvel hasn’t approached him to helm one yet is criminal. Somewhere in between Blade and Hellboy, he talked about making an adaptation of Frank Miller’s Wolverine and while that run would eventually became the basis of The Wolverine, I still wish we got Del Toro’s version instead. He knows how to do action, he’s already talked about being a fan of the character and he’s one of the only directors that would helm a superhero film that has won Oscars. That doesn’t necessarily mean anything but if Marvel wants to keep their Phase 4 track record of hiring either the best up and coming Oscar winners or poaching fan favorites, Del Toro is right smack dab in the middle of that Venn diagram.
Those are ten directors I think Marvel Studios should consider when crafting the next Wolverine solo film. Make sure to also check out the ten directors I’d like to see helm X-Men.
Who do you want to see direct Wolverine’s solo film?