Ten Directors Who Should Helm the MCU’s ‘X-Men’

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 X-Men.

10. Bradley Cooper

Before Disney brought Gunn back to direct Guardians of the Galaxy 3, I had Cooper pegged to direct it. Since he was fired and seemed genuinely liked within Hollywood, I knew it would be hard for Disney to find someone that didn’t want to fuck over Gunn by taking over his work. So my assumption was that a friend of his would do it with his blessing and since he’s worked with Cooper and now that he’s an Oscar nominated director, he seemed like the obvious choice. But now that Gunn is back and everything is right in the world, I nominate Cooper to do X-men. Like previously stated, Cooper is already in the MCU and he’s already proven he’s a great director, so it seems like a no brainier to me to keep him on the payroll. You can even have him play Cyclops. Bada bing, bada boom.

09. Jeff Nichols

While he’s made almost nothing but serious dramas, it’s obvious that Nichols is a sci-fi fan at heart. In addition to his film Midnight Special, he’s been trying to make an Alien Nation film for quite some time now. Now that Disney has picked up his film for a TV show, he has an in with the studio. If they like his show and he likes working with them, it could be the beginning of a very fruitful relationship. He makes their X-Men movie and they greenlight more seasons of Alien Nation. Everyone (including the viewer) wins.

08. Danny Boyle

One of the great examples of a journeyman director, Boyle has jumped through so many different genres and styles, that if he was an Olympic jumper, he’d hold the record eight times over. He can do basically anything, so it’s surprising that be hasn’t wanted to doodle around in the genre already. Plus, like my next pick, if you hire Boyle, you might be able to get Alex Garland to write it and getting Garlands foot in the door world be a major victory. You’d potentially be getting two amazing filmmakers for the price of one.

07. Joe Cornish

His first film was the underrated Attack the Block and his second film was the unjustly ignored The Kid Who Would Be King and the two films he wrote — The Adventures of Tintin and Ant-Man — didn’t receive any of its planned sequels and the second ended in a catastrophe involving his friend leaving Marvel on bad terms. Based on the evidence provided, it seems as though Joe Cornish is cursed. Instead of having the red hot career he deserves, he’s desperately fighting to get each new project made. Since he’s already written a Marvel movie and since Wright is now on good terms with them (more on that later), it makes sense for them to give him the chance to officially kill the curse. And who knows, if he’s attached to direct, maybe he could get Wright on to co-write. It’s worth a shot.

06. Jordan Vogt-Roberts

Even though he’s on this list, I actually don’t want Vogt-Roberts to direct the first X-Men movie. Not because I think he’s untalented or wrong for the job but because I’d much rather see him do the sequel. The X-Men are more than just action movies dealing with mutant rights and what not. They also involve time travel and aliens and the Savage Land (which is basically Skull Island) and Arcade’s murder games. Since the first one has to be an origin story that sets up the entire franchise, it’s not allowed to get too crazy or take too many chances. But once they lay the groundwork, they’re able to do whatever they want and it’s that freedom I want to see Vogt-Roberts tap into. Move away from Magneto, tell a new story with characters I already like and give me something crazy like Legion or Days of Futures Past. That’s what I want and Vogt-Roberts is the man who can give it to me.

05. Jon Favreau

A choice so obvious, it’s boring. Favreau kick-started the MCU and has stuck around in a hands off approach ever since. He made the first two Iron Man films and has popped up in various films as Happy Hogan with no signs of stopping any time soon. He clearly has a great relationship with Feige and after his last billion dollar hit for Disney, I wouldn’t be surprised if they just filled up a garbage truck full of money and parked it at his house with a note attached that reads “direct the X-Men.”

04. James Mangold

After the critical and commercial success of Logan, Marvel would be fools for not considering him for the director’s seat. While I was lukewarm on The Wolverine, I consider Logan among the best superhero films of the last decade. It’s a mature story with strong characters that doesn’t skimp on the violence or emotional. It’s like the exact opposite of a Marvel movie: it’s rated R, it’s filled with gratuitous action and profanity and not a single character undercuts the gravity of the situation with a joke. I don’t know if the MCU will ever dip their toe into more grown up fare but if they do, this would be the character to start with and this would be the director to do it.

03. Garth Jennings

You would think after the surprisingly good adaptation of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Jennings would be drowning in work but outside of the under seen Son of Rainbow, he’s only made one other film: the abysmal Sing. As far as I know, his debut wasn’t a bomb nor was it trashed by critics, so I don’t get why he wasn’t hired to do a million things after it. He has a great eye for visuals, knows how to blend the comedic with the genuinely heartfelt and he’s a fan of mixing the practical with CGI. While I’m not pitching a movie in which the giant sentinels are portrayed by guys in suits kicking over obviously fake miniatures (I’m not not pitching that movie either), what I am doing is merely mentioning it to prove a point. He knows when to focus on something real to make it really real and when to exaggerate reality with CGI. He knows how to ground the ridiculous and makes the most outrageous premise seem believable and that’s what the X-Men movie needs. Not another director for hire that’ll toe the line and not make waves but one that’ll create something special and memorable and I think Jennings fits the bill.

02. Edgar Wright

In an interview promoting his new music documentary, Wright revealed that he recently buried the axe with Feige. They hadn’t talked in a number of years due to the the Ant-Man fiasco but now everything is apparently all hunky dory. Because of this, every news outlet in the world jumped to the obvious click bait conclusion, which is that Wright is considering making a movie for the MCU. It’s ridiculous nonsense but if he was going to, X-Men would be the best fit. Not because of the action (which he excels at) or the comedy of (which he’s a master of) but because he’s fantastic at assembling an amazing cast of actors and giving them all plenty to do, which is one of the major problems with the original trilogy. A good number of the characters were left either underwritten, underutilized or both. The X-Men is all about the different character dynamics amongst the teammates and how they all have to set aside their differences to work as a team and I can’t think of a better director to accurately portray that than the man who’s done that exact same thing in almost all of his movies.

01. Brad Bird

Sometimes the obvious choice is the right one. Bird is among a very small handful of directors to make the perfect superhero movie. The Incredibles just gets superhero movies. It understands why the minutia of being a superhero is important and fascinating and is one of, if not the only one to portray what it’s like to be super powered in a world where that’s frowned upon. It tells a story where we’re all extremely familiar with at this time, in a new and interesting way. It also knows how to use nostalgia properly. It uses our familiarity with the genre as the base in which to build its unique world and that’s exactly what the new X-Men movie needs. It needs to embrace the past and homage what came before it but it also needs to not be beholden to it either. We already have those movies. We need a new one that gives us a similar experience but paths a forward ahead and I think Bird is the perfect man for the job.

Those are ten directors I think Marvel Studios should consider when crafting the next X-Men film. Make sure to check our piece on FanCasting the mutants for the MCU.

Who do you want to see direct the first MCU film to delve into the world of mutants?

Author: Sailor Monsoon

I stab.