F. Gary Gray, George Nolfi, and COMMUNITY’s Anthony and Joseph Russo in Running to Direct CAPTAIN AMERICA 2

     March 30, 2012

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We’re nearing the date on which we finally get to see The Avengers on the big screen, but Marvel is already busy making plans for their post-Avengers slate. Iron Man 3 begins production in the next few months, followed shortly by Thor 2, and now the studio has whittled down their director shortlist for Captain America 2 to just three names: F. Gary Gray (The Italian Job), George Nolfi (The Adjustment Bureau), and television directors Anthony and Joseph Russo. Hit the jump for more on these lovely contestants in “Who Wants to Direct a Superhero Movie?”

george-nolfi-captain-america-2This shortlist comes courtesy of Vulture, who reports that Marvel has narrowed a list of 10 contenders down to three final choices. Gray is probably best known for the fun caper The Italian Job, but his recent resume hasn’t exactly been gangbusters. With a filmography that includes Law Abiding Citizen, A Man Apart, and The Negotiator, it’s clear Gray’s wheelhouse is with gritty cop dramas, though he has tried his hand at comedy with Friday and Be Cool.

Should Nolfi land the job, Cap’n 2 would make his second feature directorial effort. The Bourne Ultimatum scribe wrote and directed last year’s The Adjustment Bureau with Matt Damon. I actually quite enjoyed the sci-fi adaptation of the Phillip K. Dick story and found it to be a commendable first effort with some fun “action” sequences and neat ideas. Though the movie didn’t completely work for me, I think Nolfi showed a great deal of promise.

anthony-joe-russo-imageAs for the Russos, they’ve found success as executive producers on Community and Happy Endings, but they appear to be looking to make the move toward large-scale feature films. The two helmed the 2006 comedy You Me and Dupree, and we recently learned that the duo would be directing the actioner Ciudad with Dwayne Johnson in the starring role. They don’t necessarily have a tested track record with action, but their flair for directing ensembles with intricate situations is more than proven.

Of the three choices, I’m most intrigued by Nolfi and the Russos. Nolfi has a nice resume as screenwriter and I was a fan of his directorial debut. I think he captured a great tone and impressive visuals, and I’d be interested to see his take on a Marvel movie. The Russos are a gamble, but it’s obvious they’re serious about moving into action. They wrote the graphic novel off of which Ciudad was based, so they’ve got experience with larger-than-life characters.

captain-america-2-imageNo story details for Captain America 2 are known at this time, but The First Avengers scribes Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely were hired to write the script last summer. In an interview with Steve, they stressed that it would be hard to do a straight-up period piece now that Steve Rogers has already shown up in his future. Though they hadn’t begun writing, they said they hoped to season the sequel with a fair amount of flashbacks, so whomever signs on as director will have to be comfortable in switching time periods.

We reported in January that Captain America 2 may go into production by the end of this year, and with this movement on the director search it definitely seems like Marvel is moving in that direction. No firm release date has been officially announced, but Chris Evans said 2014 was likely. The studio has two unnamed films set for release in 2014, so I’m fairy certain we’ll be seeing Cap again in two years.

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