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

     March 30, 2012


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.


  • Drake

    Either F Gary Gray (loved the Italian Job) or George Nolfi…I don’t think the comedy directors should get it.

  • Brandon Avery

    My vote, is F GARY GRAY.

    I can understand Iron Man 3, but I don’t understand how there will be a Cap 2 & Thor 2 movies before an ANT-MAN or THE INCREDIBLE HULK 2 movies…

    Can someone explain? Especially with HULK being the most popular character in the AVENGERS…

    Please Adam, shed some light on this…

    • Shaun

      Brandon, I can’t imagine anyone, outside of a very small circle of comic fans, embracing an Ant-Man movie.

      Regarding Hulk… Most popular? Based on, what exactly?

      While I loved the Norton “Incredible Hulk” movie, it was certainly not the most popular of the Marvel Studios movies. In fact, it was the least popular. $134 million domestically for Incredible Hulk, vs. $176 million for Cap and $181 mil. for Thor.

      Iron Man, and even the lousy Iron Man 2 easily beat all of those movies. Over $300 mil. for both Iron Man movies.

      Maybe Hulk sells more comics, I don’t know (I don’t really buy/read many anymore), but that means nothing in regards to movie popularity.

      • Brandon


        but I was talking about the character not the live action films. Before IM came out if you asked around the general public knew more about the HULK, than IM, THor, or cap america.

  • Shaun

    PLEASE give Cap a new costume/mask in the next movie. The WWII suit/helmet looks better than what he’s wearing in The Avengers.

    Hell, even the costume from the otherwise awful 1990 straight-to-video movie looks tons better than the costume from The Avengers! Certainly truer to the comics. Give him that one.

  • Gato

    Marvel needs to stop worrying about release dates and go for the perfect fit, however long that takes. I know that’s asking a lot, but what’s gonna make more money in the long run? A flash in the pan blockbuster sequel by the director of ‘Friday’, or a patiently approached Steve Rogers tale directed by Robert Zemeckis? It would have the sentimentality and social awareness of ‘Forrest Gump’, the fish out of water wonder of ‘Back to the Future’, and the action of ‘Beowulf’.

  • potterboy

    you know, i kind of prefer a pick ala Shane Black for Ironman 3. because it kind of gives the franchise a new and inspired vibe. get a really inspired choice.

    the first one was good, but it was too by the books. come on, we want something that will be remembered in this age when almost all movies are superhero movies.

    the best kinds of picks for franchises’ sequels are

    *Paul Greengrass for BOURNE(which made BOURNE have it’s own “Identity”.)
    *Alfonso Cuaron for Azkaban(coming off an R-rated hand held shot sex drama Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN)
    Nolan for Batman Begins(coming off Insomnia)

    if they get something like this, it would be awesome!

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  • Evan

    Please make a thorough superhero movie. Cap had an excellent first act, then the rest was shit.

  • junierizzle

    F. Gary Gray! Criminally underrated director. They should want him forget about putting him on a List.

  • Dre Dre

    F Gary Gray…must have

  • Joe

    Was Joe Johnston unavailable? He did a decent job on the first film. Right?

  • Sci-fi

    F. Gary Gray is the obvious choice. He is the most cinematic of the list and does very solid work and has a very versatile filmography. The others are bigger gambles and not exactly the best choices IMO.

  • Eddie Murphy

    watch them not give it to the black man smh

  • Van Iblis

    I see the whole black community has decided to post here…

  • Modigliani

    I don’t understand how “Captain America 2″ could feature a lot of flashbacks? Cap is frozen in snow for 70 years. What are they going to flashback to? His teeth chattering?

    I get that they could flashback to “The World Without Cap” and see the reactions of the public, of his friends, of the military people, etc. But it seems pointless to me to do this.

    Forget the “period piece” style and just show us what’s going on in the here and now.

  • Travis

    F Gary Gray would bury the franchise- remember, this is the same guy who gave us the awful “Be Cool” and the even more awful “Law Abiding Citizen”…

  • orlando

    Yeah but “The Italian Job”,”A Man Apart”, & “The Negotiator” were all winners. Another winner done by F.Gary Grey that this so called publisher failed to mention was “Set It Off”, Grey has the goods with drama & action. Has every film he done been great no, not by a long shot, but what director has, even the greatest directors have made mediocre films compared to their best efforts. I just knew this editor would talk up the other directors more and talk down Grey. I’m not going to jump into no racist banter, but reading Adam Chitwood’s opinions it is what it is, dude whatever.

  • orlando

    F Gary Gray has his ups and downs, but his resume is better than the other directors. “The Italian Job’, “The Negotiator”,”One Man Apart” & “Set It Off”, who this so called editor so foolishly failed to mention are all winners. Why did i just know this editor would talk up the other directors and talk down F Gary Grey befor i even read this article. I’m not going to say prejudice about this Adam Chitwood cat, but damn, dude really.

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