Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice finally hit theaters and has broken all sorts of records at the box office. With Suicide Squad coming out later this summer and our first solo Wonder Woman movie next year, we will finally see the Justice League on screen together. Zack Snyder‘s interpretation of the DC Comics universe is a bit different from what many fans would anticipate. If you’ve seen the end of BvS, you may have gotten hints that Superman may not be the same when those two-part Justice League movies drop. Snyder has said Batman will be assembling Aquaman, Flash, Cyborg and the gang all on his own.
This superhero team-up thing is certainly nothing new, and Marvel Studios already beat Warner Bros. to the punch in 2012 with The Avengers. But DC characters are definitely different from Marvel characters. Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Superman – these characters are basically Gods and have always been treated as such. Which means they deserve the utmost respect and love when being adapted to the big screen. Some may feel that Snyder is not up to the task, especially after Batman v Superman has been ripped to shreds by so many critics, as well as regular comic book fans.
Regardless of backlash, Snyder is locked in and will be directing The Justice League: Part One, however, he is not confirmed to be directing Part Two. Which could mean that someone else could be brought in to helm the second half, but who could Warner Bros. get to handle such a task?
10. Cary Joji Fukunaga
You are really doing yourself a disservice if you have not seen Beasts of No Nation on Netflix. The film, directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, is an uncompromising look at violence and war in West Africa. It is clear to anyone who saw the film that Fukunaga was certainly robbed of an Oscar nomination this year. He’s also directed the first season of HBO’s True Detective, as well as the 2011 film Jane Eyre. His resume is immaculate and undeniable, which makes him a perfect choice for something like Justice League. In the same way that Disney went out of their way to find an auteur filmmaker like Rian Johnson to helm Star Wars: Episode VIII, Warner Bros. would be smart to pick up a director like Fukunaga. Hopefully he’s into comic books.
9. The Wachowskis
Sure, their last film Jupiter Ascending was critically trashed and bombed at the box office, but these siblings still have plenty of talent left in them. If anything, they are certainly better directors than they are writers. A lot of the criticisms of their films can be tied to the script. So provided they just stay in the directing chair and let someone else handle all of the story and the dialogue, I’m sure Lana and Lilly could deliver something pretty fascinating, especially since sci-fi seems to be their forte (The Matrix, Sense8). They do also have a pretty extensive history with Warner Bros., which is a point in their favor. They are also very big comic book and anime geeks, so this actually would be something up their alley.
8. Patty Jenkins
Patty Jenkins is already directing Wonder Woman, so she is already familiar with this DCEU. When Joss Whedon decided he would not be directing Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 & 2, it was not at all surprising to see Marvel choosing Captain America: Civil War directors Joe and Anthony Russo to direct the two-parter. The very brief bit of Wonder Woman footage we have seen looks pretty solid. Since her 2003 film Monster, which won Charlize Theron her first Oscar, she’s mostly directed television but that doesn’t mean she can’t handle a film of this magnitude. And if nothing else, Patty will definitely be sure to make Wonder Woman be amazing in it.
7. George Miller
Mad Max: Fury Road is a cinematic masterpiece, that much is undeniable. It’s director, George Miller, was already been attached to direct a Justice League film several years ago. You may remember hearing some of the casting choices – Common was set to play John Stewart/Green Lantern; Armie Hammer was set to play Bruce Wayne/Batman, just to name a couple. But that project fell through. There were rumors that Miller would direct a sequel to Man of Steel, but how about a Justice League movie instead? George Miller has earned a second chance at it, and there is no doubt that he would crush it.
6. Jennifer Yuh Nelson
Another choice for a director who may not be on everyone’s list is Jennifer Yuh Nelson. Most recently, this South Korean filmmaker directed the last two entries in the Kung Fu Panda franchise. Animated films, yes, but that does not mean Nelson wouldn’t be capable of making the transition into live-action. Brad Bird, who helmed The Incredibles and Ratatouille for Pixar, directed Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and it was the best action movie of 2011. Seeing as Jennifer is very familiar with the world of kung fu and martial arts, she should already have a keen eye for how to direct action sequences; which is certainly something that would come in handy.
5. Lexi Alexander
You may be familiar with Lexi Alexander for her 2008 film Punisher: War Zone, as well as episodes of Arrow and Supergirl. She understands the comic book movie world pretty well, and among the list of directors who should be given the chance to helm something JL, Alexander has to be on that list. Lexi is a former World Karate and Kickboxing Champion, which means any hand-to-hand fight sequences in the movie would be filmed incredibly well. On top of that, she has experience as a screenwriter. Hopefully she’ll have enough time for a project like this, if she isn’t already directing episodes of the Punisher’s Netflix spinoff or Iron Fist.
4. Justin Lin
Team-ensembles have become pretty common for Justin Lin, that much we know for sure. He directed The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious, Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6, and this year he directed Star Trek Beyond. A name like Lin would be a pretty likely choice for something as big as The Justice League. And the guy certainly has the chops to handle giant action set-pieces. Lin also helmed a few fantastic episodes of Community, with one in particular, “Modern Warfare,” involving some pretty fantastic paintball gun action. Justin’s career is expanding and he is definitely a great choice for something like this.
3. Kathryn Bigelow
Kathryn Bigelow is certainly a fantastic filmmaker, who has come a long way from Point Break. That film will forever remain a classic and for very good reason. Bigelow is a filmmaker who should be getting much more work than she currently is – which goes to show that even winning an Academy Award doesn’t automatically guarantee a flood of incoming work for the rest of your career. If she were to direct The Justice League: Part Two, it would be her first comic book adaptation, as well as her first huge tentpole film – maybe since Point Break. She excels at high-stakes drama and emotion, and those are definitely qualities that Warner Bros. wants with the tone of their DC Comics films.
2. Alfonso Cuarón
This Academy Award winning director came into the Harry Potter franchise and made what is regarded as the best entry in that series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. After that, Alfonso Cuarón would continue to do extraordinary work like Children of Men, which features some amazing sequences filmed in one continuous shot. Alfonso is the kind of director who could bring some real visually striking and engaging sequences, and when given a budget of $150+ million, there’s no telling what he could do. He has experience adapting other source material and it would be really interesting to see what he could bring out of these classic characters.
1. Bruce Timm
It’s about time this man get behind the camera of a live-action DC Comics adaptation. It may not be possible to find another person who could instill more trust and faith in comic book fans than Bruce Timm. He has been involved with so many DC animated projects for the last couple of decades, ever since 1992’s Batman: The Animated Series – possibly the greatest superhero cartoon ever. One could assume that his understanding of these characters and the DC universe is better than anyone else Warner Bros. could get. Timm hasn’t directed a live-action feature film before, so for The Justice League to be his first just sounds like sweet poetry and destiny.