Shawn Levy Could Very Well Direct the Next Avengers Movie

As was not-so-subtly (but hilariously) spoofed in the latest episode of The Boys, Marvel’s slate of releases post-Endgame has emphasized quantity over quality – delivering some of the MCU’s worst feature films in the process – which led to Disney wisely rolling back Marvel productions in 2024. In fact, this marks their first year with a solo theatrical release since The Avengers in 2012, though this excludes a pandemic-ridden 2020, which saw no releases that year for obvious reasons. 

As such, there is a hell of a lot riding on this month’s release, Deadpool & Wolverine, narratively speaking but not to mention financially too, given that 2023 was by far worst showing by the MCU at the global box office since its inception. Yet, while the past is written in stone, Disney can still look to the future…but even that has been more tumultuous than any other period in the MCU’s history.

To begin with, there’s the whole Blade debacle. Two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali was announced to play the titular vampire hunter in 2019, but the movie has since gone through two directors and has yet to replace the latest departee, French filmmaker Yann Demange, who left just last month. Meanwhile, the production is now on its fourth writer, Michael Green, who was reported last November to be working on an entirely new script, amid further reports that Ali threatened to walk away over the original script.

However, undoubtedly the most widely known and consequential instance of Marvel’s recent instability is, of course, the casting and eventual firing of Jonathan Majors as Kang. 

Majors’ Kang was intended to be the Thanos of this new era in the MCU, and while the embattled actor was positively magnetic in the role, his deeply troubling conviction for assaulting and harassing his ex-girlfriend left Marvel with no choice but to let him go. This event shrouded the future of the MCU in uncertainty, as the very next Avengers film was to be subtitled “The Kang Dynasty” and directed by the talented Destin Daniel Cretton, who previously helmed Shang-Chi, but now it is tentatively named Avengers 5, while Cretton walked away last November. There is little insight into who the next multi-movie big bad will be, though it seems unlikely Kang will be recast as that well has been poisoned by Majors.

This is all to say, Marvel is in desperate need of stability moving forward with its feature films, and who better to tap than the very man who their entire 2024 rides on, Deadpool & Wolverine director Shawn Levy. 

Hailing from Montreal, Levy has proven himself a reliable filmmaker in his many years making films, being not only an Oscar-nominated producer for his work on Arrival, but also a director capable of delivering movies that are as commercially entertaining as they are emotionally centred, something at which he has gotten better in recent years, with his last two films, The Adam Project (2021) and Free Guy (2022), proving as much. This is all without mentioning that he also serves as a producer and occasional director on the megahit Netflix show Stranger Things

Levy has also previously worked with the two stars of Deadpool & Wolverine, Hugh Jackman and in particular Ryan Reynolds, the latter of whom he has formed a strong creative partnership with. The point here is that the talent loves to work with him, which is incredibly important when directing anything as star-studded as an Avengers movie, and Marvel has shown time and again their willingness to go back to whoever works. Just look at all the other Avengers movies, where they tapped Joss Whedon (prior to the on-set accusations) for two solid entries, and then brought back Anthony and Joe Russo to masterfully wrap up the entire Infinity Saga with Infinity War and Endgame after their stellar work on the Captain America sequels The Winter Soldier and Civil War.

It should hardly come as a surprise, then, that Levy is reported to be the frontrunner for the next Avengers gig, as he has apparently been given the script by Michael Waldron and Marvel is simply waiting on his answer. It’s not necessarily a sure thing, though, as Levy is in high demand as it is, having been asked to direct a yet unannounced Star Wars movie, in addition to an unnamed heist flick for Netflix starring – you guessed it – Ryan Reynolds. While the public has yet to see how his work on Deadpool & Wolverine turns out, it seems clear that Marvel loves what Levy has done, and he is certainly the type of filmmaker Marvel needs in such trying and uncertain times.

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