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‘Captain Marvel’ Director Search Reaches Shortlist


Finding the right director for a Marvel movie takes time.

While in the early days of the MCU it was fine just to slap Kenneth Branagh on a project and let him go nuts, but these days the studio likes to vet its directors a little more thoroughly.

As such, The Hollywood Reporter has unveiled what its sources believe to be a shortlist for the Captain Marvel movie director’s chair. While this is unlikely to be a full and complete list of every candidate that has been considered, if it proves accurate, it very clearly shows the direction the studio intends to take with its first female-led blockbuster.

Lesli Linka Glatter, Lorene Scafaria, and Niki Caro are apparently the top picks for the movie, according to THR. Each of these directors are notable for their gender. Apparently Marvel wants Captain Marvel not only to be their first movie with a woman in front of the camera in a meaningful way, they’re looking to place a woman behind the camera too.

You’ll probably be most familiar with Glatter’s work—the director has helmed episodes of The Walking Dead and Homeland. She’s probably therefore the most traditional fit for an action movie based on her portfolio, but that might not be what Marvel are looking for.



Caro’s Oscar-nominated Whale Rider likely has a lot to do with her inclusion on the list—the movie, about a woman struggling to make headway in a ‘man’s world’, fits quite well with the meta-story revolving around Captain Marvel (there's also a whale in it—perhaps Marvel intends to debut Orca the Human Killer Whale in the movie?).



Scafaria’s directing experience is relatively limited—aside from a few episodes of New Girl and quirky comedy The Meddler, there’s not much to go on. If you’re a fan of romcoms, though (nobody will judge you, we’re all friends here), you might be interested to know that she penned the scripts for Seeking a Friend for the End of the World and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.

Looking at what these three potential directors have worked on before, it seems that pretty much the only thing Marvel Studios have agreed on is that they want a woman to direct Captain Marvel.

There’s a lot of difference between Homeland and Nick and Norah, so no clear tone is emerging just yet. At the same time, it’s worth noting that before The Winter Soldier, the Russo Brothers were best known for Community.

Looking at their top picks for the Captain Marvel director, it’s no surprise Marvel stopped working with Kenneth Branagh—it’s so much easier (and probably cheaper) to get someone with less experience that the studio can mold into their ideal director.


You’ve only written rom-coms before? That’s fine, Kevin Feige will show you to film action scenes. You’re renowned for spy thrillers and zombie dramas? Who cares?! Let’s shoot some CGI magic outerspace nonsense!

If anything, Marvel’s supposedly careful deliberation over which director to hire for Captain Marvel actually reveals that it really doesn’t matter who they pick.

Matthew loffhagen

Matthew Loffhagen

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