Following Superman’s three-film arc in the DC Extended Universe, fans have been hoping for a proper standalone sequel to Man of Steel. Last we heard, Warner Bros. wanted to get the movie out sooner than later, based on buzz surrounding Henry Cavill’s role in Justice League. The rumor said that an official announcement (with a director and release date) should come this summer.
One things fans have been particularly invested in is the potential director. Zack Snyder is highly unlikely to return for this movie (or any other DC movie, for that matter), while filmmakers like Brad Peyton and Matthew Vaughn have expressed interest. There are plenty of directors who are worthy of putting their own stamp on Superman, and here, we narrow it down to our top five.
J.A. Bayona first gained recognition for his movie The Impossible, and this summer, he’s making his big blockbuster debut with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Assuming that movie is a hit, it’s easy to imagine studios courting Bayona for other big projects. One of those should be the next Superman movie.
Last year, Bayona expressed interest in doing a Superman film, citing the 1978 classic as the movie that made him want to direct. He’s clearly passionate about the Superman character, which is only beneficial for a film. He is also very talented in his craft (just see The Impossible). Combine those factors with his big break this summer, and Bayona is an obvious choice for Man of Steel 2.
Christopher McQuarrie is known for his script work on multiple action movies, ranging from X-Men to The Wolverine to Edge of Tomorrow. He has also directed several films, such as the fifth and sixth installments of the Mission: Impossible series. And the sixth movie, subtitled Fallout, happens to star Henry Cavill. (His mustache for that movie was why his face looked weird in Justic– ah you guys know the story already.)
McQuarrie is a smart and talented filmmaker who would be a wonderful fit for Superman. He can pull off the action and writing, while he has already worked with Cavill on a big movie. McQuarrie’s last Mission: Impossible was one of the more memorable blockbusters in recent years, while Fallout looks to be a more-than-worthy sequel. It’s only a matter of time before a studio approaches him for another comic book movie. Why not have it be Superman?
Ever since 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, fans have suggested Rupert Wyatt for many different blockbuster. The filmmaker was briefly attached to Fox’s Gambit, while he was once rumored to be directing Green Lantern Corps. The latter rumor was never confirmed, but if it’s not happening, then how about bringing Wyatt to Superman instead?
Wyatt showed off his sci-fi chops with his Planet of the Apes movie, effectively rebooting the then-dormant franchise. It would be great to see him breathe similar life into the Superman franchise. Not only can Wyatt pull off the CGI-heavy sequences, but he can direct more character-driven scenes too. And that type of personal touch is important for any blockbuster, including Superman.
Jordan Vogt-Roberts made the jump to blockbuster territory with last year’s Kong: Skull Island, one of Warner Bros.’ bigger movies of 2017. Since then, the filmmaker expressed interest in directing a Superman: Red Son adaptation. It’s unknown if that movie would ever happen, but regardless, Vogt-Roberts would be just as good a fit on the next mainstream Superman film.
Vogt-Roberts’ direction for Skull Island was fascinating, creating a unique visual style. That type of creativity would work wonders for Superman. Vogt-Roberts can also capture intriguing character arcs in the midst of the blockbuster action. The director has been attached to a Metal Gear Solid movie for a while, so it’s unknown if he’d tackle another big film anytime soon. But if he does, he just has to look…up in the sky.
And now, we have a choice that will probably never happen. Denis Villeneuve is one of my new favorite directors, churning out multiple great films. His last two, Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, were big sci-fi epics. He is currently attached to a couple more films, such as Dune, which will likely keep his attention for the next couple years.
Many would argue that superhero movies are beneath Villeneuve, and rightfully so. The man is a masterful director who has turned out several great original movies. That being said, I think he would make a truly phenomenal Superman movie. His visual style, his focus on characters, and his storytelling skills could create something truly special here. But, again, this is just my wishful thinking, and I acknowledge that this is highly unlikely to ever actually happen.
Honorable Mentions: Ava DuVernay, Brad Bird, George Miller, Tim Miller, Gareth Edwards
Which director do you want to see make the next Superman movie?