Marvel fans across the globe are still reeling from the high of the 2022 Marvel Studios San Diego Comic-Con panel. The event revealed to the world the MCU's plans for the next four years, including the full Phase 5 slate, and the next two Avengers movie titles, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars.
Kang's deep involvement in the next era of Marvel Studios storytelling has been obvious since he was introduced back in Season 1 of Loki, and rumors of a Secret Wars film have circled internet forums since the end of the Infinity Saga.
But the question of who is actually going to direct these mega-blockbusters is still up in the air. The Russo Brothers have been thrown around in the Secret Wars conversation for quite some time, but the directing duo has recently said they are in fact not involved.
To add to the discussion, Kevin Feige has stirred the pot yet again, making statements about the directing job for Avengers 5 and 6.
Who Is Directing Avengers 5 & 6?
Speaking with Variety at San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige spoke on the directing search for Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars, confirming that the Russo Brothers have nothing to do with the latter.
After being asked who would direct Secret Wars after the Russos denied any involvement, Feige responded "we do not have a director for Secret Wars." He then went on to double down on the Russo Brothers not being involved by noting "they're very busy running their AGBO empire and the world is better for it.”
While discussing the other Avengers film that was announced, The Kang Dynasty, the Marvel exec said fans "will see about some of the other director announcements at some point:"
“We do not have a director for Secret Wars and you will see about some of the other director announcements at some point. But no, they are not lying to you. They’re telling the truth. They’re very busy running their AGBO empire and the world is better for it.”
Who Are the Best Directors for Avengers 5 & 6?
For many, it seemed like a lock that the Russos would be back to direct a potential Secret Wars movie. Now that one is on the MCU slate, it only felt like a matter of time before the pair was announced to be taking the directing seat.
But that does not seem to be the case. Of course, Feige could be playing coy here. It would not be the first time that someone close to Marvel Studios blatantly lied to reporters. However, this feels a little different. The Russos put in their time with the franchise, and Endgame felt like a natural end to not only the Infinity Saga, but also the pair's tenure in the MCU.
So who could be taking the helm on Marvel's next two team-ups? Well, here are just a couple of directors that could fit the bill if Marvel wants a new face instead of a veteran MCU filmmaker.
Now, to a certain contingent of Star Wars fans, Rian Johnson touching another beloved franchise seems like sacrilege. The director didn't exactly bring together the masses with his sequel trilogy entry, The Last Jedi. But Johnson is a capable director and could be perfect for either The Kang Dynasty or Secret Wars.
Before The Last Jedi, Johnson released a modern sci-fi classic in Looper. This Joseph Gordon-Levitt-led thriller could be the perfect proving piece for the director to take on something as big as Avengers 5 and 6.
In Lopper, Johnson proved he has the right tools to take on a Multiversal/reality-bending story, so why not bring him in to tell Marvel's ultimate Multiverse story?
Dan Trachtenberg may not be a household name like the Russos or Rian Johnson, but in the next couple of years, he certainly will be. Trachtenberg showed up on the mainstream's radar back in 2016 with 10 Cloverfield Lane. This spin on the Cloverfield franchise (which Marvel is stealing another director from) took the series into a confined thriller setting, with star John Goodman playing a crazy man who has locked a girl in an underground bunker after what he thinks is a world-ending event.
Most recently, Trachtenberg sat in the directing chair for the Predator spin-off Prey, a Hulu original movie that is getting rave reviews in early screenings, with some calling it the best film in the franchise.
Yes, both the movies listed above are a little more mature than what Avengers 5 and 6 may be, but whoever takes on either of these projects is going to have to nail tension, and Trachtenberg has proven time and time again that he can do that.
Top Gun: Maverick is at the top of many moviegoers' minds still after months of the film being out in theaters. If Marvel Studios wanted that kind of staying power for either Kang Dynasty or Secret Wars (which they surely do), they have to give Top Gun 2 director Joseph Kosinski a call.
Kosinski has proven that he can make blockbusters. Whether it's Tron: Legacy, this summer's Spiderhead, or, of course, Top Gun: Maverick, Kosinski has showcased a proficiency at making highly watchable and entertaining audience pleasers.
Having worked with Disney before, as well as some of the biggest names in Hollywood (i.e. Tom Cruise), Kosinski feels like has all the right stuff to put together an Avengers movie.
Brad Bird has been at the top of the list for a Marvel project for a while now, with many calling for the Incredibles director to take on the MCU's Fantastic Four movie. But why not start him off with the Avengers instead?
Bird has a style that would be a perfect fit in the MCU. With projects like Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and The Iron Giant, the director has proven that he can perfectly distill both action and heart into one cohesive picture.
It is this mix that would make him prime MCU director material, especially for something as action-packed as both these Avengers projects are set up to be.
Avengers in Waiting
All of these filmmakers feel like they could make something truly special if they were given the opportunity to work on Avengers 5 or 6. But there is no rush for Marvel Studios to lock someone down.
Surely, Kevin Feige and co. are pouring over potential candidates, making sure they do not mess this up. Fans will find out in due time, as the MCU moves ever closer to its next tentpole team-up events.
Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars are due out in May and November 2025, respectively.