The Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 6 is set to conclude with two Avengers films: Avengers: The Kang Dynasty spirit Avengers: Secret Warsboth set for release in 2025. Both films were announced at San Diego Comic-Con 2022 and shortly after it was confirmed that Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings director Destin Daniel Cretton would helm Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.
Unlike Avengers: Infinity War spirit Avengers: Endgame which were both helmed by the Russo Brothers, the upcoming two Avengers films will be helmed by separate filmmakers. This decision is likely down to the massive scale of both projects and with only a six-month gap in the release window, no one director could do both films. Instead, Marvel Studios is hiring two separate directors for each project who will work closely together on development.
Screenwriter Michael Waldron, who wrote Loki season one and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, has recently signed on to pen the script for Avengers: Secret Wars. This likely means a director will be announced soon. While little is known about the plot of the movie, it draws its name from two comic books: 1984’s Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars and 2015’s Secret Wars, both of which are famous for being massive crossover events between many heroes and villains.
With Marvel Studios hiring a director from one of their prior films for Avengers: The Kang Dynasty it is safe to assume they will also want another filmmaker familiar with how the studio works to helm their big massive conclusion film. Marvel Studios luckily has a long list of talented directors they worked with in the past and these are the five best choices for Avengers: Secret Wars.
The Russo Brothers
As the duo who directed the previous two Avengers movies, it makes a certain amount of sense to bring the Russo Brothers back for Avengers: Secret Wars. In the past, the Russo’s have teased they would want to helm an adaptation of Secret Warsalthough they seem to be more interested in the original 1984 storyline as opposed to the recent 2015 event comic.
However, it is because the Russo Brothers have done two Avengers movies that might be what works against them. While they did a great job on their MCU projects, the Avengers need some new creative blood to guide the franchise. This is similar to the same way the Russo’s stepped in for Joss Whedon after The Avengers spirit Avengers: Age of Ultron. The Russo Brothers have also moved on and have started making new projects, and likely want to stay in their own creative world than return to Marvel.
James Gunn is a director with the rare distinction of working on both a major Marvel property (Guardians of the Galaxy) and a DC one (The Suicide Squad). With years of experience managing not only projects with heavy VFX use but also large ensembles, he seems like the perfect choice for Avengers: Secret Wars. Yet Gunn might just be too busy. He has spoken multiple times about how Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is the final entry for the team in the MCU. While there might be more Guardians of the Galaxy movies in the future, they will look very different than what audiences have grown to expect.
On top of that, Gunn is working on Peacemaker season two, as well as another spin-off two The Suicide Squad focused on Amanda Waller. He is also rumored to have another DC movie lined up, although with the current state of Warner Bros. Discovery action of DC that remains to be seen. With all that having been said, while Gunn would be more than a welcome choice for MCU fans to helm a project like Avengers: Secret Wars and Marvel Studios would likely want to have one of the longest-time collaborators at the helm, it might not be in the cards as Gunn teased he is probably done with Marvel after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Marvel Studios lucked out with Chloe Zhao. When she was first hired to do Eternals, she was a critically acclaimed director with low-budget movies under her belt like many of their recent picks. Yet due to the COVID-19 pandemic delaying Eternalsby the time the movie was released Zhao’s other film, the indie Nomadland, had won the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Director. It was the first time an MCU movie had been directed by an Oscar-winning filmmaker. While the reviews for Eternals were mixed, it was a film that showed Marvel Studios was willing to swing for the fences. It was a gamble and in terms of making a visually distinctive and unique MCU film, Zhao delivered.
Having an Academy Award-winner directing Avengers: Secret Wars would never be considered a bad call. Zhao seemed to have a great time working with Marvel Studios, and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige spoke highly of working with Zhao so she seems like a perfect candidate. With Destin Daniel Cretton directing Avengers: The Kang Dynasty it would seem appropriate for Zhao to helm Avengers: Secret Wars letting the culmination of the Multiverse Saga being directed by the two filmmakers who introduced two new franchises into the MCU at the beginning of Phase 4.
When it comes to filmmakers working within the MCU, it is arguably safe to say that Ryan Coogler is the best one working at the studio. Even before the job for Black Pantherhe was already an acclaimed filmmaker for his work on Fruitvale Station spirit Creed. With Black PantherCoogler directed the first MCU film to earn a nomination for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
Anticipation for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is high, from the fact that it is a sequel to a beloved movie to the tragic real-world circumstance of star Chadwick Boseman’s passing being an element the film has to work with. Yet Ryan Coogler is a strong director who the audience can have faith in to deliver a quality movie with rich themes.
Coogler spoke about how he almost walked away from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever after Chadwick Boseman’s passing. Yet he stayed on, inspired by Boseman, and has also become more involved with the MCU acting as a producer on Ironheart and a Disney+ series based on Wakanda. While Coogler likely could step away for a bit after Black Panther: Wakanda Forevera project like Avengers: Secret Wars requires a director with the skill and voice to pull its massive scale. Coogler has proven himself time and time again and nobody would be disappointed if he was announced as the director of Avengers: Secret Wars.
One element of Marvel’s Multiverse Saga has been not just a focus on the MCU but embracing the past legacy of all Marvel films. Spider-Man: No Way Home brought in both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield to reprise their Spider-Man incarnations. Patrick Stewart reprized his role as Professor X in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Deadpool 3 has confirmed that Hugh Jackman will appear once more as Wolverine.
This could indicate that Avengers: Secret Wars will be not just the conclusion of Phase 6 but also a giant love letter to Marvel’s rich cinematic history. With that in mind, one ideal filmmaker to direct Avengers: Secret Wars ice Sam Raimi. Raimi not only directed the original Spider-Man trilogy which helped launch the modern Marvel age of superheroes, but he directed Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Raimi and Kevin Feige seem to have a good working relationship, and Raimi has shown the ability to jump into a studio picture and not only give what the studio wants but also add his unique voice.
When Avengers: Secret Wars comes out it will arrive 27 years after the release of Leaves, which arguably kicked off the new era of superhero movies. If Avengers: Secret Wars is a big grand multiversal epic that is meant to be a celebration of Marvel’s film history, Raimi’s past working both on a pre-MCU film and an MCU movie makes him a perfect candidate for what could be Marvel Studios’ epic conclusion before a new beginning .