When Sony was looking for a director for the reboot of its Spider-Man franchise, it chose a relatively novice director from the world of indie comedies, and we have seen how well that worked out. Now, as it once again looks for a new director to helm another reboot of the franchise, it once again is looking at predominately novice directors primarily from the world of indie comedies. Everything old is new again.
Deadline names five potential candidates for the job, with the caveat that there might be more names in the running. I’ll list them from the one I like most to the one I like least:
What has he directed that I might know?: He’s one of the more experienced directors on the list. He has directed All The Boy Love Mandy Lane, The Wackness, 50/50 and Warm Bodies.
Does he write?: Yes. He has done the screenplays for The Wackness and Warm Bodies.
Does he act? No.
My Take? All The Boys Love Mandy Lane and The Wackness were critical darlings. I have seen Warm Bodies and 50/50 and loved both of them. Levine appears to be a director that can take genre films and make them poignant and funny, which is perfect for the Spider-Man franchise.
Does he have anything coming up that I can see as an example of his work?: He will be reuniting with his 50/50 star Joseph Gordon-Levitt with November’s X-Mas, a film he also co-wrote.
What has he directed that I might know?: He directed last year’s highly regarded St. Vincent.
Does he write?: Yes. He also wrote St. Vincent.
Does he act?: He does have one acting job on his resume.
My Take?: St. Vincent was only Melfi’s second directorial effort, and it comes 15 years after his last one (1999’s Winding Roads). However, the film did get Oscar buzz and Melfi was nominated for Best Director by the Indiana Film Journalists Association. That is a pretty good last job to bring into the mix.
Does he have anything coming up that I can see as an example of his work?: He has been tapped to write and co-direct the upcoming remake of Going in Style, which is to star Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin and Michael Caine.
What has he directed that I might know?: He directed the sleeper hit of 2012, Pitch Perfect. He has also directed a number of Broadway plays.
Does he write?: He is listed as the writer of the music video for the song Cups, but that is his only writing credit.
Does he act?: He has three acting jobs on his resume, the most notable a bit part on Dawson’s Creek.
My Take?: He does have a experience in directing stories featuring misfits making good, which is Spider-Man in a nutshell, but since Spider-Man and musicals do not mix, it might be a bit out of Moore’s comfort zone.
Does he have anything coming up that I can see as an example of his work?: We will be able see how well he directs a predominantly female cast who do not sing when his Amy Poehler/Tina Fey vehicle Sisters hits theaters in December.
John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein
What have they directed that I might know?: They have directed a pair of short films, but no features that have been released as of yet.
Do they write?: The pair are most noted as writers, writing Horrible Bosses 1& 2, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and Partly Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 together.
Do they act?: Daley is primarily known as an actor, having starred in Freaks & Geeks, Waiting and Bones to name a few. Goldstein has had a cameo in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.
Do they have anything coming up that I can see as an example of his work?:The pair wrote and directed the remake by way of a quasi-sequel to Vacation, which will hit theaters in July.
My Take?:Sony is supposedly going for a John Hughes feel for the Spidey film, and these guys are continuing Hughes’ Vacation franchise, but the rest of their resume is uneven to say the least.
What has he directed that I might know?: He is arguably the most successful director on the list, having Napoleon Dynamite and Nacho Libre under his belt.
Does he write?: He has written every film he has directed to date.
Does he act?: He has roles in three, low-budget indies from 2002-2003, but his acting career ends there.
My Take?: Hess’ resume shows an esoteric eye that is more quirky than weird. From what I’ve seen of his work, I don’t know if he’d be that good of a fit for Spider-Man.
Does he have anything coming up that I can see as an example of his work?: His next directorial effort we can see will be Masterminds in August. It will be the first film he has directed that he did not have a hand in writing, and it is based on a true story.