Let's face it, we can't flip through any kind of movie news without seeing something about directors being courted for the next best superhero franchise. Sometimes this news excites us, like the idea of F. Gary Gray taking over The Black Panther. Other times, we wonder what in the hell they were thinking, (*cough, cough* Josh Trank *cough*). Either way, we're always left dreaming about what could have been. Every time we open a comic book, we sit and think about how incredible this would be on the big screen, if only the perfect director were at the helm. With that in mind, I've compiled a list of seven director/comic book pairings that comic book fans, as well as film nerds would drool over for years to come.
1. PLANET HULK by GEORGE MILLER
When I heard there was a new Mad Max coming out in 2015, I was less than pleased. An old Mel Gibson franchise being resurrected to make a quick buck? Get that crap outta here. I'm so glad that I was in the wrong with that one. George Miller gave us a modern-day masterpiece on a sandy, road-raging platter. Mad Max: Fury Road was damn near perfect, and I think Planet Hulk could be the same. If you haven't read Planet Hulk, here's the short version: The Hulk is banished from Earth and lands on a planet of gladiators where he must fight for his freedom. Thinking about the beauty of the locale and the adrenaline fueled action sequences that made Max such a treasure, Miller could definitely bring this incredible story of brutality and revenge to life.
2. MARVEL:1602 by JUSTIN KURZEL
1602 might be one of my favorite Marvel stories to date. Everyone's favorite heroes living in victorian England and trying to save the world as they know it from Count Otto Von Doom? It's a brilliant story, and it would take a brilliant mind to bring it to life on the big screen. While Justin Kurzel is by no means a household name, he is quickly becoming known in the film world for taking action back a couple of centuries. His recently completed Macbeth, starring Michael Fassbender, is on everyone's award radar and he is now getting ready to start production on the Assassin's Creed film adaption. For a look at just what he can do with some old fashioned wit and weaponry, here's the trailer for his new film, Macbeth.
3. WATCHMEN by DENIS VILLENEUVE
I'll be the first to admit: I really don't like Zack Snyder's Watchmen. I mean, I really don't like Zack Snyder comic book anything, but that's neither here nor there. Watchmen is such a dark and brooding action thriller on its pages, I want the same to be said about it on the screen. There's nobody out there right now pulling off dark and brooding better than Denis Villeneuve. Between his 2013 breakout Prisoners, and his incredible FBI drama Sicario, Villeneuve is really firing on all cylinders, and could really make a masterpiece with the Watchmen.
4. HOWARD THE DUCK by KEVIN SMITH
Stay with me here. I know that this sounds silly and, by all means, it should. This is the comic book comedy we've always been waiting for. Howard comics were notorious for bringing in all kinds of different Marvel cameos throughout the years and has always been great about never taking itself too seriously. Hmm...comedy...cameos...and comic books? Sounds like a Kevin Smith movie already! We've learned from Guardians of the Galaxy that a talking animal can actually be funny in this day and age, and I can't think of a better director to care for the Marvel universe while still managing to make fun of it. This is by no means a blockbuster hit, but this could be a hilarious ride that would make us forget all about that animatronic mess left by George Lucas.
5. BATGIRL by LEXI ALEXANDER
If you know the name Lexi Alexander, it's probably not for a good reason. She did helm the disastrous Punisher: War Zone a few years back, but I believe she can be redeemed. Her debut film, Green Street Hooligans, was everything any of us want in a street-level comic book movie. It's got grit, humor, and some of the best hand-to-hand fight scenes I've seen in a long time. Watching a band of British thugs take to each other in some brick alleyways really makes me believe that Alexander could bring a new hero, and a new breed of justice, to the streets of Gotham. If you aren't on board yet, check out the clip from Green Street below. Now picture Barbara Gordon rising to power in Batman's absence. Plus, there's some kick-ass redheads around today that could really put some bad guys to shame (here's to looking at you, Rose Leslie.) WARNING: The language in this video is definitely NSFW.
6. THE KILLING JOKE by DARREN ARONOFSKY
Let that soak in for a second. The most twisted story of DC lure in the hands of one of the more twisted and thought-provoking directors of our time. Just ten minutes of Aronofsky's Requiem for a Dream and you can already picture him helming the rise of the greatest comic villain of all time. Think about the insanity and violence that is the joker and how incredible it would be to watch him become the villain he is today. Now if only there was an actor capable of pulling that off. Hmm......
7. OLD MAN LOGAN by QUENTIN TARANTINO
I'm 100% convinced that this would instantly be one my favorite movies, and I bet you are too. Decades after the majority of Marvel heroes are massacred, an aged Wolverine and blind Hawkeye must travel across the barren country, killing villains and bringing vengeance to the world they once knew. There is swordfights, anger, blood, and plenty of sarcasm to make this the perfect Tarantino vehicle. I love the ideas on this list but, if I could only have one, this would be it. Tarantino piloting a washed up and downtrodden Logan through a villainous countryside and through his own bloody past, this is a movie I would watch again and again.