SPIDER-MAN Director Search Narrowed to Finalists, Including Jonathan Levine

     June 2, 2015


With a casting decision for the new Spider-Man imminent, Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios continue to hone in on who will direct the first standalone Spider-Man reboot. Drew Goddard’s name was the first to pop up, but he was conspicuously left out of a shortlist that surfaced early last month. That report named Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies), Jason Moore (Pitch Perfect), John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein (Vacation), Ted Melfi (St. Vincent), and Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite) as some of the contenders that were vying for the gig, and now it appears that Sony and Marvel have narrowed that list down to a couple of finalists.

Per Deadline, Melfi and Levine are currently the two filmmakers that Sony and Marvel are favoring, though the report notes that Daley & Goldstein are still in the mix—the trailer for their Vacation reboot was met with a positive response when it hit a few weeks ago.


Image via Summit Entertainment

The report notes that in addition to favorites Melfi and Levine, a new contender has surfaced in the form of Jon Watts, the director of the Sundance thriller Cop Car which stars Kevin Bacon as a terrifying police officer. A final decision is expected to come down quickly as the picture is already dated for July 28, 2017, but it remains unclear if the director hired will also write the script for the new Spider-Man or if Marvel and Sony will tap an outside writer to do so. Melfi, Levine, Watts, and Goldstein & Daley are all writer-directors, so penning the screenplay in addition to directing wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for them.

While Sony Pictures will be the studio releasing this standalone Spider-Man pic, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige is producing the film in a joint effort between the two studios. The final decision for the director comes down to Feige and Sony producer Amy Pascal, with Sony head Tom Rothman also in the mix.

I’ll admit I had my heart set on Goddard for the job, and someone threw Greg Mottola into the mix recently which got me excited. Out of this crop, though, Levine feels like the most exciting choice, as he’s shown a wonderful ability to tell intimate stories with equal parts heart and humor in films like Warm Bodies and 50/50.


Image via Sony Pictures

The new Spider-Man will first appear in Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War before this new film, which will take place in high school, starts a brand new franchise for the character. As things begin to wind down, expect some big and official news on the Spidey front any day now.

For a refresher on all of Marvel’s confirmed releases, see below. And for a catalog of all upcoming superhero movie release dates, click here.

  • Ant-Man – July 17, 2015
  • Captain America: Civil War – May 6, 2016
  • Doctor Strange – November 6, 2016
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017
  • Untitled Spider-Man Reboot – July 28, 2017
  • Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017
  • Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 – May 4, 2018
  • Black Panther – July 6, 2018
  • Captain Marvel – November 2, 2018
  • Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 – May 3, 2019
  • Inhumans – July 12, 2019

Image via Marvel Comics


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