Despite the sheer number as well as the sheer range of movies that have been produced under the MCU umbrella, the franchise has managed to maintain a surprising level of excellence. In significant part, this can be accredited to the directors who have worked on its movies, though in this as in other things, some have been better than others.
Here is our list of the top five MCU directors that we have seen so far:
Shane Black’s Iron Man 3 is interesting in that it seems to inspire strong feelings from both ends of the spectrum. On the one hand, die-hard fans hated the fact that one of the more iconic Iron Man villains was turned into a prop for people to focus on while the real villains conducted his activities ensconced in the heart of the United States. On the other hand, the faux Mandarin was a cornerstone of the movie’s critique of American assumptions about the world, which was rather unusual for a franchise that tends to be more focused on big blockbuster. Regardless, there can be no doubt about the fact that Iron Man 3 was a huge commercial success, seeing as how it brought in more than a billion dollars at the box office.
Jon Favreau loses points for Iron Man 2, which was still a commercial success but suffered from bloat as well as insufficient development for its main villain. However, Favreau deserves major kudos for Iron Man, which was not just a success in all respects but also laid down the template followed by all of the other movies in the MCU. Combined with the fact that he was the one who cast Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark, Favreau’s contributions to the franchise cannot be obscured by one misstep.
The Russo Brothers have been entrusted with both Avengers: Infinity War and its unnamed sequel, which makes sense considering their work on Captain America: The Winter Soldier as well as Captain America: Civil War. After all, they managed to make an excellent thriller that happened to feature superheroes before outdoing themselves with the follow-up, which was all the more surprising because their best-known work prior to the MCU was the comedy series Arrested Development.
Interestingly, Joe Johnston had actually directed another superhero movie set around World War Two called The Rocketeer, which provided him with plenty of useful expertise and experience when it came to translating Captain America to the movie screen. The result has been sensational, so much so that Captain America has now become one of the most heroic icons of modern times.
Although he has since left the MCU, Joss Whedon will always be remembered for his work on Avengers as well as Avengers: Age of Ultron, which managed to weave together the disparate parts of the franchise into relatively cohesive wholes that were nonetheless immense fun for the viewers. Sure, he had his fair share of missteps here and there, but considering the magnitude of the task that was entrusted to him, he deserves immense respect for what he managed to accomplish over the course of his time with the franchise. Simply put, he was a true fan of Marvel Comics, which showed in his involvement with the MCU.