Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can…or whatever his director tells him to do. As candidates for the role of Peter Parker assemble in Atlanta for make it or break it screen tests, Sony Pictures and Marvel are narrowing down their list of directors for the forthcoming 2017 Spider-Man standalone movie. According to Deadline, the shortlist includes Ted Melfi (St. Vincent), Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies), John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein (Vacation), and Jon Watts (Cop Car). The report also notes that it remains unclear whether the eventual director would also have a hand in scriptwriting duties as well, but given that several of the aforementioned names are writer-directors, it probably isn’t out if the question.
Spider-Man will next be seen in Captain America: Civil War, which is set to release on May 6, 2016 and will then star in a solo adventure in 2017, rumored to be titled Spider-Man: The New Avenger. What we know so far about the film is that it will focus on a teenaged, high school-aged Peter Parker and will eschew the origin story (thank god) in favor of dropping the viewers into the Spider-action. Killing Uncle Ben three times in fifteen years would just be gratuitous, after all. Oh, and Matthew McConaughey may play Norman Osborn because, sure, why not?
Of the assembled directors, I would be happy with damn near any of them, but the most exciting name listed is Jonathan Levine. Warm Bodies could have easily descended into fantastical, YA shlock, but Levine imbued the zom-com with heart, humor, and a light touch that made it one of the most pleasant surprises I had seen in quite some time. I mean, my real first choice would be Werner Herzog and the film would be about a crazed loner who goes off to live among a colony of spiders, but I guess that’s just too avant-garde for some Marvel purists out there…
We’ll continue to update you as this story develops. In the meantime, let us know what you would want to see from a new standalone Spider-Man story and who you would want to direct it in the comments below.
Dan Casey is the senior editor of Nerdist and the author of 100 Things Avengers Should Know & Do Before They Die. You can follow him on Twitter (@Osteoferocious).