Following SDCC ’22, Secret Wars is no longer a secret. Kevin Feige unveiled Marvel Studios incredibly ambitious Multiverse Saga in July and even though some dates have shifted around a bit since then, it still all ends with Avengers: Secret Wars on May 1st, 2026. Michael Waldron, who introduced the rules of the Multiverse in Loki and then took Doctor Strange on a brief tour of it in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, has been tasked with writing the film, but as of now, the project is without a director. Marvel Studios doesn’t need to be in a rush given the film doesn’t release for over three and a half years, but with a project this big, it’s likely they’ve narrowed down their list and will be choosing someone soon. With that in mind, here’s a look at some in-house candidates that aren’t Joe and Anthony Russo who might be up for the big job…
Among the in-house candidates to take on Avengers: Secret Wars, Ryan Coogler is inarguably the most talented and arguably the safest choice. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is about to blow up the box office, likely giving Coogler two of the highest-grossing non-Avengers films. All logic would dictate that Feige and Coogler had to have at least talked about the possibility of him directing Avengers: Secret Wars. The only real question might be: does he want to do it? Coogler is a deeply passionate creator and I’ve often heard his approach to the worlds of Wakanda and now Talocan compared with the depth of George Lucas’ creation of the Star Wars universe. It’s possible, maybe even likely, that Coogler would prefer to continue to develop more projects (Ironheart, for example, is led by Coogler’s production team) within and connected to these worlds. Whether he chooses to stick to what he’s doing or tackle Avengers: Secret Wars, fans of the MCU still win.
Marvel Studios has had some troubled productions since 2020. Whether due to COVID, changing directors, clashing visions, starting productions with 2/3 of a script or reshooting third acts, some of the roads on the way to what have all been fine finsihed products have been bumpy. One production that by all accounts seems to have been fairly smooth sailing, however, was The Marvels. The films three leads, Brie Larson, Iman Vellani and Teyonah Parris have all gone on record gushing about working with diretor Nia DaCosta, who took on a heavy project in her first MCU gig. DaCosta also reportedly established a great rapport with Feige, who was very pleased with The Marvels, a film which I’ve heard nothing but great things about. Having handled a team-up film in her first go around gives DaCosta some sense of what Avengers: Secret Wars will be like, even if it’s not quite the same scale. DaCosta checks a lot of the boxes the studio is likely using to choose the director for that project.
Reed may not be a popular choice amongst fans, but his first two Ant-Man films were solid, if not underrated, entries that were done the disservice of being released near major event films. By all accounts (and the trailer allows fans their first look at it), Reed absolutely slayed it with Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania which had what I’ve heard called one of Marvel’s best-ever scripts by Jeff Loveness. The teaser should make it clear that Quantumania will be a major step up in terms of the impact the film will have on the ongoing saga when compared to the previous two Ant-Man films and it should also be clear that this Variant of Jonathan Majors’ Kang is one of the ones to be worried about. Reed had a huge job to do and he nailed it. He’s proven he can run a clean production, he’s worked extensively with the Volume (which will be needed on something like Secret Wars) and has a great relationship with Marvel Studios and Feige. Don’t sleep on Reed connecting with Waldron on Avengers: Secret Wars.