The search is on as Marvel starts meeting with possible ‘Doctor Strange’ directors

Are you ready for the weird era at Marvel?

It’s exciting to think that we’re getting ready to kick off the strangest run of movies they’ve made so far, because it feels like that’s the only way they’re going to be able to continue to grow and evolve as a studio. While Warner and DC struggle to catch up to the game that Marvel’s been playing so well for the last five years, Marvel is getting ready to shake up the formula completely.

While the final fate of the film won’t be written until August of this year, it’s safe to say Marvel has to be feeling good about the reaction to the “Guardians Of The Galaxy” trailer this week. Considering how people have been naysaying the film since it was first announced, it feels like they turned a pretty major corner in terms of public perception, and now they’ve made a solid start that they can build off of for the next five months or so.

In the meantime, Edgar Wright is just getting ready to start production on “Ant-Man,” another movie that people have spent a fair amount of time questioning since it was first announced. I suspect it’s another one where that will change as soon as people actually get a sense of what it is that Wright is making, and that cast is just remarkable. Michael Douglas. Paul Rudd. Michael Pena. Evangeline Lily. It’s a cool ensemble, and it’ll be interesting to see how Wright builds entire action sequences around what Devin Faraci dubbed “size-fu” after the test footage was shown at Comic-Con.

As strange as “Guardians” looks to be, it’s ultimately going to feel somewhat familiar to fans of something like “Star Wars.” I think they’ve got a far weirder challenge ahead with “Doctor Strange,” which has been Kevin Feige’s dream project ever since Marvel Studios got up and running. Right now, according to Borys Kit over at the Hollywood Reporter, Marvel is talking to directors who are trying to make the case for why they should be the ones to bring Doctor Strange to life, and looking at the list of names he mentioned, it seems to me that Marvel is once again looking to make a choice that is anything but the easy one.

Mark Andrews is one of the guys who has been a major creative player at Pixar for a while now, and he’s got a great sense of story. How he’ll handle live-action is certainly a question to consider, but so much of “Doctor Strange” will have to deal in extravagant special effects and surreal world-building that his background might turn out to be a huge asset. Nikolaj Arcel’s “A Royal Affair” is a stylish, pretty movie, but it also has a strong emphasis on performance, and he does a great job of drawing an audience into the world he’s creating. I think it’s hard to judge Dean Israelite so far, considering “Welcome To Yesterday” was pushed back and won’t be out until later this year. Jonathan Levine, who directed “Warm Bodies” and “50/50,” is one of those guys who hasn’t made the same film twice so far, and he seems to be getting better from film to film.

Any one of them would be a surprising choice, but that’s what Marvel has built their brand by doing, and I am very curious to see if they’re genuinely going to pull the trigger and finally make what could be a seriously odd but beautiful movie.

“Guardians Of The Galaxy” arrives August 1, 2015.
“Ant-Man” is in theaters July 17, 2015.