Summary

  • Shawn Levy’s experience in comedies, dramas, and fantasy projects makes him a strong asset to direct future MCU projects after
    Deadpool & Wolverine
    .
  • Shawn Levy would be a great match for future
    Ant-Man, Thor, Spider-Man, Young Avengers
    and
    Midnight Sons
    projects.
  • Shawn Levy could use his experience working with mutant characters to direct the MCU’s
    X-Men
    reboot or future
    Deadpool
    sequels.

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Following the release of Marvel Studios’ Deadpool & Wolverine, there are several upcoming and rumored MCU projects that Shawn Levy would be a fantastic director for. Acclaimed director, producer, screenwriter and actor Shawn Levy made his directorial feature film debut in 1997 with Address Unknown and romantic comedy-drama Just in Time, and has since worked across a variety of genres and film and TV franchises. Levy won a Producers Guild of America Award for his work on Netflix’s Stranger Things, and has been nominated for Emmys, BAFTAs and even an Academy Award, making him a huge asset to Marvel Studios.

After working with Ryan Reynolds on Free Guy and The Adam Project, and Hugh Jackman on Real Steel and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, Shawn Levy joined the production of Marvel Studios’ Deadpool & Wolverine in March 2022. Deadpool & Wolverine will bring Reynolds’ Deadpool and Jackman’s Wolverine into the MCU following their debuts in Fox’s X-Men franchise. With Levy’s experience in comedies, dramas and fantasy projects, Deadpool & Wolverine promises to be a strong addition to the MCU’s Phase 5, and its suspected success may lead to Shawn Levy directing more projects in the MCU’s future.

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10 Avengers 5 & Secret Wars Still Don’t Have A Director

Avengers 5 & Avengers: Secret Wars Will Release In 2026 & 2027, Respectively

Sam Wilson's Captain America in his new costume in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's finale

Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige announced the development of Avengers: The Kang Dynasty – now reportedly being referred to as Avengers 5 – and Avengers: Secret Wars for the MCU’s Phase 6 in 2022. Originally, Shang-Chi director Destin Daniel Cretton was attached to Avengers 5, but he departed to focus on Shang-Chi 2. It would make sense for the same director to lead both Avengers 5 and Secret Wars, akin to the Russo brothers directing Infinity War and Endgame, and Shawn Levy would be a great match for these epic adventures, particularly after his strong work on Deadpool & Wolverine​​​​​​​.

Avengers 5’s storyline has reportedly been changing following Jonathan Majors’ conviction and firing from Marvel Studios, as the MCU may be moving away from Kang the Conqueror, though this is still unclear.

9 Ant-Man & The Wasp Sequel Would Benefit From Shawn Levy Balanced Comedy

Ant-Man 4 Hasn’t Yet Been Confirmed

Following the disappointing performance of 2023’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Marvel Studios may be looking to take the Ant-Man franchise in a different direction. Peyton Reed has directed all three Ant-Man projects so far, but Shawn Levy could bring new layers to the franchise, potentially revitalizing Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang and Evangeline Lilly’s Hope van Dyne similarly to Taika Waititi’s work on Thor: Ragnarok. Quantumania’s ending teased a darker future for Scott Lang, and Levy’s production work on Arrival, Kin and The Boogeyman has proven he’s adept at delivering these grounded tones, which would benefit the MCU’s Ant-Man​​​​​​​ franchise.

8 Shawn Levy’s Darker Techniques Would Be Perfect For Thor 5

Thor Needs Redemption After 2022’s Thor: Love & Thunder

Thor fighting Gorr the God Butcher in the Shadow Realm in Thor Love and Thunder

Similarly to Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, 2022’s Thor: Love and Thunder also performed poorly, which spurred reports that, if Thor 5 is put into development, Taika Waititi would not return. Chris Hemsworth has stressed that Thor 5 needs a change of tone, and Shawn Levy can use his experience in darker storylines and more dramatic projects to instill a sense of intensity into the as-yet-unconfirmed sequel. Should Levy direct Thor 5, the more dramatic sides of Thor can come to the forefront, while the comedic tones of Ragnarok and Love and Thunder can still continue, only not as overt.​​​​​​​

7 Sam Raimi Received Criticism For Doctor Strange 2, Shawn Levy Would Be Great For A Sequel

Doctor Strange 3 Is Rumored To Be In Development

Doctor Strange speaking to Clea with a third eye in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Sam Raimi joining Marvel Studios as the director of 2022’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was exciting for fans of Raimi’s previous superhero adaptations. However, the Phase 4 project received some criticism, and though most of this was aimed at the script, it’s possible Marvel Studios may hire a new director for the heavily-rumored Doctor Strange 3. Shawn Levy’s previous work on science fiction projects, including Kin, Crater and Stranger Things, as well as his time travel flick, The Adam Project, makes him a perfect fit for Doctor Strange 3, bringing some levity to the surely-intense upcoming story.

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6 Shawn Levy Could Take Over From James Gunn For Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 4

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New Guardians of the Galaxy team at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Shawn Levy’s previous experience in lighthearted franchises, including the Night at the Museum franchise, could make him a brilliant match for the weird and wonderful world of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Following 2023’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, James Gunn departed Marvel Studios to become co-CEO of DC Studios, meaning he won’t be leading any future Guardians of the Galaxy projects in the MCU. None have yet been confirmed, but Shawn Levy could follow in Gunn’s footsteps to develop fresh adventures for the MCU’s new Guardians of the Galaxy team, leaning heavily on his experience in fantasy projects.

5 Deadpool & Spider-Man Could Team Up In A Shawn Levy-Directed Spider-Man Sequel

Tom Holland Could Be Returning For A New MCU Spider-Man Trilogy

Shawn Levy and Ryan Reynolds have cultivated a strong working relationship since working together on 2021’s Free Guy, with Reynolds starring in the Levy-directed The Adam Project and the upcoming Levy-directed comedy Boy Band. Given Ryan Reynolds’ passion for the role of Wade Wilson’s Deadpool, it’s very possible that Shawn Levy could return to bring the Merc-with-a-Mouth into the wider world of the MCU, potentially teaming him up with heroes he partners with in Marvel Comics. This could see Levy take on a future MCU Spider-Man movie, as Deadpool and Spider-Man had a long-running comic series between 2016 and 2019.​​​​​​​

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4 The Young Avengers Could Benefit From Shawn Levy’s Previous Superhero Experience

The Marvels Provided The MCU’s First Real Young Avengers Tease

Kamala Khan speaking to Kate Bishop with SABER tablet in The Marvels

Back in 2018, Shawn Levy produced the dystopian superhero flick The Darkest Minds, focusing on a group of superpowered children on the run from the government. Levy’s previous work with young superpowered individuals would make him a brilliant match to direct projects focusing on the MCU’s upcoming Young Avengers team. 2023’s The Marvels provided the MCU’s first overt tease toward the formation of the Young Avengers, after Marvel Studios has spent several years introducing potential members, including Ms. Marvel and Kate Bishop’s Hawkeye. Shawn Levy could take on this highly-anticipated project and bring the Young Avengers into the live-action MCU.

Potential Young Avengers members in the MCU include Kamala Khan, Kate Bishop, Billy and Tommy Maximoff, America Chavez, Skaar, Riri Williams and Eli Bradley, among many others.

3 Shawn Levy Could Direct A Stranger Things-Inspired Midnight Sons Movie

The MCU’s Midnight Sons Team Has Been Heavily Rumored

Marc Spector in his Moon Knight costume in the final battle of Moon Knight

As well as his work in comedies, Shawn Levy has achieved recognition as the director of eight episodes of popular Netflix series Stranger Things. His work on Stranger Things has proven that Levy can take on darker and grittier storylines with ease and poise, most notably his direction of 2022’s season 4, episode 4, “Dear Billy,” which dealt heavily with Max Mayfield’s grief and Vecna’s pursuit of her. This experience makes Levy a great fit for Marvel Studios’ potential Midnight Sons-focused project, bringing together supernatural antiheroes such as Blade, Moon Knight and Werewolf by Night in a darker MCU story.

2 Shawn Levy Can Use His Mutant Experience To Bring The X-Men To The MCU

Marvel Studios Is Developing The MCU’s X-Men Movie

Professor X using his power on the Scarlet Witch on Earth-838 in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Shawn Levy’s work on Deadpool & Wolverine has seen him not only take on MCU characters, but also direct mutant heroes from 20th Century Fox’s X-Men franchise. This means Levy has more experience than any other MCU director of working with mutant characters from Marvel Comics, and bringing them effectively into live-action, which means he could be perfect for Marvel Studios’ X-Men reboot. This highly-anticipated project is expected to introduce the MCU’s official X-Men team, which would give Levy a lot of responsibility, but with his impressive work on Deadpool & Wolverine so far, he’d surely rise to the opportunity.

1 Deadpool & Wolverine Won’t Be The End For Deadpool In The MCU

Shawn Levy Could Return For A Deadpool & Wolverine Sequel

Phase 5’s Deadpool & Wolverine will be introducing Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool into the MCU for the first time, but this surely won’t be his final adventure in the MCU. Deadpool is, so far, the only character from Fox’s X-Men franchise who has been confirmed to be making the permanent move into the MCU, and Shawn Levy could return in the future to direct his frequent collaborator Reynolds in even more Deadpool sequels in the MCU’s future. It’s unclear what adventures Wade Wilson’s Deadpool will embark on after Deadpool & Wolverine, but he’d be in very safe hands with Shawn Levy.

Deadpool 3 Poster Showing Two Halves of a Heart Necklace with Wolverine and Deadpool

Deadpool & Wolverine

A sequel to the highly successful Deadpool and Deadpool 2 starring Ryan Reynolds as the Merc with a Mouth. The third film will be the first film in the franchise to be developed under the Marvel Studios banner following Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox. Ryan Reynolds is returning to play the character, alongside Hugh Jackman, reprising his Wolverine role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the first time. 

Director
Shawn Levy

Release Date
July 26, 2024

Key Release Dates

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