What If: Alternative Movie Directors For Huge Film Franchises

Recently the Russo Brothers shared pictures of what the Avengers would look like had those films been directed by auteur filmmaker Wes Anderson (created by Instagram user Adam Hall using AI art software). Considering the specific styles of both Anderson and the MCU the results were bizarre but did get people imagining what these films might be like. Bill Murray as a world-weary Tony Stark, Tilda Swinton as a far odder Black Widow, with the films focusing on eccentric projects, the background sadness of life and, of course, symmetry. So here are some famous franchised reimagined with a different director – not suggesting a remake or reboot but that these were the originals.

Fast & Furious – Martin Scorsese

Fast & Furious 6
This wouldn’t happen in Scorsese’s version // Credit: Fast & Furious 6, Universal Pictures

The bizarrely successful Fast & Furious franchise has been around for 20 years and there are nine or ten (depending on how you count them) films already made. Scorsese could easily whittle that down to three long ones, with a de-aged Robert De Niro having a career as a street racer/criminal over decades. A de-aged Joe Pesci could play his wild friend/rival who takes too many risks when driving and Leonardo Di Caprio entering late in the trilogy as the undercover cop and/or Howards Hughes-style billionaire inventor wanting to make the fastest car in the world out of wood. The physics-defying antics of the films are replaced with short but extremely violent outbursts of criminal behaviour and the soundtrack is overwhelmingly The Rolling Stones.

Twilight – David Cronenberg

Cronenberg’s version would have a lot more blood //credit: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part One, Summit Entertainment

A story with as many different monsters and peculiar goings-on as the Twilight series could be brought to cinema in many different ways. The story already contains so much potential for body horror: people transform into monsters, vampires drink blood, there are unusual pregnancies and unusual childhoods, and who better than David Cronenberg to capture the horrific madness of it all? Obviously, throw in Viggo Mortensen somewhere but it would be fine keeping Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, who have both shown a willingness to take on very interesting roles, with both appearing in Cronenberg films. Twilight received some criticism from monster fans in that vampires didn’t seem much like vampires, werewolves could change form at will in quite an unspectacular way, but Cronenberg would certainly provide more visceral creatures. The Fly is famous for the transformation of its scientist protagonist, Shivers a controversial and early foray into body-horror and with Rabid touching upon themes of vampires and zombies but in an utterly terrifying and horrific to watch way.

American Pie – Greta Gerwig

Gerwig's Lady Bird, credit: Universal Pictures
Gerwig’s Lady Bird, credit: Universal Pictures

The awful American Pie franchise has dated about as bad as it is possible to date, with so many of the “jokes” just being truly awful things happening. A coming-of-age comedy franchise that follows the cast into adulthood has a lot of potential and Greta Gerwig can do this brilliantly. Lady Bird was set in the early 2000s, not long after American Pie was released, and Little Women – admittedly set in the 1860s but does prove she’s not limited to one setting. Instead of being a gross-out sex comedy based on the horrid treatment of women it could be something more intelligent, funnier and in every way just better.

Judging on Gerwig’s other films it’s fair to imagine that these films would focus more on young women than young men, but something like Timothy Chalamet’s pretentious but awful teenager from Lady Bird could be added very easily.

Mad Max – Phil Lord and Christopher Miller

If nothing else this would be a lot more colourful with Lord and Miller //credit: Mad Max: Fury Road, Warner Bros Pictures

An observant reader might have noticed some shade being gently tossed towards some of the previous franchises but there shall be none for Mad Max. But to take something already good and do something interesting you have to really change things up. So Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s brand of anarchic inventive joy could transform the brutal post-apocalypse into a far more bizarre and “fun” place. The question of whether the film should be animated or not (and if so, based on Lego) is an interesting one but it would be great to see the aesthetic of something like Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs brought to a non-animated Mad Max.

Also Read: The Unique Style of Wes Anderson

Also Read: Quentin Tarantino Directing A Star Trek Film? Here’s What It Would’ve Been Like

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Richard Norton

Gentleman, podcaster and pop culture nerd, I love talking and writing about pretty much all pop culture.