Marvel taps new director for Avengers 5, and they'll be very familiar to Stranger Things and Deadpool 3 fans

Shawn Levy poses for photographs at a CinemaCon 2024 event
Marvel has seemingly tapped Deadpool 3's Shawn Levy to direct the next Avengers film. (Image credit: Mindy Small/Stringer)

Marvel has reportedly earmarked Shawn Levy as its new first-choice director for Avengers five.

First reported by Deadline, the comic book giant is in early talks with Levy to helm the highly anticipated superhero flick. Levy hasn't committed himself to the project yet, but is believed to have received the film's latest script, which has been penned by Michael Waldron. The latter, who also wrote Doctor Strange two's screenplay and was head writer on Loki season one, was installed as Avengers five's new writer in November 2023.

TechRadar has reached out to Marvel and Disney for comment on reports linking Levy to the fifth Avengers movie. We'll update this story if we receive a response.

This isn't the first time that Levy has been tapped as Avengers five's filmmaker, with The Hollywood Reporter (THR) suggesting he was also courted back in March. However, Levy is said to have turned down Marvel's offer due to his busy schedule. Levy is currently dividing his time between wrapping production on Deadpool and Wolverine, the only film that Marvel will release this year, and Stranger Things season five – the wildly popular Netflix show's final entry that's halfway through its months-long shoot. 

If Levy passes on Avengers five once more, the Marvel Cinematic Universe's (MCU) next big team-up film will have to look elsewhere. Deadline and THR claim, though, that Marvel has made contingency plans for that event, with the Disney subsidiary tentatively reaching to other potential candidates about directing the Marvel Phase five film.

Steady Eddy? More like Steady Levy

Eleven, Mike, and Will stare into the distance from a hill in Stranger Things season 4

Levy has played a key role in turning Stranger Things into one of the hottest TV shows of recent years. (Image credit: Netflix)

If Levy agrees to tackle the superhero behemoth that is Avengers five, he'll be the safe pair of hands that the ailing MCU film needs to get itself back on track.

Anyone who's followed the movie's development (or, rather, lack of) over the past 12 months knows how protracted its production has been. For one, Avengers five lost its original director – Daniel Destin Cretton, who directed 2021's Shang-Chi and then signed on to helm Avengers: The Kang Dynasty (as it was known at the time) in July 2022 – last November. 

That's just one of many problems affecting the movie, too. Marvel's firing of Kang actor Jonathan Majors, after he was found guilty of numerous assault charges, has also reportedly led to a complete overhaul of its story. Oh, and let's not forget Avengers five's release date being pushed back when Marvel delayed numerous MCU movies because of last year's Hollywood actor and writers strikes. Yeah, when I said it's been trapped in development hell, I meant it.

Logan and Wade Wilson walk out onto a deserted street in Marvel's Deadpool and Wolverine movie

Levy has also directed Deadpool and Wolverine, which is already generating talk about being a $1 billion-making film. (Image credit: Marvel Studios)

With his seemingly calm demeanour, instant likeability, and keen directorial eye, then, Levy seems like the kind of "steady eddie" filmmaker that Avengers 5 could do with. His key creative involvement in Stranger Things, plus his experience helming one of 2024's most exciting new movies in Deadpool three, means he's no stranger to tackling big-budget projects. He won't be daunted by the heightened expectations surrounding the MCU's next all-star ensemble flick, either, based on his exposure to said productions and other large-scale projects – Free Guy, The Adam Project, and All The Light We Cannot See to name just three.

Of course, leading development on an Avengers movie is a completely different beast to all of the above. The possibility that, according to Deadline, Avengers 5 will feature over 60 (!) superheroes – we've got the proliferation of all those MCU Disney Plus shows to thank for that – will be a headache-inducing exercise in giving everyone the requisite amount of screen time, too. I bet Stranger Things didn't prepare you for that, Shawn!

Still, there's no guarantee that Levy will be swayed into directing it, especially as he's got to get the ball rolling on his untitled Star Wars film. If he decides to take it on, though, I'm confident he'll prove to be a shrewd acquisition. He'll need to make his mind up sharpish, however, as Avengers five is rumored to start filming in January 2025. So, err, get your skates on, Shawn.

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Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across. Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.