By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com July 12, 2012 at 2:55PM
Why He Could Do It: With a name like that, Olivier Megaton was clearly destined to be an action director in the same way that people named Pius were destined to become medieval popes. He started off as a graffiti artist before moving into shorts and TV direction in his native France (it should probably go without saying that Megaton, like Pius, is an assumed name...), coming to attention with dark thriller "The Red Siren" in 2002. After that (and a gig as second-unit director on "Hitman") Luc Besson, brought him into his fold, selecting Megaton to helm, in quick succession, "Transporter 3," "Colombiana" and the upcoming "Taken 2," a film which 20th Century Fox have high hopes for. Megaton may not be Mr. Nuanced Character Beats, but he's obviously displayed a facility for action, and is the kind of director who'd be able to jump aboard and take the reins without too much fuss, so the risk of the film being held up is minimal.
Why He Might Not: Again, he's not Mr. Nuanced Character Beats, and for all the scorn they've attracted in recent years, Fox has turned around their approach to their genre properties in recent years for the most part -- films like "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" are the model, not something quick and brainless. Taking "Daredevil" to an action-heavy director may not be the best creative direction. However, he is branching out, becoming attached to the dark thriller "Land of Tthe Living" more recently, but that film presents another problem; it's meant to shoot in January. If it's still a going concern, that would rule him out of "Daredevil."
Honorable Mentions: Again, with a limited timeframe to put their stamp, we're not going to see A-listers or auteurs circling. Names like Len Wiseman, Ruben Fleischer, Tomas Alfredson and Daniel Espinosa are all probably too big at this point to take over a film on such short notice. The timeframe also rules out other names who could be possibilites: "The Lincoln Lawyer" helmer Brad Furman could do a great job, but he just started filming on "Runner Runner"; John Moore, Ji-Woon Kim and Christopher McQuarrie would all be good matches, but have movies due at the end of 2012 or beginning of 2013; while Brett Ratner, you'll be glad to know, is meant to shoot "Hercules" later this year.
As for those who could do it, TV director Jack Bender ("Lost") has been looking to move into features for a while (he was attached to the Jack Ryan movie for a while), and is used to working on a tightened schedule, while TV vet Clark Johnson could also be a possibility. For more homegrown names, Jonathan Levine is moving onto bigger canvases and might be available if the long-delayed "Warm Bodies" is ready in time, while Neil Burger is hot after "Limitless," and Gavin O'Connor after "Warrior," though both have many projects circling. William Monahan would be an interesting idea to write the thing, but after "London Boulevard," we'd be reluctant to let him sit in a director's chair again. Walter Hill is on something of a comeback trail, though, and could be an interesting prospect.
And looking overseas, Asger Leth recently made his Hollywood debut, albeit with the coolly received "Man on a Ledge," and Spanish helmer Rodrigo Cortes showed he's a good visual director with "Buried" and "Red Lights." Meanwhile, Morten Tyldum made an attention-grabbing film with "Headhunters," which has put him on Hollywood radars, and Michael R. Roskam ("Bullhead") would be an intriguing, albeit unconventional choice. Could British helmer Michael Bassett, behind "Solomon Kane" and the upcoming "Silent Hill: Revelation," deliver the goods? Or might "The Imposter" helmer Bart Layton follow James Marsh into fiction with a big leap up? There's plenty of prospects, let us know your own thoughts in the comments section below.