When the Marvel Cinematic Universe first kicked off over a decade ago with the release of Jon Favreau’s “Iron Man,” the success of the burgeoning franchise and the film itself was hardly assured. The Marvel character had the distinction of being one of the comic book giant’s few major heroes to never get a live-action depiction, but after the rights to the “genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist” had been pushed around various studios for nearly two decades, he didn’t exactly seem like the most obvious character to kickstart a multi-film, multi-billion dollar franchise.
Director Favreau, with only three other films under his belt, was also a bit of an out-there choice, but the gamble paid off, with “Iron Man” making over half a billion dollars at the box office and ensuring that there was indeed a major appetite for superhero films.
In the intervening decade, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has grown to include over 20 films and 17 directors. Some of them weren’t safe bets just like Favreau, while others arrived in the MCU with an enviable amount of action experience. Some have returned time and again to direct new iterations of the sprawling story, while others offered up one feature and then departed the fold.
For a franchise that hinges on the ability for some very different films to work together, the MCU has employed some unique filmmakers across its decade-long run. How do they stack up against each other?