Meet Captain Marvel's directors: 5 things you need to know about Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden

Marvel are nothing if not brave with their director choices. Having plucked Taika Waititi and the (at the time) little-known director James Gunn to deliver their own unique brand on MCU mayhem on the big screen, it’s now the turn of Captain Marvel to be helmed by two obscure but supremely talented directors in Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden.

Variety are reporting that Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden will be directing 2019’s Captain Marvel. The directors, best known for indie-flick Mississippi Grind, Half Nelson and, more recently, directing episodes of HBO’s Billions, will look to bring their own brand of character-driven narrative to Marvel’s ever-growing universe.

So who are Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden? Here are 5 things you need to know about the Captain Marvel directors.

1. One of them has already worked with MCU alumni  

Ryan Fleck’s biggest hit, which gained Ryan Gosling an Oscar nomination, was 2006 movie Half Nelson. For Marvel fans, it’s pretty cool to see a pre-Falcon Anthony Mackie turn up in one of his first major movie roles. Anna Boden also wrote and produced the movie.

2. They’re known for character-driven dramas 

Most of Marvel’s previous directorial choices are known for bombastic, OTT TV shows and movies, but not Fleck and Boden. If anything, they’re more comfortable with slow-burn character pieces. It’ll be interesting to see how that translates to the MCU with the origins of Captain Marvel

3. They’ve co-directed three other movies together 

Want to get some real MCU director street-cred? Then impress your friends by reeling off Captain Marvel’s directors previous three director collaborations: Sugar, Mississippi Grind, and It’s A Funny Kind of Story. Extra credit (and to be a real show-off at parties): They’ve also directed 3 episodes of Billions together. 

4. The pair met at university… on a student film (obviously) 

According to IMDb, Fleck and Boden first crossed paths at NYU while they were worked on a student film while Boden was completing her film degree. They even dated for a brief period. D’aww.

5. The story of how they become official co-directors is super sweet

Ryan Fleck was originally the figurehead director in the partnership, with Boden working behind-the-scenes as producer and writer on Half Nelson. Fleck wasn’t comfortable taking all the credit though, and invited her officially on board to helm future projects, as he stated in an interview with AV Club: “Because we worked so closely on [Half Nelson], it just seemed silly for me to get all the directing credit at that point.”

Will Marvel continue their streak of knocking it out of the park with their director choices? Let us know in the comments!

Images: Marvel/IMDb

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.