10 Best Non-Marvel Movies Written by MCU Writers
Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe heap praise on stars like Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson, and Chris Evans. But it’s screenwriters like Drew Pearce, James Gunn and Jon Spaihts who give these actors some words of joy. All of the MCU movies follow a formulaic story structure, but writers like Taika Waititi and Destin Daniel Cretton have put their own personal spin on that formula.
From presenter a Tropic Tropic a Short term 12 a Hunt the wild peoplesome of the best scripts of the 21st century have been written by MCU writers.
10 Hotel Artemis (2018) – Written by Drew Pearce
Five years after co-writing Iron Man 3 with director Shane Black, Drew Pearce made his directorial debut with the underrated sci-fi dystopian gem. Hotel Artemisa. Jodie Foster plays a nurse who runs a secret hospital where she treats wounded criminals in futuristic Los Angeles.
Foster elevates the pulpy, violent narrative with a powerful performance as a grizzled veteran nurse who hides vulnerability beneath a tough facade. He has seen the worst of humanity and had to accept it.
9 Pain & Gain (2013) – Written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely
In the middle of writing the entire Steve Rogers MCU arc Captain America: The First Avenger a Avengers: EndgameTrue Crime was written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely Increased pain for Michael Bay.
The dark humor, voice-over narration, and amoral characters of Increased pain marked a drastic change in tone from Markus and McFeely’s superhero films. This film provided audiences with further proof that Bay does his best work on a modest budget.
8 The Black Phone (2021) – Written by Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill
After ceasing to direct the second Doctor Strange Scott Derrickson teamed up again with one of his co-writers from the first, C. Robert Cargill, to adapt Joe Hill’s short story “The Black Phone” to the big screen. The titular phone is used by a kidnapped teenager to communicate with former victims of his creepy captor.
Ethan Hawke gives a truly haunting turn as “The Grabber,” and while the pacing received some criticism, Derrickson and Cargill’s fidelity to the source material was praised.
7 Super (2010) – Written by James Gunn
Four years before he turned the Guardians of the Galaxy from C-listers into universally adored icons, James Gunn wrote and directed an original superhero movie. Years 2010 super is a decidedly darker take on the genre than the guardians movies
Rainn Wilson stars as a frustrated cook who becomes a masked vigilante when his wife is kidnapped by a drug lord. The pitch-black comic tone was a touch too much for some critics, however super is a fiercely subversive deconstruction of the superhero mythos.
6 The Lego Batman Movie (2017) – Co-written by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers
Before co-writing all three MCUs spider man spiderman films and working on the script Ant-Man and the WaspChris McKenna and Erik Sommers tackled a DC Comics property as two of the five writers credited to The Lego Batman Movie.
Despite starring in animated toys, The Lego Batman Movie is one of the Dark Knight’s greatest screen adventures to date. From her denial of her feelings to her codependent relationship with the Joker, The Lego Batman Movie uses humor to capture a moving character study of Bruce Wayne.
5 Hunt For The Wilderpeople (2016) – Written by Taika Waititi
Before joining the MCU, first as a director and then as a writer and director, Taika Waititi wrote and directed the heartwarming adventure film. Hunt the wild people. It stars Julian Dennison as a troubled foster child and Sam Neill as his legal guardian’s sleazy husband. When that guardian dies and the state wants to return the child to foster care, they leave.
The film is represented by Dennison and Neill’s chemistry as a juvenile delinquent and their reluctant father figure, but Waititi’s script gave them plenty to work with.
4 Short Term 12 (2013) – Written by Destin Daniel Cretton
Just under a decade before directing and co-writing Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten RingsDestin Daniel Cretton made his independent film debut on a fraction of the budget with Short term 12.
According to the Washington Post, this was a deeply personal work for Cretton, who drew on his own experiences working with troubled teenagers to write the script. As a result, the film has a deep sense of authenticity and intimacy.
3 Tropic Thunder (2008) – Co-written by Justin Theroux
Justin Theroux is known primarily as an actor, but he has also done some very prestigious work as a screenwriter. Two years before making the script Iron Man 2co-wrote Theroux Tropic Tropic with Etan Cohen and the film’s director and star, Ben Stiller.
Tropic Tropic is a searing satire of Hollywood cinema, poking fun at method acting, Oscar-baiting and studio executives meddling in its story of top-tier movie stars who unwittingly , they go into a real war zone to shoot a war movie.
2 Dune (2021) – Co-written by Jon Spaihts
Five years after being accredited to the Doctor Strange with the script, Jon Spaihts worked on an adaptation of a different psychedelic sci-fi property. by Denis Villeneuve duneadapted from the first half of Frank Herbert’s literary masterpiece, it was co-written by Villeneuve, Spaihts and Eric Roth.
The script keeps its exposition nice and succinct to focus on bringing the world of Arrakis to life with Greig Fraser’s immersive cinematography and Hans Zimmer’s mesmerizing score.
1 Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy (2004) – Co-written by Adam McKay
After Edgar Wright left Ant-Manthe script he had written with Joe Cornish was reworked by star Paul Rudd and ex SNL lead writer Adam McKay. McKay previously worked with Rudd on his delightfully absurd directorial debut. Presenter: The Legend of Ron Burgundywhich he co-wrote with Will Ferrell.
Featuring classic gags like the news team battle and the “glass box of excitement,” presenter it has its own quirky comedic sensibility and has since been ranked as one of the greatest comedies ever made.
NEXT: 7 Actors Who Should Star in Anchorman (According to the Original Screenplay)