Marvel Studios may rebound from recent box office struggles by introducing fresh directors like Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead into their projects. Benson and Moorhead have proven their talent through successful episodes of Moon Knight and Loki, earning acclaim from fans and critics. Despite their background in low-budget films, the duo seamlessly integrated into the high-budget world of the MCU, showcasing their filmmaking skills and ability to create enjoyable movies with limited resources.

Marvel Studios has been going through a bit of a rough patch recently, and many fans of the franchise have wondered how the studio is going to rebound. Since 2008’s Iron Man, Marvel Studios has been among the most consistent performers in Hollywood, releasing hit after hit that all returned significant box office results. However, recent films like Antman and the Wasp: Quantumania and The Marvels have struggled when it comes to ticket sales. This has led some fans to expect a reformed strategy from Marvel Studios when it comes to to future films.

One way that the studio could regain its momentum is to introduce fresh blood into the directing pool. Two young directors, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, have recently caught the attention of critics and Marvel fans through their work on MCU projects. Fans have voiced their support for the two to continue their work on the franchise. That support could lead to the duo getting a more substantial assignments than just a couple of episodes for a TV production.

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The two directors got their start in the MCU directing two episodes of Moon Knight. Episodes 2 and 4 were helmed by the duo, and the latter was one of the show’s highest rated. Following this, Benson and Moorhead were chosen to direct four episodes of Loki season 2: episodes 1, 4, 5, and 6. Marvel Studios clearly had trust in the two directors, allowing them to lead the show through its final three episodes. This trust paid off, as Loki season 2 ended with widespread acclaim from fans and critics alike. Benson and Moorhead’s four episodes of Loki were the show’s highest-rated entries on IMDB.

Following the two directors’ consistent success in the MCU, fans have speculated that the two are near the top of the list for directing future Marvel Studios projects. With the studio’s Phase 6 of films approaching, Benson and Moorhead may be chosen for high-profile projects in the near future.

Benson and Moorhead’s MCU Work

Episode Title

Moon Knight season 1, episode 2

Summon the Suit

Moon Knight season 1, episode 4

The Tomb

Loki season 2, episode 1


Loki season 2, episode 4

Heart of the TVA

Loki season 2, episode 5


Loki season 2, episode 6

Glorious Purpose

The directing duo has its roots in low-budget horror flicks. The two have created a handful of cult classics, such as The Endless ($17 million budget), Synchronic ($2-4 million budget), and Spring (>$1 million budget). They’ve repeatedly displayed the ability to make intriguing, enjoyable movies without fancy effects or tools, showing their skill. They seem to understand the fundamentals of what makes an enjoyable movie.

Despite their start in low-budget projects, the two seamlessly integrated into the high-budget world of the MCU. Having Marvel Studios’ plethora of resources at their disposal has only boosted the duo’s filmmaking effectiveness. This background may be especially appealing to Marvel following the punches it took at the box office recently. High-budget films such as Antman and the Wasp: Quantumania and The Marvels might give way to more medium-budget films in the franchise’s future. While it will still pull out the big-boy pocketbook for flagship productions like Fantastic Four and Avengers: Secret Wars, the studio may be open to more modest productions that can count on the ingenuity of talented directors like Benson and Moorhead.

Benson and Moorhead’s Movies


Resolution (2012)

<$1 million

V/H/S: Viral (2014)

$4-10 million

Spring (2014)

<$1 million

The Endless (2017)

$17 million

Synchronic (2019)

$2-4 million

Something in the Dirt (2022)

<$1 million

They Have Their Own Style, But Work in the MCU Framework

Benson and Moorhead have become known for a signature approach to their feature-length films. They incorporate unsettling, supernatural elements into their stories, which are accompanied by mind-bending, psychedelic visuals. Despite working with tiny budgets, they manage to make these aspects of their films work, often due to ingenious visual effects tricks and superb cinematography. Moorhead, the cinematographer of the duo’s movies, can be credited with most of these successes.

The two are also loved for their screenwriting. Benson, the main writer behind the duo’s movies, is highly regarded for his ability to weave suspense and ambiguity into his character-driven narratives. While his stories often have to do with down-to-earth themes like identity and loss, he also incorporates existential questions about the nature of reality, creating an atmosphere of ambiguity and dread. Both directors’ skills are a great fit for future MCU movies.

While Marvel Studios might want them to tone down on the existential dread, their adeptness at creating an intriguing, visual-heavy atmosphere, regardless of budget, could be exactly what Marvel Studios is looking for in its next generation of directors. They’ve already made the jump to the high-budget world of the MCU through their work on Loki and Moon Knight, so Marvel Studios executives may have already seen all that they need to. Will these two young guns be part of the next generation of Marvel-movie storytellers? Only time will tell.

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