And truth be told, many of them are knocking it out of the park.
Ryan Coogler made the Sundance favorite "Fruitvale Station" for less than $1 million. Then he got the chance to make "Creed," and now he's the man behind the camera for the record-breaking "Black Panther."
Another director who recently helmed a tentpole film was Taika Waititi. The New Zealander was a fan favorite for his indie comedies "What We Do In the Shadows" and "Hunt for the Wilderpeople." Last year, he gave us "Thor: Ragnarok," which raked in more than $850 million worldwide for Marvel Studios.
Giving directors who have impressed audiences with small films a chance at huge blockbuster franchises is a new trend in Hollywood and one I'm in favor of. Other examples include "Last Jedi" director Rian Johnson and "Kong: Skull Island" helmer Jordan Vogt-Roberts.
With all of this in mind, I've been thinking about what other "smaller" directors I'd like to see be given an opportunity to take on a huge franchise. Getting this list down to five was a difficult task, but here are five directors I'd like to see take on a big-budget franchise.
"Dope" took the 2015 Sundance Film Festival by storm and became an instant favorite for just about everyone who saw it. Much of that is thanks to the keen eye and unique vision of director Rick Famuyiwa.
Famuyiwa is not new to Hollywood, but his directing resume should be longer and I'd love to see him tackle something big. His approach to humor, society and drama is fresh and exciting and it is exactly what the by-the-numbers big budget landscape could use.
Dan Gilroy is a prolific screenwriter with strong credits to his name including "The Fall," "The Bourne Legacy" and "Kong: Skull Island." Gilroy, however, has only directed two films, "Nightcrawler" and "Roman J. Israel, Esq."
Gilroy's approach to "Nightcrawler" had such an overpowering tone and feel that it made me uncomfortable, excited and greedy for more while I watched the film. Considering what he did with "Nightcrawler," I believe Gilroy would be perfect to tackle a darker toned movie, such as a DC comics movie or an X-Men movie.
Kathryn Bigelow is not some unknown director; she's an Academy Award-winner and the brains behind some really incredible films. Bigelow is one of my favorite working directors because of her unmistakable style. Her ability to place you inside a scene and build tension is as good, if not better, than anyone in the business.
While Bigelow isn't an "indie darling," she also hasn't tackled a big franchise film yet. There's a certain type of movie she makes, and while superheroes and monsters don't seem to fall into that mold, it could be the shot in the arm they need.
Superhero films seem to be treading the same ground over and over again, and Bigelow could bring something new and very needed to the genre.
Trey Edwards Shults is new to the directing game, but his latest film "It Comes at Night," feels like a master class at building tension and keeping the audience and the characters in the dark until the ultimate reveal.
I'd love to see Shults take on a detective-heavy Batman film where the tension and build up is what makes the movie so intriguing and original. I'm curious about what Matt Reeves will do with the next Batman film, but I may be more interested in seeing a Shults bat flick.
I'd remember this name because I'm pretty sure you're going to get to know it very well in the coming years.
Well, Jeff Nichols is another one of my favorite working directors, along with Kathryn Bigelow.
I am a sucker for Nichols' films. His approach to storytelling is wholly his own and one that sucks me in and keeps me thinking about the movie for days, weeks and sometimes years after.
If you've seen "Mud" or "Take Shelter" you may think I'm insane suggesting a slow-burn master like Nichols should take on a big-budget franchise, and I understand your hesitation. While I think some of these huge films could use a modified slow-burn approach, it's Nichols's movie "Midnight Special" that really puts him at the forefront of taking on one of these blockbusters.
"Midnight Special" takes an original and unique look into the sci-fi and even borderline superhero genres. Nichols gets phenomenal performances from his actors and has a style and feel to his films that I've never seen anywhere else.
Put Nichols behind the camera of a Marvel movie and I'll be first in line to see it opening night.
As I stated before, I had a long list of directors but I couldn't fit them all in this list. Here's a list of honorable mentions:
Are there any directors you'd like to see tackle a big-budget franchise? Let us know in the comments.