Remember Marvel's shortlist of potential "Captain America 2" directors? Well, it just got shorter.

F. Gary Gray ("The Italian Job," "The Negotiator") has bowed out of the race. This leaves Anthony and Joseph Russo ("Community") and George Nolfi ("The Adjustment Bureau") as Marvel's top choices to helm the superhero sequel, although the studio is reportedly open to other candidates. Joe Johnston directed 2011's "Captain America: The First Avenger."

According to Deadline, Gray is in negotiations to direct "Straight Outta Compton" instead. The film will depict the rise of legendary L.A. gangsta rap group N.W.A., which initially included superstars Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and Eazy-E, plus MC Ren and DJ Yella. 

Of the names on Marvel's shortlist, Gray had had the most experience with action films -- Nolfi's only directed one film, while the Russo Brothers are better known for their TV work -- but Marvel has made some unexpected directorial choices in the past that have paid off. 



Meanwhile, while "Captain America 2" won't hit screens until 2014, Cap (Chris Evans) can be seen alongside Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and the rest of the gang in next month's "The Avengers."

Who would you like to see direct "Captain America 2"?