UPDATE: So much for ringing endorsements and best case scenarios. Adam McKay has put an end to his negotiations with Marvel Studios to direct ANT-MAN, according to The Hollywood Reporter. This is rough news for a film that’s already had more than its share.
The perceived health of ANT-MAN is not very good right now, but talk of scrapping the movie completely is premature. There are still two more reported contenders in Rawson Marshall Thurber (WE’RE THE MILLERS) and Ruben Fleischer (ZOMBIELAND). Losing out on McKay is a tough blow, but Fleischer is also an excellent choice. ZOMBIELAND is a strong example of how well Fleischer can mix the right tonal blend for action and comedy, which is critical in MCU movies.
ORIGINAL STORY: After a week of trying to make sad sense of director Edgar Wright leaving ANT-MAN, a film to which he’d been attached for eight years, the news last night was far brighter. Originally reported by Ain’t It Cool News, several more outlets are now hearing that Marvel is in talks with Adam McKay (ANCHORMAN, STEP BROTHERS) to become the new director of ANT-MAN. With Wright gone, this is probably the best case scenario Marvel could have hoped for and the studio may ultimately be better off than they were before.
Upon hearing of Wright’s departure, I instinctively thought of McKay taking over. His familiarity with ANT-MAN star Paul Rudd, who is playing Scott Lang in the film, would allow McKay to utilize the strengths and sensibilities of the actor in the best possible way. Also, being that comedy is a staple of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and will no doubt be essential to making ANT-MAN work, McKay has directed some of the funniest films of the last 10 years. Ultimately, this scenario seemed too perfect to be possible, so I let this idea go as quickly as it popped up in my head.
Hope came via The Hollywood Reporter yesterday when McKay was listed as a finalist for the job along with Rawson Marshall Thurber (WE’RE THE MILLERS) and Ruben Fleischer (ZOMBIELAND). Fleischer was another great option, but McKay was definitely the cream of that crop.
McKay is a recognizable name with a talent and list of titles audiences will respect. This should also quell some of the “safe choices” chatter that has surrounded the Marvel Studios conversation for the past week. McKay is still a bold choice. Regardless of what this does for public relations, however, what’s most important is that having Adam McKay direct ANT-MAN is a huge step forward in making a movie that needs to be good in order to be a hit as good as it can be.
I feel really great about ANT-MAN again and cannot wait for July 17, 2015.