Director Adam McKay talks ANT-MAN – Making it bigger and more aggressive

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Out of all the Marvel movies developed so far, Ant-Man may have had the biggest obstacles for the tiniest heroes so far. On paper, the idea of Edgar Wright helming such a movie sounded too good to be true, and when you’ve got the director clashing with a very determined studio on the various visions for the film, only one party was going to walk away with the property at the end of the day. With Wright gone, it’s up to director Adam McKay to turn the film into the next big Marvel blockbuster. And that has resulted in a bigger movie being envisioned for the pint-sized hero.

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Speaking to Collider, McKay explained that the script had indeed been rewriteen, with Ant-Man himself being involved over the six week process:

[Rudd] called me when Edgar Wright stepped away from the project and told me what was going on.  I went and met with Marvel, and I was a little dubious just because I’m friends with Edgar and I didn’t know what the story was, and then when I kind of heard what happened, that Edgar had parted ways, and then I saw their materials, I was like, ‘God this is pretty cool’.  Ultimately I didn’t want to jump in as a director, I had too many other projects going and it was too tight, but I thought, ‘You know what, I can rewrite this, and I can do a lot of good by rewriting it.

I’ve always known Paul Rudd’s a really good writer from improvising with him on set, but I had no idea he was that good—he’s really great with dialogue.  So the two of us holed up in hotel rooms on the east and west coast, and I think it was like six to eight weeks we just ground it out and did a giant rewrite of the script.  I was really proud of what we did, I really thought we put some amazing stuff in there and built on an already strong script from Edgar Wright and sort of just enhanced some stuff.

And according to McKay, the action beats developed by Wright before his departure, are being incorporated into the new script as well:

We added some new action beats.  I grew up on Marvel Comics so the geek in me was in heaven that I got to add a giant action sequence to the movie; I was so excited.  So we did, we added some cool new action.  There’s a lot that’s already in there from what Edgar did, there’s a lot of dialogue and character still in there.

As for how the story was rewritten, McKay explained that it was done in order to make the film bigger, and with a more streamlined approach:

We just shaped the whole thing, we just tried to streamline it, make it cleaner, make it a little bigger, a little more aggressive, make it funnier in places—we just basically did a rewrite.  Edgar had a really good script.  But we just had a blast, and Rudd was just so much fun to write with.  I walked away saying, ‘Hey, you and I gotta write a script together.

I’m still a little bit bummed that Wright had left, and I’d hate for Ant-Man to be Marvel’s first real dud at the box office. Still, McKay and Rudd seem solid, and I’m keen to see the movie when it shrinks down in July next year. And maybe with McKay and Rudd’s comedic timing, this could be one of the funnier Marvel movies ever made.

Last Updated: October 20, 2014

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