Kevin Feige talks ANT-MAN and why Peyton Reed is the right man for the job

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There’s no denying that there’s still a bit of a stink left surrounding Ant-Man in the wake of the whole Edgar Wright replacement fiasco. Marvel may have righted their ship on paper, but for many fans there’s still quite of concern about the project. And the origin point of most of that concern boils down to one simple fact: Replacement director Peyton Reed is no Edgar Wright.

This has been Wright’s pet project since before there even was a Marvel cinematic universe, and it was his vision that got lots of people on-board with making a movie about a character that is virtually unknown outside of comic book geek circles, and who admittedly has a very silly story/power-set at first glance.

But Wright is no more, and now we have Reed. But according to Marvel Studio President Kevin Feige, this wasn’t such an out-of-left-field hiring as some news publications made it out to be. Speaking to IGN, Feige stated that Peyton was actually already on Marvel’s radar due to being a possible director for a few of their other projects.

“Peyton is someone that I’ve been a fan of for a long time. People may not remember, though probably your readers remember, that he was attached to Fantastic Four more than 10 years ago. We spent a lot of time together…  and I got along with Peyton very, very well and he had awesome ideas and an awesome vision for the movie, and for various reasons he ended up leaving that movie…

“He’s come in to meet on a lot of our movies over the years, in particular Guardians. He had a lot of awesome things to say on Guardians. But James [Gunn] had a slightly more solid take that was of interest to us. But Peyton was always on our lists, and so when this happened and Edgar [Wright] said ‘Not for me’ we met with a handful of people, but Peyton was always one that I thought would be great.”

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And contrary to what some of the rumours had been stating, Reed and co will not just be tossing out all the work that Wright and his co-writer Joe Cornish had been doing for nearly a decade, in favour of some homogenized, market friendly version of this story. But that doesn’t mean Peyton’s just going to come in and be a “Yes” man to somebody else’s vision either.

“It was not a slam-dunk that he would just step into it and do it. He wanted to be sure that he was wasn’t just inheriting something or following someone else’s lead. Or wasn’t inheriting something that the evil studio had watered down to be something bad. I kept saying, ‘You can either read what’s online, or come in and talk to us and look at all this stuff.’ He looked at everything, he talked with us, and he said ‘Number one, I agree with the direction you’re going in. And number two, I can add to it.’ And he has – the movie is in as good a shape as it’s ever been right now.

“It’s still very much in the spirit of what Edgar’s original pitch was and the entire template of the movie is what Edgar set out and originally came and pitched us maybe eight years ago now. But it’s on its way to being the absolute best version of what that movie could have been.”

While Reed and writer Adam McKay are considered by many – myself included – to just be the best we can make do with in the absence of Wright and Cornish, there’s no denying that the pair do have a considerable amount of talent between them. They may not have the mass following of their predecessors, but as Marvel recently proved, talent will trump reputation any day.

“Peyton is really, really wonderful, and will be proving that soon enough. As I said to the Comic-Con audience a few years ago, ‘You might not have heard of [Captain America: The Winter Soldier directors] Joe and Antony Russo, but you’re going to be big fans of them soon.’ And I’d say the same thing about Peyton Reed now.”

Ant-Man stars Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Patrick Wilson, Corey Stoll and David Dastmalchian, and is scheduled for release on July 17, 2015.

Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang (Rudd) must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (Douglas), protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

Last Updated: July 16, 2014

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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