The roller-coaster ride that was the missing Ant-Man director saga is finally over, and against all odds, it’s actually ended up at pretty decent place. After Marvel essentially chased Edgar Wright, the fan favourite director and the biggest driving force behind an Ant-Man movie for the last 8 years, out of the door due to script rewrite demands, and then having their first choice replacement director first accept, and then turn down the gig, followed by their other choices either being unavailable or not interested, it really looked like Marvel were on the verge of having one of their most interesting looking products scuttled.
But they may have righted the ship this weekend past, as director Peyton Reed was initially reported Saturday morning to be the frontrunner and then was confirmed yesterday by Marvel themselves to be the new man to helm the upcoming film. Outside of Wright, Reed – who helmed Bring It On, Yes Man, The Break Up and Down With Love – is by far the most versatile of directors that Marvel has approached for the gig, and may just end up a bit of an inspired choice. Out of all the names on Marvel’s list of replacements, Reed is actually the only one that’s a real comic book geek with a strong passion for the material. In 2002, he even pitched a rather incredible sounding Fantasic Four feature film set in the 1960’s before dropping out and leaving Fox to create their rather mediocre 2005 effort instead. What’s more he has shown a strong sense of visual imagery, and he has previously directed star Paul Rudd in several films, which should ease the transition.
But Reed wasn’t the only name that Marvel released though, because Adam McKay, who was Marvel’s first pick to direct who had to turn it down due to just being too busy, will actually be helping Reed by rewriting Wright’s script. Out of the first batch of replacements, McKay was several people’s top pick, so having him involved in some way should go a long way to placate some fans.
However, there is one worrying aspect though: In Marvel’s press release, they don’t even mention Wright and co-writer Joe Cornish’s original contribution to the script, and they’ve released a new synopsis which doesn’t quite line up with the movie’s original pitch.
When Marvel’s “Ant-Man” hits theaters July 17, 2015, director Peyton Reed will help shepherd the hero into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with a cast led by Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas, with writer Adam McKay contributing to the film’s script.
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.
Wait, Hank Pym is Scott Lang’s mentor now? In Wright’s purported pitch, Hank Pym is the original Ant-Man (possibly operating in secret decades earlier) and Lang is a desperate father forced into a life of crime who steals Pym’s tech to aid him in his criminal endeavours, and even while doing the right thing and saving the day, he’s still a bit of a bad apple (much like the 3rd Ant-Man the comics, Eric O’Grady). This makes Lang a much more interesting character morally, but from what we’ve heard though, it was this fuzzy morality that the Marvel big wigs weren’t too comfortable with and which ended up with Wright walking off. So now, I’m guessing that McKay will have Lang flip from reluctant thief to hero quite quickly and once he’s donned hat white hat, he’s not taking it off again.
There’s nothing wrong with an approach like that, and with the combined talents of Reed and McKay they can definitely make this work well, but instead of a good and very unique superhero flick, we may now just be getting a good one.
Ant-Man is still scheduled for release on July 17, 2015, and will get shooting real soon, which means that Reed and McKay will probably be doing a lot of this on the fly.
Last Updated: June 9, 2014