Posted on Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 by Peter Sciretta
#3. Michel Gondry
I think Michel Gondry is probably the most interesting choice you could come up with for Ant-Man. The music video-turned-feature film director is probably best known for his American films Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Be Kind Rewind, both of which show a very unique sense of tone and creative world building. Marvel tries to create a consistent universe seen across their entire line of big screen franchises, and I’m not sure Gondry’s handcrafted practical sensibilities would even fit in the Marvel sandbox — but boy would I like to see what it would look like.
Gondry has already dipped his toes in the big budget superhero waters with 2011’s critically slammed The Green Hornet, starring and produced by Seth Rogen. But was that a bad experience? Around the film’s release, Gondry admitted that working on a big budget studio film meant making compromises. He said “I felt, ‘Well, it’s not really my movie’. I accepted that. But I realized there was still tons I could infiltrate or infuse my personality through discussion all the time.” So maybe he would still be interested in playing in the bigger sandbox again?
#2. Joe Cornish
Its hard to think of anyone who could replace Edgar Wright, but if the closest possible filmmaker has to be Edgar’s collaborator Joe Cornish. Much like Edgar, Joe started out directing British television (a pop culture sketch show titled The Adam and Joe Show and No Heroics). He co-wrote The Adventures of Tintin with Edgar for Steven Spielberg before directing his first feature, the highly acclaimed Attack the Block (also produced by Edgar). Attack was the perfect mix of comedy, action and special effects accomplished on a budget. And of course, Cornish wrote Ant-Man with Edgar Wright. So who is better to replace Edgar on the project than Joe Cornish?
Problem is Joe Cornish will likely never be involved in Ant-Man again after the public divorce between Wright and the company last week. Rumor has it that Wright and Cornish clashed with Disney over the “core morality” of the screenplay and spent two drafts trying to address Disney’s notes. As the story goes, they refused to compromise their vision, and Marvel hired two low credit writers to write a new draft which is said to be “Poorer, homogenized, and not Edgar’s vision.” This all led to Edgar Wright’s departure from the project. So if that story is true, it would be very unlikely that Cornish would involve himself in the project further.
That said, imagine for a second an Ant-Man movie by the guy who directed Attack The Block…
This is why he is #2 on my list. Cornish’s career has been booming since the release of Attack. He was up to direct Star Trek 3 but turned down the helm of the Enterprise. Cornish has been having meeting all over Hollywood, every studio wants him. Universal recently hired to develop and direct Section 6, a Black List screenplay about the formation of British intelligence agency MI6 set to star Brit up-and-comer Jack O’Connell.
Lets be honest, Edgar Wright seemed like the perfect fit for Ant-Man. I’m not saying I don’t want to see an Ant-Man movie but if Edgar Wright isn’t directing it I’m not sure there is an available perfect choice to replace him on the project. Joe Cornish is the only other filmmaker that strikes me as having the right mix of sensibilities for this comic book adaptation, but as discussed above — its very very VERY unlikely he would direct. So fuck it, I’m not going to name a choice for the #1 slot, because in my mind there isn’t one.