Ant-Man Adam McKay

Update from Editor Peter Sciretta:  On Friday, we heard about the people who might direct Ant-Man in the wake of Edgar Wright‘s departure. A list of three potential directors was circulated, featuring Adam McKay (AnchormanThe Other Guys), Ruben Fleischer (ZombielandGangster Squad) and Rawson Thurber (We’re the Millers). Last night is was revealed that Adam McKay was officially in talks to direct Ant-Man.

Now its being reported that the talks have ended abruptly with McKay deciding he doesn’t want to direct the film. No other information is available as to why he made that decision, but considering he entered the contract discussions, it could be that Marvel didn’t want to pay his asking price or maybe he didn’t like the terms (creative constraints, or something else). Either way, THR is saying the decision to pull out of Ant-man negotiations was his decision alone. Thurber is now rumored to be the frontrunner, but Ruben Fleischer is still in the mix.

Adam McKay made the following statement on twitter:

The original post from Russ Fischer appears below.

All day today we’ve heard about the people who might direct Ant-Man in the wake of Edgar Wright‘s departure. A list of three potential directors was circulated, featuring Adam McKay (AnchormanThe Other Guys), Ruben Fleischer (ZombielandGangster Squad) and Rawson Thurber (We’re the Millers). While Thurber was said to the the frontrunner just hours ago, a conflicting but reliable report says that McKay (left, above) is now in talks to make the movie.

AICN reports that Marvel has extended an offer to the director, and that the deal is expected to work out. The info comes from the site’s writer Jeremy Smith, who does not casually throw out untested information. The Wrap later reported the same info, using a different source.

This is good for a few reasons.

First and foremost, Ant-Man star Paul Rudd clearly has a rapport with McKay. And McKay’s work on The Other Guys shows that he can do all-out action when he wants to. (McKay was also trying to make another comic book film, The Boys, for years.)

Furthermore, McKay is a director who has demonstrated skill with working out a script on the fly. If the new Ant-Man draft is as bad as current Hollywood rumor says it is, then additional work will be needed. And Marvel relies heavily on shaping films in the editing room, which is also McKay’s mode. (All films are shaped in the editing room, obviously, but Marvel does more than its share of tinkering.)

More than anything else, this should keep Paul Rudd happy — presumably the actor was a big part of bringing McKay into the fold. Losing a director right before shooting isn’t the sort of scenario to set an actor at ease, especially when the issue at hand is one of tone and story. With McKay calling the shots, Rudd has a partner he knows he can trust, and Marvel has someone with a proven track record of working with tricky material, and seeing a project through to the gritty work in the editing room.

Ant-Man is still expected to be released on July 17, 2015.

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