Rumor Control: James Gunn Will Not Direct 'Ant-Man'

Ant-Man had a director locked in since before the Marvel Cinematic Universe was even a thing. But now that said director (Edgar Wright) has gone, speculation is running rampant about who might take over at the helm.

Today, the rumor mill has its sights on Guardians of the Galaxy helmer James Gunn. Not surprisingly, Gunn quickly downplayed the rumors. Get all the latest dirt after the jump.

To be fair, even if the story were true, it's not bloody likely Gunn would admit to it on Twitter. And if you want to get real technical about it, he doesn't actually come out and deny the Ant-Man story specifically. That said, there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical about the rumor even without Gunn's response.

True, Gunn directing Ant-Man would make sense on some levels. Marvel reportedly loves Guardians, which means Gunn has already proven himself capable of working with the Marvel system. Plus, since he's already well versed in the MCU, he won't need as much time to play catch-up as an MCU newbie might.

But there's no good reason to think Gunn would even want the job. If he signed on for Ant-Man, he'd have to jump straight into it after working nonstop on Guardians for the past couple of years. Indeed, he wouldn't really even have time to do press for Guardians, as Ant-Man would be shooting just as Guardians opened.

Gunn is also likely to have plenty of post-Guardians options without returning to the Marvel family. The rumor further speculates that if Gunn doesn't want the Ant-Man gig, Marvel might look to one of his brothers (Brian Gunn or Sean Gunn) to take over instead. But neither has directed before, and we'd imagine Marvel would want someone with at least a little bit of experience. And since we know the first part of the rumor is baseless, there's little reason to give the rest of it any weight.

Regardless, Marvel is definitely in a tight spot. Wright's exit came shortly before filming was scheduled to begin, and after Wright had already spent years developing the movie. While studio is still hoping to get Ant-Man done in time for its planned July 17, 2015 release date, there's a decent chance that that's just not possible. And Wright, a respected auteur with a devoted fan following, has left awfully big shoes to fill.