Adam McKay had been chosen by Marvel as a replacement for Edgar Wright to direct the upcoming Ant-Man movie starring Paul Rudd, but he has said he has “other projects” he’s “committed to,” so he will not take over as the film’s director, according to Variety, BroadwayWorld.com and several other sources. The search is still on to find a replacement for Wright, who reportedly left as the director due to “artistic differences.” So far, the movie’s release date has not been changed from July 17, 2015, but Marvel needs to find a new director soon, or there might be an inevitable delay.
Adam McKay was in talks with Marvel, meeting with Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, who he compared to the Beatles’ powerhouse duo of “Lennon McCartney” in a tweet. McKay had worked with Paul Rudd before (Anchorman, Anchorman 2), and seemed to be a perfect fit for the project, though he has directed more comedy than action-oriented movies in the past. Besides the Anchorman flicks, McKay has directed movies such as The Other Guys (2010) and Step Brothers (2008).
Who is the superhero Ant-Man?
If you’re unfamiliar with the Marvel superhero Ant-Man, he was the biochemist, Henry Pym (Michael Douglas) who hits upon a chemical formula to create Pym Particles he uses to alter his size. He then figures out a way that he can communicate with ants and other insects through the use of a helmet he develops, and get them to do his bidding.
In the movie, the original Ant-Man, Henry Pym, will be played by Michael Douglas while Paul Rudd will be Scott Lang, a new version of the pint-sized superhero, who in the comic book series was a thief driven to stealing the Ant-Man costume to try to save his daughter, Cassie, who has a bad heart condition. He reforms, and with the help of Henry (Hank) Pym, he turns from being a thief to fighting crime as Ant-Man.
Besides Michael Douglas and Paul Rudd, other members of the cast of Ant-Man include Patrick Wilson, Evangeline Lily (Lost, Hobbit 2: Desolation of Smaug), and Corey Stall. Besides the directorial choice, how well the supporting cast does could be the key to the movie being believable and a box office hit, or a flop.
Among the other directors that Marvel has been considering to replace Edgar Wright are Ruben Fleischer, who directed Gangster Squad, and Marshall Thurber, the director of We’re the Millers. With Adam McKay dropping out of negotiations, the head of Marvel, Kevin Feige, will possibly take another look at these and other directors.
Though there will be, reportedly, more of a campy side to Ant-Man than some other Marvel movies, Feige needs to be careful and balance out the humor with enough action scenes and great special effects so that the current generation of fans who flock to superhero movies like The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man movies, and The X-Men: Days of Future Past, won’t be disappointed or feel alienated.
Whether Feige succeeds in establishing Ant-Man as a new money-making franchise or fails might very well depend on what director eventually takes over the helm. There’s already a great cast of actors and the makings of a fantastic plot, but currently, with Adam McKay bowing out of the talks with Marvel, Ant-Man is a movie without a seasoned director to guide it to completion.
Written by: Douglas Cobb