Time is ticking away for Marvel Studios to find a new director for Ant-Man. Adam McKay, known for directing Will Ferrell comedies such as Anchorman, Anchorman 2, Talladega Nights, Step Brothers, and The Other Guys, turned down Marvel Studios’s offer after Edgar Wright’s sudden departure. McKay was a leading contender over other considered directors such as Ruben Fleischer (Gangster Squad, Zombieland) and Rawson Marshall Thurber (We’re the Millers, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story).
McKay released the following twitter post yesterday:
McKay seemed like an apt choice given his past experience of directing Paul Rudd in the last two Anchorman movies and even delving into the action genre with The Other Guys and Talladega Nights. It’s a shame since it would have been a grand opportunity for him to explore new territory, especially since Ant-Man would have been his first feature without Will Ferrell’s involvement.
Wright, the British comedic auteur behind such beloved works as Shawn of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, and The World’s End, dropped out of the project due to creative differences with Marvel. As sources revealed to The Hollywood Reporter, though tensions between Wright and Marvel Studios were already prevalent, the straw that broke the camel’s back occurred when producer Kevin Feige ordered drastic changes to the original script (written by Wright and Joe Cornish) without Wright’s knowledge. We have a more detailed account of Wright’s exit here.
As Indiewire analyzed, with the project so deep in preproduction and the script pretty much set-in-stone, it is likely that any director who comes on board will have little individual input; at this point Marvel is looking for someone to take the wheel but to steer the boat undeterred to its destination.
Marvel Studios has not made any announcement since McCay declined the offer, but Ant-Man is still set for its original release date of July 17, 2015, and its main cast – including Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, and Evangeline Lilly – remains on board. Though Fleischer and Thurber still appear in contention, any predictions as to Marvel’s choices for the job are speculative. In any case Marvel is eager to find a replacement soon as production is scheduled to begin in July.