Adam McKay in Talks to Direct ANT-MAN for Marvel [Update: McKay Has Now Exited the Film, Comments on Meeting]

     May 31, 2014


Just yesterday, we reported that Dodgeball director Rawson Marshall Thurber was leading the trio of directors who were being eyed to replace Edgar Wright on Marvel’s Ant-Man.  Now, it looks like Adam McKay is the one who’s actually in talks to take on the job.  Wright recently departed the project (one he’s been attached to since 2006, before the dawn of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe) over disagreements with script changes, leaving the studio without a leader at the helm.  Keen to keep their July 17, 2015 release date in place, Marvel moved rather quickly to find a replacement.  While McKay is certainly an accomplished director of the funnies, he’s an interesting choice if only because his comedic and directing style is so different from Wright’s.  Hit the jump for more.

[Update: Wow, this project may actually be cursed. McKay was poised to sign his contract today, but THR reports that he has now pulled out of the film completely, adding that the decision was his alone. I guess this leaves us with Thurber or Ruben Fleischer. Read McKay's comments on the matter after the jump.]

adam-mckay-ant-manHeat Vision confirms AICN’s report that McKay has entered into talks with Marvel to direct Ant-Man, outpacing contenders Thurber and Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer.  Ant-Man stars Paul Rudd in the title role, which makes for a cozy actor/director relationship as McKay previously directed him in each of the Anchorman films.  This shorthand likely helped McKay’s cause greatly, as it’s being reported that Marvel didn’t so much as meet with Thurber or Fleischer.

McKay taking over the helm of Ant-Man is interesting for a number of reasons.  First of all, it probably means that he’s more accepting of the script changes offered up by Marvel’s in-house writers, changes that forced Wright off the project.  Second, it likely alters the tone of the film, as McKay’s free-flowing, improvisational style of directing is quite distinct from Wright’s carefully constructed scene work.  Finally, from a filmmaking standpoint, both Wright and McKay have proven themselves quite capable of handling action-comedies.  However, I think this video helps to sum up the differences between their two styles:

Ant-Man opens July 17, 2015.



Around The Web
  • André Camilo

    So, they’re still using Wright’s botchered screenplay? I don’t know if this is good or disrespectful.

    • Jan

      “Botchered” is a strong word for something you haven’t even read, yet. That’s like calling your favorite dish ‘disgusting’ just because someone altered an ingredient, even though you haven’t even tried it yet.

      • paul h

        But the original chef’s disowned the new recipe, “botchered” will prolly, tho I hope not, fit…

      • Batt Damon

        If someone spits in my soup I don’t have to taste it to know I won’t enjoy it

      • Lex Walker

        That’s an issue of knowledge affecting perception. If you didn’t know they spit in your soup, you wouldn’t notice anything at all. So actually, yes, you would have to taste it, and even then you wouldn’t notice.

      • Al

        If we’re going with food analogies I’d say if this debacle never saw the light of day, and Edgar stayed on with the Marvel rewrites, as a frequent customer of Wright’s restaurant I’d probably guess that the ingredients were tampered with. Especially if they were enough for the chef to leave the kitchen.

        So while you’re right, people may not be able to assume they’d know the difference, I’d say its double so for people claiming we would just smile and nod.

  • fielding

    He’s the most promising name of the bunch, short of Edgar Wright miraculously returning I would say that McKay is the best choice.

    • Daniel O’Reilly

      The best worst choice, anyway.

      • fielding

        I agree that he isn’t the best, but for the most part I’ve like Adam McKay’s movies more than the other candidates’ not to mention he’s worked with Rudd before and knows how to get a solid performance which is all he needs to do, because Marvel’s micro managers will handle the rest

      • Daniel O’Reilly

        I do prefer McKay to Thurber of Fleischer, but it’s still hard to find anything positive to say about the project now that Wright is gone.

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  • Person

    McKay is clearly the best choice here. Not necessarily just as a filmmaker, but as a way for Marvel to appease Rudd, who they’ll need to keep happy for future films.

    • Beefdong

      If Paul Rudd is doing this movie, then he’s already signed at least a 6 picture deal. I think the only way he could get out of it at this point is if he paid a huge fine. I’m not a legal expert on movie contracts, but I think that’s what happens.

      • Person

        I know he can’t get out it, but it’d be in Marvel’s best interest to at least keep him happy. At least he’s not being vocal about his feelings the way Natalie Portman was when the original Thor 2 director dropped out (I forget her name).

  • World’s Finest Comments

    Well, I’ve been wanting to see McKay finally involved with a film that Will Ferrell has nothing to do with, so at least that’s happening…

  • devilineggs

    It’s still amazing to me that Marvel could let Shane Black make The Mandarin a disgraced actor with a drug problem who seemed to imply that he was caught jerking his crank in the street, but Edgar Wright’s vision was was deemed to much for Marvel to handle, and for the record I like the Mandarin twist…

    • RedMercury

      Well, The Mandarin twist is easily ret-conned. He wasn’t the real Mandarin. Remember that they gave him plastic surgery so he would look like…?


      The whole film is about illusion and there’s nothing in it that says who the Mandarin actually is. He’s the Keyser Söze of the MCU.

  • Doug_101

    Ant-Man? Sounding a lot more like CAN’T-Man. Geez.

    • Strong Enough

      You sir win the internet

      • Doug_101

        Thank yew, thank yew.

    • Werefon

      It’s good but current working title is Ain’t-Man!

    • The Flobbit


      And with good reason.

  • PresidentObama

    Based on the fact that everyone director is running away from this supposedly great opportunity, the renewed script and Marvel’s demands must be terrible :(

    • PresidentObama

      Sorry, “every director” typo :(

      • Daniel O’Reilly

        Click “Edit” under your comments to correct typos.

  • TigerFIST

    Wow. What a mess. I think the film will get cancelled. Why still make it? Didn’t Feige say they are making the film b/c of Wrights vision?

  • Strong Enough

    I bet Feige is pulling out all his hair because of ….oh wait nevermind

    • Werefon

      Yeah, it’s too late now BUT muscle memories and reflexes are stil there. His hands are probably reaching for lost hair like phantom pain

    • Werefon

      Yeah, it’s too late now BUT muscle memories and reflexes are stil there. His hands are probably reaching for lost hair like phantom pain

  • Redjester

    I’m in agreement with the rest that it would be best at this point if the film was just scrapped.

  • Choming Girl

    I can’t believe on this news because

  • Guest

    its not feasible but

  • Matt1

    Marvel needs to cancel this shit, and move Cap 3 to Ant-Man’s old release date. Problem solved.

  • Royale With Cheese

    What an absolute Fn mess. Seriously, this couldn’t be handled worse. They need to do something about putting a lid on all this information from getting out because its making them look terrible. Figure out who the director is and get him under contract before you send out information. This situation makes it seem that they have some horrible script at work because one director quit and another wanted nothing to do with it. Scheduling conflict? Come on, his twelve assistants could have told him there would be a scheduling conflict if he directed this film before he took the meeting. This refusal obviously arose form the meeting that took place.

    • Werefon

      You a right, and as Marc Webb situation remind us, Marvel could offer a deal to a company that had McKay under contract so he would direct Ant-Man and then other film.

      Marc Webb failed horribly but this could’ve been solved if he really wanted to make a film.

      And not that McKay would be shooting films next 14 months. Yeah, schedule is not the case.

  • The Flobbit

    At this point, what Marvel should be doing is asking on bended knee for Wright to please please come back. Concede to his demands because he is a better filmmaker than Feige or Whedon will ever be.

    The fact is that Marvel has lost its edge, its daring, and its fearlessness. The only chance to get it back is in the hands of James Gunn and Edgar Wright. And they just cut off their right hand.

    • Werefon

      But studio will not do that, especially at their current level.
      Can you remember any case when they asked the director back after looking for another?

      I know that once studio went back to the original director after others didnt work. Problem is it happened after few years.

      With Ain’t-Man it’s different case. Release date is already set and director is not a problem. Remember Alan Taylor came late for Thor 2 after first director droped out very close to production.

      And Alan Taylor was honest that They took the film out of his hands. Edit it their own way and made it half an hour shorter. They fired composer Taylor hired. So, it wasn’t any good for him. He also shited on James Gunns after credit scene.

    • ThisGuy01

      They won’t. They’ll just announce at some point that Ant-Man is now “an integral part of Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 4… or 5… maybe 9…” then they’ll announce a sequel to Thor fast tracked to come out in 2015.

      • The Flobbit

        Although it’s a worst case scenario, it sounds sadly plausible.

  • JJFGeek

    I guess when McKay saw the script, Marvel had provided for him he was like: Aw hell no!! and jumped out the window.

  • GrimReaper07

    Loved that video Dave

  • milo

    Pulled out? That tweet makes it sound like he had other obligations he couldn’t get out of, but the spin is that he didn’t want to do it.

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