Rawson Thurber Emerges as ANT-MAN Director Frontrunner; Ruben Fleischer Also in the Mix and Is Being Considered for GHOSTBUSTERS 3

     May 30, 2014


It’s a big day for Marvel news stories.  Josh Brolin has just been confirmed to play the “Big Bad” Thanos in Guardians of the Galaxy and future Marvel Studios films, and earlier this morning a shortlist of contenders to take over Ant-Man surfaced.  Following Edgar Wright’s exit from the film, Marvel has been working quickly to line up a new director that can start production imminently, as the cast and pre-vis are already set and the studio is racing towards a July 17, 2015 release date.  The reported shortlist includes Anchorman 2 director Adam McKay, Zombieland helmer Ruben Fleischer, and Rawson Marshall Thurber, who most recently directed the comedy We’re the Millers.

Now, according to a new report, Thurber has surfaced as the frontrunner to be the new Ant-Man director, while Fleischer is also in consideration for the helm of Ghostbusters 3.  More after the jump. [Update: And now it looks like McKay will be the one to take the gig, as he is currently in talks with Marvel for the director's chair.]

ant-man-awson-marshall-thurberThe folks over at The Wrap are reporting that Rawson Thurber is now the frontrunner to take over directing duties on Marvel’s Ant-Man, edging out McKay and Fleischer.  Though the other two seemed like the more qualified candidates, McKay has a number of producorial commitments and also has his own directorial projects lined up (ie. he doesn’t “need” Ant-Man).  As for Fleischer, he could use a boost given that his last two films, Gangster Squad and 30 Minutes or Less, failed to take off, but the report notes that he and his wife just had a baby and he may not be willing to make this kind of commitment straight away.

So that leaves us with Thurber, who is hot off the somewhat surprise comedy hit We’re the Millers.  Speaking candidly, none of these three filmmakers are known for their visual style, but Thurber has the least defined aesthetic of the bunch.  He directed the 2004 comedy Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story and seems like a competent enough filmmaker, but he doesn’t really hold a candle to Wright.  And maybe that’s how Marvel wants it.  Given the time crunch, the studio is looking for someone who can apply their notes and essentially guide the ship in without rocking things too much, and that makes Thurber a suitable fit for the job.  The revised script is apparently wildly different from Wright and Joe Cornish‘s draft (complete with modern culture references), so Thurber may not be too tied down to Wright’s specific vision.  Marvel is the author of Ant-Man now.

The report also notes that Fleischer is “being considered” for the job of directing Ghostbusters 3, but that project is much farther away than Ant-Man.  Marvel can’t be too happy with all the bad press and speculation, so I imagine we’re not far off from an official announcement regarding the new director.

Ant-Man will star Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evanegline Lilly, and Patrick Wilson and opens in theaters on July 17, 2015.


  • MJ

    Rawson Thurber?

    Isn’t that a type of 4-cycle engine used in boating?

  • Christian

    Dodgeball was hilarious, but We’re The Millers was incredibly bland.

    I know it’s been said a million times, but what a shame to lose Edgar Wright. If you describe something as an Edgar Wright movie – or even an Adam McKay movie – a clear image comes to mind.

    If I asked somebody whether they saw the new Rawson Thurber flick, I’m pretty sure they’d assume I meant porn.

  • aceshigh


  • GrimReaper07

    I liked Dodgeball but ugh.

    • The Flobbit

      I disliked Dodgeball so NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

      • GrimReaper07

        Out of the Ferrel-Stiller movies it’s the one I liked the most (even more than Anchorman). Still, he’s a terrible replacement for Wright. It just goes to show Marvel doesn’t care that much who goes in the director’s chair. The studio itself mostly directs the movies.

      • The Flobbit

        Ferrell isn’t even in Dodgeball, if I recall…

        And Marvel cares very much about who is their director. in fact it’s their biggest strength – choosing strong directors with a good and unique vision. They seem to have lost it with Wright, though.

      • GrimReaper07

        True, I confused Vaughn with Ferrel.

        I like you since we both seem to have the same love for Snowpiercer but I’ve got to disagree on that second part. One of the things I hate about Marvel is the lack of individual vision in their movies. It seems like the studio itself is directing the films and the directors are there to give a little touch of their own here and there.

  • jerome

    Once again the most uninteresting name prevails

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  • scurvy

    Lazy reporting Adam. You mention modern cultural references and cite ‘ain’t it cool’ who also mention it citing ‘latino renew’ who makes zero mention of requiring modern cultural references.

    No Marvel movie that I can think of to date made use of these.

    • GrimReaper07

      Off the top of my head, RDJ makes a joke about Legolas in Avengers.

      • http://darnellbrown.me/ Darnell Brown

        Also the “Point Break” reference. Didn’t Stark say something to Thor after their fight in the woods to the effect (a scene in the Hellicarrier) of ‘No offense taken ‘Point Break’, you got a mean swing’?

      • Batt Damon

        Reindeer Games

    • beeman

      there are facebook jokes in Thor, and Captain America has a list of things to catch up on including Star Trek/Wars, Nirvana, Rocky, etc

      • scurvy

        20+ yr old references are not modern.

  • JMD

    Sounds like the most controllable of the three

  • JC

    Bring the deskopt version of your site back to mobile users!

    • Hi hi

      No way! I love the mobile version!

  • Daniel O’Reilly

    Any of those choices essentially ensure the movie will suck.

  • Person

    I guess that’s one way to go…

  • Mr. Marvel

    Rawson Thurber = Cheap Director = Marvel has complete control.

  • Jesse

    This project went from exciting to worrisome so fast. I hate that this starting to truly feel like “just another piece of the puzzle” affair. I was hoping for something daring and outside of the box.

  • http://www.collider.com/ DNAsplitter

    The flip side to this coin is that the same studio also hired the Russo Brothers. You know, the same guys who directed episodes of Park & Rec and the Office and You, Me and Dupree, and they just delivered IMO the 2nd best Marvel film yet. My point is that the studio clearly monitors each film to ensure the quality o work w directors who conform to their universe.

  • Colin

    Hey don’t judge quite yet. The guy that directed “Elf” landed the Iron Man gig. Seems similar to me.

  • Guest

    Directing the film is not a big deal but po.st/NOeFYI

  • Strong Enough

    “Fucking thing sucks!”

  • TigerFIST

    Really now! Just please get to San Diego Comic Con 2014 quick to announce the rest of phase three b/c honestly I don’t give a FUCKING SHIT about this film Ant-Man anymore! Still pissed as FUCK about this last minute script change. I WANT EDGAR WRIGHT AND WHO EVER IS RESPONSIBLE @ MARVEL AND/OR DISNEY CAN EAT A GIANT BAG OF DICKS!!!!!

  • Marvel Cinematic Undiverse

    I’m sure one of these hack director’s will fit Marvel Studios’ bland vision perfectly.

  • Batt Damon

    This is disappointing. Thurber was the least promising name being thrown around. Adam McKay would’ve been a safe bet but I was hoping they’d go with Fleischer. Zombieland was fantastic and I enjoyed 30 Minutes Or Less quite a bit. Gangster Squad was a huge disappointment but most of that movie’s problems had to do with having a weak script. It was still well directed and had a strong cast. Fleischer is a promising director and I think this could have paid off for both him and Marvel.

  • TotesMcGotes

    Slashfilm says Adam McKay is in talks. So…I don’t know which one is true. But I do think he’s better than this guy, The Other Guys shows he can handle action really well, but it’s still disappointing after Wright.

  • Redjester

    The “We’re the Millers” director is the frontrunner? Really??

    • http://mattedscreen.blogspot.com/ TheMattedScreen

      I think pretty much everyone said the same thing – I know I did

  • HeSaidSheSaidMv

    Rawson Whober?

  • http://mattedscreen.blogspot.com/ TheMattedScreen

    How about canceling it all together? OR at least delay it. As much as I want to see Ant-Man happen – this movie has a lot of bad vibes going for it and NOTHING Marvel has said or done is working to improve the situation. McKay is the only one of this bunch that even seems interesting IMO, that is.

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  • eternalozzie

    we really need to get a big box of tissues for the collider comment section … edgar is out … we need to cry it out and move on with our lives.