Ant-Man appears to be Marvel’s on-going orphan property as the directorial drama continues. Let’s rewind. Though Edgar Wright had been working on the adaptation of the size-changing comic book hero since 2006, Marvel gave him the ant-ax almost two weeks ago citing disagreements over script changes. A trio of potential replacements was quickly established, with Adam McKay entering into talks and quickly turning down the offer. Zombieland director Ruben Flesicher was also in the mix, but is likely considering the director’s chair for Ghostbusters 3. That left us with Rawson Marshall Thurber as the lone director in contention. At least that was the case until earlier today when he reportedly passed on the offer [Update: Or perhaps wasn't even offered it at all?]. Hit the jump for more.
[Update #2: In a report on a different film altogether, Deadline still says Thurber is "the favorite" for Ant-Man but adds that Nicholas Stoller (Neighbors) and Michael Dowse (Goon) are names that are "making the rounds."]
The fine folks over at This Is Infamous (via Jeff Sneider) say that Marshall Thurber has indeed passed on the offer to direct Marvel’s Ant-Man. [Update: According to Jeremy Smith at AICN, he wasn't even offered the job to begin with.
Rawson Marshall Thurber has not been offered ANT-MAN. Revise your stories.
There’s no reason given for his decision, though maybe he’s decided to move forward with the planned sequel to We’re the Millers, or his Choose Your Own Adventure adaptation. Or perhaps it’s more of an ego thing considering McKay was the first to receive an offer from Marvel. One could also speculate that this property has become toxic, even with Marvel’s current spot atop the list of most-anticipated films.
The thing is, this toxicity would go both ways. Not only does the ill will affect the fan base (at least in the short term until the next shiny, suited superhero takes to the screen), it could potentially affect the Marvel Cinematic Universe at large. Since Marvel was so keen to keep Wright’s creative vision out of their universe but have yet to cancel Ant-Man, it follows that the scientist superhero is part of their broader plans. In other words, the film is already written into the fabric of the studio’s plans for Phase Three. Fans more or less knew what we were getting with Wright at the helm, and could conceivably get a sense of tone with either McKay, Marshall Thurber, or even Fleischer in charge. But let’s face it, Marvel is now likely looking for a yes-man as director who will take their notes and churn out whatever they deem appropriate. It’s a shame, since Ant-Man was poised to be a fun and unique entry in the Marvel movie-verse. Now … enter Brett Ratner?