UPDATED: While negotiations had begun on Friday the 30th, THR is now reporting that McKay has abruptly pulled out of consideration and walked away from directing Ant Man.
This leaves Thurber and Fleischer (who is now said to be in the running to direct Ghostbusters 3) on the rumored “short list”, but Marvel may expand their search. Developing…
ORIGINAL STORY FOLLOWS:
The Hollywood Reporter says they’ve confirmed Adam McKay is the front-runner for the director’s chair on Marvel’s Ant Man.
McKay is best known for directing the Anchorman movies, where he worked with Paul Rudd. Marvel Studios exec Kevin Feige was said to have a short list that included McKay along with Rawson Marshall Thurber (We’re the Millers, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story) and Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland, Gangster Squad). Given that all three directors have a track record in comedic films, this would seem to indicate that the movie will be a little more irreverent or comedic in its tone, perhaps.
There’s still no official reason for Edgar Wright’s abrupt departure, although many are making the claim that Marvel instituted in-house rewrites without consulting Wright and co-writer Joe Cornish. The changed apparently altered the overall tone and direction of the movie enough that Wright felt the need to walk from the project that he’d been developing for nearly eight years.
With Wright’s departure, several department heads also left the project after it became clear the film would not start shooting on its planned start date.
Marvel maintains that Ant Man will make its July 17, 2015 release date, and that Wright’s departure comes after most of the pre-visualization and storyboards are done, leaving the new director — likely McKay — with a plan already in place.
This begs the question: how much of McKay’s own directing style and vision will he be allowed to bring to the project if he has to adhere to established pre-production decisions that may or may not fit now? And how many holes will he have to fill in departments with the delay in production start?