In what must be quite a relief for them at this point, Marvel Studios have announced that Peyton Reed will take over as the director of their Ant-Man movie from Edgar Wright who stepped down a couple of weeks ago.
While the exact reasons for the abrupt departure have not been confirmed, it does seem pretty clear that it came down to a dispute over the creative direction of the movie. Reading between the lines I would say that Wright was going for something edgier and less morally clear than Marvel wanted. Why it took so long for this issue to blow up (the movie has been in some form of pre-production for most of a decade) I don’t know.
Naturally Edgar Wright’s fans are none to happy about this move and the prevailing feeling seems to be the that the re-written movie is inferior to Wright’s version. Without having actually seen a script, I’m not sure how anyone can really come to that conclusion. Then again, I’m not a fan of Edgar Wright and his movies.
However, the process of finding a replacement director turned out to be a little messy. Adam McKay was approached to direct and first said yes, then no. He will it seems be taking a shot at the script though. The reason for the frantic search is that Ant-Man is supposed to be released in July 2015. The cast is in place and contracts are signed so they need to start filming. Coming in this late in the day on a project is a bit of a poison chalice for directors. We all remember X-Men 3 don’t we?
It is interesting to me that basically all the directors that Marvel talked to or considered are primarily considered comedy directors. While Marvel’s movies have always had humor in them, they’ve also always clearly been action movies. At least, so far.
I’ve actually been waiting for some clarity on the whole situation before posting about Ant-Man but it looks like this is as close to that as we’re going to get.
As well as announcing the new director, Marvel also provided this synopsis for the movie. Which doesn’t really tell us much we didn’t know/guess already:
When Marvel’s “Ant-Man” hits theaters July 17, 2015, director Peyton Reed will help shepherd the hero into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with a cast led by Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas, with writer Adam McKay contributing to the film’s script.
Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang (Rudd) must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (Douglas), protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.