It has been one week since Edgar Wright and Marvel Studios decided to part ways after working together on ‘Ant-Man’ since 2006. The major Marvel Cinematic Universe shake up has been said to be a result of creative differences with the tone and massive rewrites. Now, with the fan favorite British filmmaker off of the project, who will step in to present the Hank Pym and Scott Lang that the House of Ideas are looking for? A new list of potential choices has emerged.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, there are currently three frontrunners under consideration to fill the void left by Wright. Sources say that Rawson Marshall Thurber, Adam McKay, and Rueben Fleischer are among the directors meeting with Marvel to take over the first Phase Three film. All three filmmakers have a distinct comedic voice that appeals to the mainstream as opposed to the former occupant of the director’s chair who had a more quirky approach to his projects.
McKay is probably the most well known of the trio. With credits including ‘Anchorman’, ‘Step Brothers’, and ‘Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby’, the frequent Will Ferrell collaborator has contributed some of the most beloved American comedies of the past 20 years. He even has experience in mixing comedy and action thanks to his work on ‘The Other Guys’. Plus, he has experience with star Paul Rudd and knows how to play to the actor’s strengths.
Both Thurber and Fleischer have impressive credits as well. Respectively, they’ve given us ‘Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story’ and ‘Zombieland’, which are widely acclaimed successes. However, Fleischer has had some big misses lately with ‘Gangster Squad’ and ’30 Minutes or Less’ while Thurber had a surprising mainstream hit with ‘We’re The Millers’, which may be something that Disney and Marvel are looking for right now. Also, Thurber is working with Disney on ‘Overnight’ from ’22 Jump Street’ scribe Oren Uziel, so he’s already in the system and acclimated into their ways. These two certainly have their pros and cons, but they definitely have the potential to deliver a solid version of ‘Ant-Man’.
Finally, though some sources have denied his inclusion in the mix, ‘Warm Bodies’ and ‘The Wackness’ director Jonathan Levine may have been approached for this project as well. He has a much more indie flair and a younger voice in his work that may not exactly fit ‘Ant-Man’, but it would be interesting to see what he’d do with it.
Of the choices presented here, I think Rueben Fleischer would be my choice. ‘Zombieland’ is probably one of my favorite movies of the 2000s and he masterfully balanced the comedy and action in that film. Certainly he could do it again with ‘Ant-Man’ if given the opportunity despite the snoozefest that was ‘Gangster Squad’, but I could see Marvel moving more in an Adam McKay direction. As I said, he may be one of the most influential voices in American comedy today and that reputation could be appealing to Kevin Feige and the other suits at the studio. Marvel tends to take these fairly well known names and give them a unique opportunity with their characters. We’ve seen it with Kenneth Branagh, Jon Favreau, Shane Black, the Russo Brothers, and Joss Whedon. All these directors have their audiences, but they were elevated to another level once they teamed up with Marvel. McKay could very well be the next one that joins that pantheon and is taken from his corner of entertainment and thrust into the unexpected world of a superhero blockbuster.
What do you think about the list of potential directors for ‘Ant-Man’? Who would you pick if you were in Marvel’s shoes? Let us know in the comments below.
‘Ant-Man’ starring Michael Douglas and Paul Rudd hits theaters on July 17, 2015.