‘Ant-Man’ Director Shortlist: Marvel Looking For Comedy Background [Updated]

Published 11 months ago by , Updated June 7th, 2014 at 11:13 am,

Ant Man Scott Lang Marvel Comics Ant Man Director Shortlist: Marvel Looking For Comedy Background [Updated]

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is about finished its theatrical run at the box office after breaking records for the month of April, and for Marvel Studios, that means it’s time to put all focus on Guardians of the Galaxy – their big unknown property that aims to make a mark in the unusual superhero release month of August.

Next summer, Marvel’s heroes assemble once again in The Avengers Age of Ultron and just eight weeks later, fans will again meet a new hero from a lesser known property in Ant-Man, a film that’s been in the works for the better part of a decade from writer and director Edgar Wright. Ant-Man was meant to begin shooting shortly, except now it doesn’t have a director. It doesn’t have the director who pitched the film and helped get it greenlit in the first place.

Last week, Marvel made the official and shocking announcement that Edgar Wright had parted ways with them over creative differences. It was at the last minute and Marvel – committed to their release date – made sure to couple the news with the statement that the production is still on track for a July 2015 release and that a new director will be announced soon.

Ant Man Movie Logo Fan Made Ant Man Director Shortlist: Marvel Looking For Comedy Background [Updated]

Speculation ran rampant, with some pointing internally for who Marvel could look to take over the director’s chair but we had heard they had someone in mind, someone they’ve not yet worked with before. Who could possibly fill the void left by Edgar Wright when it comes to his unique take on the character? According to THR, one of these directors who are all reportedly on the shortlist and meeting with Marvel:

  • Adam McKay (Anchorman 1 & 2, The Other Guys)
  • Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies, 50/50)
  • Rawson Thurber (Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, We’re the Millers)
  • Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland, Gangster Squad)

Marvel Studios president of production Kevin Feige clearly is looking for someone with comedic chops and proven hits under their belts which speaks volumes to the style and humor we can expect from the Paul Rudd-led action heist film we’re told Ant-Man will be. THR claims Levine may be off the list, according to another source of theirs, but all the names represent directors who have a knack for blending genres but who’ve not hit the “A-List” of directors quite yet.

Update: According to The Wrap, Rawson Thurber is the current frontrunner. More details shortly!

Update 2: Ant-Man has a new director and writer. Find out who HERE!

Who would you choose to replace Edgar Wright for directing Ant-Man? Let us know in the comments!


More: Marvel Plans Ahead All The Way To 2028


Ant-Man stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Patrick Wilson, Michael Peña, Corey Stoll and Matt Gerald.

Guardians of the Galaxy opens August 1, 2014The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 17, 2015, Captain America 3 on May 6 2016, and unannounced films for July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie and TV news!

Source: THR

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TAGS: Ant-man
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    • ^^Here’s to hoping that whoever picks up the pieces, takes some cues from this and we get something close to what Edgar Wright had planned.

      It’s a pretty bleak hope, however. :(

      • Lol. It’s hard to say, the story/script is already there and all the scenes are storyboarded – it’s just the director’s style and picking the right moments. It won’t be Edgar Wright, but I expect Ant-Man will still be different than other Marvel movies in style.

        • Fleischer captures the best style of comedy within Zombieland
          Then add all the action sequences from Gangster Squad
          This can easily add up to a great essence of an Ant-Man film
          Especially with a possible Paul Rudd cameo in Age of Ultron

          Fleischer is the best choice because he will know when to use Paul Rudd’s amazing sense of humor and when to make it badasssss giving the movie a life or death seriousness

      • @Mindbender

        Cheers Doc !

    • Great video. It should be mandatory viewing for any director. Thanks for posting!

    • Brilliant video. I loved the inclusion of one of the biggest laughs my friends had from Monty Python And The Holy Grail. Love that scene.

      I guess the difference between Edgar and the Hollywood comedies is that Edgar grew up in Britain with sitcoms and comedy shows that had the same kind of editing, lighting, effects, etc and he just naturally assumed that’s how you direct a TV show/movie.

      Just take a look at the chandelier scene in Only Fools And Horses or the scene with Del Boy and Trigger at the bar as two classic and much loved British comedy scenes. They work because you have the build up, the relief that what you thought would happen didn’t happen and then the payoff while US comedy shows tend to be two people talking with cameras cutting between them and relying solely on the dialogue as the crux of the comedy instead of making the visual as well as the auditory important to the gag.

    • The funny thing about this video is that most of the movies featured made more money than all of Edgar’s flicks.

      I like Edgar Wright’s movies, but maybe they’re only for movie goers that “get” what he does. Maybe his style isn’t for the masses.

  1. I feel like this project is completely boned now. Production was supposed to start next month, I feel like any director worth their salt is going to be already attached to a film or in production and unavailable to start filming so soon. If Marvel wants this thing to still be good, they are going to have to delay the film to give themselves time to find an acceptable director.

    • Or they must have a plan B.Like completely finished Black Panther or Ms. Marvel with a director secretly working on that projects.I think after this experience they will surely keep an alternate plan.

      • No. There are no ‘secret movies’ being made, or all ready finish. The movie industry isn’t some secret society that has finished projects sitting on the back burner, waiting for the perfect moment to be released. It is what it is.

        • To be clear, I mean finished scripts,not movies in post production.Just like current Antman stage.

  2. Ruben Fleischer?? Seriously? After you all saw what he did with Gangster Squad?!
    This is going to be a hot mess.I think we are going to get another X3..

    • Yeah well, Gangster Squad wasn’t a comedy and Zombieland was awesome.

      • I dunno, Gangster Squad was stylistically pretty good, even if the plot wasn’t there. Hated Zombieland though, really didn’t enjoy that film at all.

    • Zombieland definitely had some similarities with Edgar Wright’s style.

      Gangster Squad wasn’t great but not completely awful.

  3. Maybe Shane Black could save it… He did an incredible job with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Sure, he’s directed Iron Man 3 already, but Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is simply – after Edgar Wright’s movies – the most funniest, well directed and well written comedy of the last years.

  4. I’m all in with Rueben. Zombieland was very Edgar Wrighty.

  5. Marvel needs to take a step back from trying to add some cheesy comedy into the superhero movies and focus on telling a good story.

    • This is ant man we’re talking about… it needs a comedic element to be relatable.

      You can’t do a Nolon-esque Ant Man (The Dark Ant Rises?!)

      • I don’t agree. There’s nothing funny about Ant-Man. Both characters’ origins come from a dark backstory, and their lives have not been a walk in the park. There’s nothing funny about losing your wife (twice), being bipolar, getting a divorce, having your child be critically ill, going to jail, getting abducted and replaced by a conquering alien, getting blown up, or coming back to live just in time to see your daughter die.

  6. I knew it. Too much Brit humour for Marvel.

  7. I’d go with Adam McKay.

  8. From this list, I’d say McKay or Fleischer.

  9. I’ve been on the fence for this film since they announced rudd. Add the fact they made him scott lang, probably my least favorite hero, I was very much readyto jump ship. I stayed on board to see what happens, but as this film is now boned, no director, and now looking for a director with comedic backround….seriously why even bother anymore…they should have gone with giant man not antman, at least that would have beenentertaining to watch. But when it came down to it I was never going to see it. So thanks marvel for droping the ball.

  10. all the money in the world and they go for weak directors?

    they should bring korean directors like chan wook park, joon-ho bong or kim jee-woon.

    action, style, “weirdism” and comedy. they’re just perfect to handle all that.

  11. McKay is pretty good. The other guys had some Wrighty moments. I think they need to take a slightly different direction instead of simply trying to replace him, though. I don’t want a B team Edgar Wright movie.

  12. If I could only pick one of these 4 I’d list them as…

    1. Jonathan Levine
    2. Adam Mckay
    3. Ruben Fleischer
    4. Rawson Thurber

    50/50 to put it simply was outstanding and Warm Bodies was better than it should have been.
    As for Fleisher, I actually think he’d be a good fit but Gangster Squad hurts his chances IMO. If I’m correct it was his last film and after the mess created with Wright’s departure Marvel has to install someone that fans see with confidence.

    • +1

  13. There’s 2 things everyone needs to keep in mind:
    1. The new director will not write/rewritte the script. So if a director has made a movie that’s visually food but has a terrible script, even if he wrote it, doesn’t matter that much. Fleischer in my opinion is the more suitable cuz he knows how to do action and do it well. It doesn’t matter that gangsta squad was awful. Visually, it worked. The director won’t mess up the story, it’s a marvel film! Kevin Feige is going to be there. Also, Levine is good cuz he knows how to give an emotional story by blending genres. Take this into consideration: Warm Bodies, just by concept, was supposed to be worse than Twilight. And he made an entertaining/charming film out of it. So props for that. The rest I’m not sure they know how to do a movie like this.

  14. Why not?…

    Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Lego movie, 21 jump street, Brooklyn Nine Nine exec producer for a few episodes)


    Ben Stiller


    John Favereau (He did great with Iron Man 1)

    • i’ve been thing favereau this whole time myself. and if could get RDj to make a cameo in it it would be a smash!

  15. I’m good with any of these options except for McKay. I love his movies, but the way he structures them, with the mish-mash of scenes that don’t connect, I don’t know if that will work with a Marvel movie that needs to be tied in to the MCU. Should be able to direct Rudd though.

    BTW, The Other Guys is one of the funniest movies ever.

  16. actually Fleischer having done a studio job with Gangster Squad last might help him – after all prior to Joe Johnston doing The First Avenger was The Wolfman. Another last minute studio pick up. Just a thought.

  17. Why are they going the comedic route? GotG seems to bring that genre, and I just dunno about it. If I picked, I’d choose Levine for sure.

  18. Marvel has to fail at some point. They will manage to avoid that with GotG by making it a kid flick (as the trailers already prove). I think they might have already thrown in the towel with this one and are just doing it out of it “being part of the plan”. Their plan might be so good that it even predetermines failures.

  19. So, we are going to get a film similar to IM3. Thank you but no thank you. Next thing you know Ant Man is going to defeat his enemies by using bad humour.

    The overuse of humour kills the story and the movie i.e. (IM3)

  20. I hope Ruben Fleischer gets to direct. I hate zombie movies but Zombieland was amazing. It blended everything together perfectly and Gangster Squad did a great job with action scenes.

  21. Guys, guys, no big deal, Ratner came on with just two weeks to spare before x3 started shooting and look how that turned out. Totally a masterpiece. This movie will be just fine… Lolz

  22. None of them are right for the job. Mckay is the best one out of the 3 (Levine is out) but is more content with will ferell to dominate his films. He’s unproven as a director without him. Rawson is a yes man aka brett ratner and Ruben is style over substance. He got lucky with zombieland and that’s it.

  23. I will bypass everyone mentioned as a possible director and put forth Frank Miller. Maybe we will get a little less comedy that way.

  24. I called Adam Mckay and Ruben on an antman thread earlier this week… I never guess these types of things correctly so feeling reasonably smart for once! However, I’d still take Ben Stiller or shaun levy to recapture some of that real steel magic.

  25. Just updated it – sounds like Rawson Thurber is the current top choice.

  26. I liked both dodgeball and we’re the millers a lot. While I’m cool with that, I do have concerns these films are becoming overly sanitised. Especially considering some healthy risk-taking built the studio. Have you heard that Marvel comics are no longer allowed to use any FF related characters as a snub to fox? Crazy marvel news this week if that’s true.

  27. Guy Ritchie??

  28. I also concur. Guy Ritchie has what it takes to make this character successful. He knows how to use humour without overkilling the plot or the characters.