‘Ant-Man’: Adam McKay Drops Out of Negotiations to Direct [Updated]

Published 11 months ago by , Updated June 7th, 2014 at 11:12 am,

marvel ant man director Ant Man: Adam McKay Drops Out of Negotiations to Direct [Updated]

[UPDATE: Adam McKay has dropped out of talks to direct Ant-Man. Scroll for details.]

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

It’s been a crazy week (or so) in the Marvel Studios movie news cycle. First came the shocking announcement that Edgar Wright is not directing Ant-Man, after having spent much of the last decade working on the superhero project; then, just yesterday, the news broke that Josh Brolin will be playing big baddie Thanos in upcoming Marvel Shared Universe installments; and now, we may know who’s replacing Wright at the helm of Ant-Man.

Wright is a fan-favorite for such critically-acclaimed works as the Cornetto Trilogy (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End), but ultimately his vision of the Ant-Man property didn’t gel with Marvel Studios’ continually evolving plans, for how to best incorporate the eponymous superhero – and his peers – into the Avengers movie-verse. Despite that, the final Ant-Man film is still expected to combine heist action genre elements with a cheeky approach to humor, in keeping with Wright’s original vision.

This speculation is based on the shortlist of directors who’ve been eyed to replace Wright at the helm for Ant-Man, with such folk as Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland, Gangster Squad) and Adam McKay (Anchorman 1 & 2, The Other Guys) – having demonstrated the ability to blend action tropes with satirical comedy before – making the cut. Yesterday afternoon, Rawson Thurber (We’re the Milers) was reported to have emerged as the front-runner to direct Ant-Man; now, however, it appears that McKay has begun full-fledged talks for him to take the job.

The latest Ant-Man director update news was first broken by AICN, but sources for Variety and THR have since confirmed the story (with Variety reporting that McKay is in “advanced talks” to direct Ant-Man).

adam mckay anchorman ant man director Ant Man: Adam McKay Drops Out of Negotiations to Direct [Updated]

Adam McKay and Will Ferrell shooting ‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues’

McKay, who previously collaborated with Ant-Man lead Paul Rudd on the Anchorman films, is joining the Ant-Man project at a point where the original shooting script draft - penned by Wright and Joe Cornish (The Adventures of Tintin, Attack the Block) – has already been revised, in accordance with Marvel heads’ wishes – and thus, ought to be all ready to go, for the start of production. Likewise, the movie’s pre-visualization and storyboarding should be all but done, so it’s really down to McKay to just settle into the director’s chair and make sure the whole thing comes together (while still bringing some of his own personal touch to the proceedings).

Indeed, it should be interesting to see just how Ant-Man plays out – and whether it feels closer to McKay or Wright’s past work. Wright, in particular, generally favors a highly visually-oriented approach to storytelling and comedy. McKay is no stranger to action-oriented sight gags and/or visual humor (see the Other Guys clip, featured below), but his comedies tend to be more dialogue-heavy – though, to be fair, it’s not as though Wright’s ever been a slouch in the area of verbal humor or using sound for comedic effect, in his own movies.

McKay’s Ant-Man could be his most visually-precise film to date, in terms of its construction, since he has Wright’s pre-viz work to draw from. As far as marriages of arctic inclinations go, a quirky superhero vehicle crafted by McKay and Wright sounds like one that might play out fairly smoothly, all things considered.

We may always wonder what the Marvel film would’ve been like, had Wright remained onboard, but such is the way the penny sometimes drops on these studio-backed, big-budget, comic book adaptations (see: Patty Jenkins’ abandoned vision for Thor: The Dark World, Darren Aronofsky’s original plan for The Wolverine, and so on). Hopefully, the final result in this case of Ant-Man, will follow the trend of recent Marvel Studios releases and encompass a range of genre elements – rather than just unfold as a “goofy” superhero movie, that is.

Update: THR is reporting that Adam McKay – after being in active talks on Friday to direct Ant-Man – has abruptly dropped out of the running of his own accord.


Ant-Man stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Patrick Wilson, Michael Peña, Corey Stoll and Matt Gerald. It is currently scheduled to open in U.S. theaters on July 17th, 2015.

Source: AICNVariety, THR (1, 2)

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
TAGS: Ant-man
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  1. I love Ant-man and McCay, but that doesn’t sound appealing to me at all. Is this going to be Honey I Shrunk the Kids for current day?? They can make the movie funny without trying too hard to be goofy.

  2. This movie is gonna suck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. This is going to be Marvel’s version of “x-men: The Last Stand.” I’ve never seen souch a troubled production since Atuk. Something tells me this film is going to be postponed and (dependin on why this new director dropped out) most likely cancelled. But if it gets made, this qill probably be a bomb and a stinker.

    I hope Wright releases his new film at the same time this comes out (if it does come ou) that way we can all boycott the movie and see Wright’s film instead.

  4. Matthew Vaughn who directed X-Men first class, and helped write X-Men: Days of Future Past would fit perfectly for Ant-Man! Adam McKay was a horrible pick to direct, I’m glad he’s out!

  5. Guy Ritchie would be an excellent choice. If Marvel wants to make a comedy out of one of his superheroes, it is going to blow on their faces and is going to hurt like hell.

    At the beginning they wanted to make Captain America into a comedy. Thank god they changed their minds and now you can see the result. Less humour and a much more interesting story pays off.

  6. I mean what the f*ck with this movie. I hope they dont cancel it in the end.

    With all this mess, the viable option would be to re-schedule the film to its original release date.

  7. We’re the Millers was awful, I couldn’t even sit through the whole thing. So my vote, such as it is, is anyone but Thurber.

  8. Well, all other things being equal, this has not been a good week of publicity for Ant-Man. I hope that they get someone capable and that it works out.

  9. marvel aren’t going for a comedy most of the marvel movies has action and humour in them..why isn’t joe cornish up for it..?..maybe over his relationship with edgar wright..i’m raging edgar wrights not doing it but i’m taking either ruben fleisher or tarsem singh.

  10. I love reading these comments.
    Marvelites throwing around big director names gives me a chuckle.

    “Hey, Mr Big Name Director Dude, want to come make a movie for us that essentially demotes you to glorified cinematographer? We didn’t let Wright do what he wanted, so we’re sure as hell not going to let you, it’s pretty much a paint by numbers comedy that will mostly serve as an ad for future Disvel movies. You are there mostly to just do what your told. Interested?”

    Yeah, I’m sure directors are beating a path to their door to do this movie! Hahahahahahahahaha

    • Gotta agree with you. Marvel is certainly reeling from this and I suspect the film is doomed, if it’s ever made. Does anyone know if the actors can bow out of a production? I think it’s time for Marvel to realize that their own vision doesn’t always make for memorable movies.

  11. I have a bad feeling about this…what is happening? Why are all these people dropping out? What kind of decisions is Marvel making to the script? I NEED ANSWERS!

    • Marvel: Ok, we don’t need hero with issues me need something lighter, more comedy orientated movie but as deep as Wright wrote in this script can you do it?
      Adam: I guess no, thats impossible.
      Adam’s agent: Oh what impossible even means right
      *everyone but Adam laughs*
      Adam: Well you see, i can make a comedy out of AntMan, i don’t want to but i can. But making it by this script without rewriting.
      Marvel: So rewrite it. Oh, and can you add Tony Stark in there?
      Adam: What has Ironman to do with Antman?
      Marvel: Its Marvel property and he is popular. You can add just small scenes like after credits.
      Adam: Well, ok.
      Marvel: Oh, and also he could show up in the movie, you know nothing special just a guest star somewhere. Maybe helping with some advice to Pinkman
      Adam: Pym
      Marvel: him too. And maybe you know helping him to fight a bad guy, not the whole fight just at the end showing up to save Antman and finishes the villain with one strike.
      *Adam runs off the meeting sits in the car turns on music and drive on top speed*
      “One way to hell…”

  12. get fleischer
    end of discussion

    • After Gangster squad, I wouldn’t trust him.

  13. Why not scrap this alltogether?
    I don’t see Ant Man as a good character for a movie, for AM fans maybe give him a tv show, but with what they’ve done to the original story with basicly writing Pym out I don’t see any point in using him now.

    • Because it will make them money… I’ll see it…

  14. Thank God Adam McKay Dropped Out! Anchorman 1 & 2 were funny and the Other Guys was a enjoyable flick until the credits reveal it as a Economic satire instead of a buddy cop film. I don’t really want McKay near this one. I can see were his high points would be but the would over shadows by his weaknesses in a film like Antman.

  15. Just have Joss Whedon direct it.

  16. I see it as being more “The Italian Job” meets “Innerspace” than anything. I mean, a heist flick with a protagonist that can shirk down to ant-size? There is a lot of potential for fun, engaging stories to be told from that perspective no matter who’s directing.

  17. Has no one thought of Greg Matolla. If Wrights out he is the second best choice