‘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
Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. No. That’s not a good choice at all. Any of the other 3 would be fine with me, just not McKay

  2. The only reason I’m still interested in this is because I know Marvel has their **** together. With them stacking the comedy on this I’m not really sure what to think.

  3. I was leaning more towards Ruben Fleischer. Can’t say I’ve seen any of Mckay’s work(I can’t stand Will Ferrel)so I don’t know how to take this news

    • I’m with ya right there about Fleischer over McKay. I enjoyed Fleischer’s ‘Gangster Squad’ and ‘Zombieland’, and I honestly felt that ‘Ant-Man’ could have been a solid film for him. With McKay, whenever I watch the ‘Anchorman’ films and ‘The Other Guys’ (which was incredibly overrated, IMO) I couldn’t help but feel that he just goes overboard with the comedy. I do appreciate his style though, so that’s one plus that I feel can definitely be good thing for ‘Ant-Man’.

  4. Oh poop!

  5. This movie gets less interesting by the day, there turning it into a comedy by the guy who directed anchorman 2, meanwhile Deadpool is still being turned down for a film while hes able to be their most popular character without mainstream help from tv shows movies etc hes just built on comics but an ant man anchorman solo comedy film is a must.

    • ^Obligatory complaint about Deadpool not being the most important thing in the world.

    • You are aware that Marvel Studios isn’t the one who decides if and when there will be a Deadpool movie aren’t you?

  6. That went south so fast

    • not really – he probably said: how much money?
      they said: x amount – we need to know asap
      he said: okay let me think about it
      called back the next day: no thanks, good luck

      pretty normal for business discussions – cause at this point that’s pretty much the main conversation
      they want someone who’s available NOW and willing to work with the pay – so just a matter of finding someone they like that fits those two criteria and willing to be a team player – that’s what Marvel films and tv shows are – a team effort – not solo 1-off projects – the whole point of the MCU is to build to subsequent films and now tv shows

  7. Pretty sad to think of Ant-Man as a laughable concept of a character, only to see the studio push his film as a Comedy.

    If they don’t pull this off quality wise, you can say goodbye to Ant-Man for a LONG time.

  8. Will Ferrell as Egghead, I loved him as Mugatu in Zoolander. He perfected the “evil villain girly jog” I’d like to see what he can do with a red tie and a lab coat.

  9. Veronica and I are trying this new fad, I think its pronounced jogging or yogging. It might be a soft j.

  10. You pooped in the refrigerator and ate an entire wheel of cheese? Baxter, how did you do that?

  11. I could be wrong, but I believe diversity is an old, old wooden ship used during the civil war era.

  12. Probably the best choice out of those considered after they pushed Wright out.

    Not sure why people are complaining that it’s “being turned into” a comedy film because wasn’t that Feige and Wright’s plan before a first draft was even written all those years ago? Besides, none of the Marvel films so far have been anything other than comedic in tone, even the more serious story in IM3 had a few big laughs in it.

  13. Its called Sex Panther by Odin, its illegal in a dozen countries. And yes, its made with real bits of panther so you know its good.

    • 60% of the time it works every time.

  14. Ron: It was discovered by Germans in 1904, they named it Sandy Igo, which of course, in German means – A Whales vagina.

    Really, I don’t know what it means. I’ll be honest, I don’t think anyone knows what it means. Scholars maintain that the translation was lost over one hundred thousand years ago.

    Veronica: Doesn’t it mean Saint Diego?

  15. Dear Lord, big baby Jesus, lyin’ in yo ghost manger, studin’ yo Baby Einstein developmental videos, learnin’ bout shapes and colors. I would like to thank you for bringin’ me and my ma back together, and also that my kids don’t sound like retarded gang bangers no more.

  16. If this turns into Cap 2 all over again, I swear…

    • Well, according to this post, the movie is pretty much written, and all that’s needed is a director who can offer their visual flavor. It doesn’t sound like McKay will be affecting the material or story other than how he instructs his actors.

  17. If they re-cast Antman with Will Ferrell I may consider seeing the movie.

    • I was just thinking about lol Will Ferrell in this one

  18. McKay was my 2nd choice from the shortlist. This is great news! Rudd and McKay know how to work with each other so this should be good. Great report!

  19. whats funny is everyone here is complaining…the same complaints when they chose the directors for captain america:winter solider because they had never directed a big action movie, only comedies. and look how that movie turned out.

    • You know, Martin Campbell created both “Casino Royale” and “Green Lantern”. Tim Burton created both “Batman ’89″ and “Planet of the Apes” (remake). Jon Favreau created both “Iron Man” and “Cowboys & Aliens”.

      Just because a director goes under a studio, doesn’t mean a guaranteed success. Every great director can easily make a below average film.

    • Those directors, however, helped prop up arrested development and community. Meanwhile, Rawson’s we’re the millers sucked and for those rooting for ruben due to zombieland, all I can say is watch gangster squad. That’s where his limitations show.

  20. I’m not complaining, but let’s just home McKay can aspire to live up to what Wright had envisioned, visually, mixing in his own spice. I’m hopeful that McKay will knock it out of the park, and with Michael Douglas and Patrick Wilson playing both Hank Pym’s (Present Day/60s), it’s going to be an exciting ride.

    • If McKay can pull off what the Russos have, then I’m all for it. Wright and McKay’s vision may just be a marriage made in heaven, and this may be the start of a new lead in the MCU, not saying it’s definite, but there could be the possibility.

      Marvel is smart with their decisions in what their vision of their films are, and it has worked more of less. Bringing McKay on board is not an accident.

  21. Well McKay was certainly not my first choice for the job and its still hard for me to imagine the film without Wright he always seemed really enthusiastic in all the interviews regarding the project I have seen a bunch of McKay’s movies I loved the Other Guys and Stepbrothers I really want to see the Anchorman films and I know he was involved with the Campaign but he wasn’t the director overall the films I have seen from him have been good and I have liked them the only thing that I am skeptical about is what the tone will be like I would want it to have humor in it but not so much to the point where it becomes a total comedy I would still want the action and adventure and heart that I see in most Marvel films to be in there I hope it has all these things Rudd has worked with McKay before so maybe that will help in some ways and I highly doubt that Marvel would allow for the picture to become a total comedy I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t want it that way. Overall I think its a very interesting choice I look forward to the movie still :)

  22. Let’s all make sure to bombard McKay’s Twitter account with that video about how Wright’s visual comedy trumps everybody else’s. He needs to do his homework.

  23. My only concern is the comedy side to it, hopefully is not too “comedish” (if thats a word), at the sametime the Russo brothers which were odd choices for Cap 2 did a great job so lets give it a chance.

  24. what a downgrade from edgar wright :\ not saying mckay is bad but i was expecting a different kind of director to replace him

  25. Here’s a name Michel Gondry.

    • If Wright was too out there for them, Gondry is probably out of the question.

  26. I can’t help but wonder if Marvel has called Jon Favreau yet?

    We all know the stories about Iron Man 2 but at this point Marvel needs a win in a PR sense and what better way than to bring back the guy who helped start it all?

    Sure there’s a group of fans who wouldn’t consider it “his” film but 90% of the rest of the audience would have no clue about what went on behind the scenes.
    It could even help marketing.
    “Directed by the man who brought you Iron Man.”

    • That would be a very smart move!

  27. Wow, two directors out. Marvel, take a hint and cancel this movie. I and a lot of other people lost interest when Wright left. Do something like a Ms/Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers. Do Black Panther. Give us some diversity.

    • Stop with all the diversity crap.

      • No, seriously he’s right. Without diversity, you wouldn’t be able to eat different kinds of food every night, or listen to different genres of music. So diversity isn’t crap. So yeah, don’t hate..

  28. Why wouldn’t they just pick Jon Favreau? He made Iron Man a success and that movie had great blend of comedy and action

    • Favreau didn’t sign on for IM3 because of the meddling the studio did with IM2. So, doubt he would be up for it.

      • There have only been rumors and internet speculation that Favreau left because of IM2 meddling.

        Favreau has only said that he left to work on Magic Kingdom.

        There have also been rumors that Favreau was asked to direct Avengers but wanted too much money.

        Rumors are rumors…

        If they were to ask Favreau and give him a nice payday and give him some freedom to re-write some script I’m sure he’d at least consider it.

  29. Starting to look like a train wreck. Perhaps a little bit too much meddling with the directors’ vision. The buzz and trailer for this movie will have to be A+ for it to succeed. Right now, things aren’t looking good. The director who ends up signing on for this will be known as the one who bowed down to “the Man”. Or they will just get Edgar back to do his vision.

    • Or he’ll be known as the one director who managed to salvage a movie a lot of people thought was doomed and make it an impressive success. Let’s just wait and see.

      • Oh look, its Kevin Fiege from marvel, trolling.

        • How is stating an alternative trolling? I’m merely saying we could be positively surprised. The two options are a possibility. I’m rather an optimist myself, so my comment goes along those lines.

      • I just hope they soft-pedal the humor end of it. I would rather have it at least somewhat serious. I have too much respect for Pym, Ant-Man, Giant-Man, etc. in the early days, which is what this should be for this character, to have him turn into just another corn-ball cracking wiseacre jokes. I want to see him fight crime and baddies! And join The Avengers!