As Marvel starts to assemble Phase 3 of its shared cinematic universe, one of their most pertinent tasks will be finding directors to call the shots on the various films the studio has planned. They have made some progress on that front, hiring Joe and Anthony Russo to helm Captain America: Civil War and the two-part Infinity War event; Scot Derrickson to make Doctor Strange; and James Gunn to write and direct Guardians of the Galaxy 2. However, there are still several projects in the pipeline with vacant director's chairs.
A while back, it was rumored that Anchorman filmmaker Adam McKay (who handled the rewrite of this summer's Ant-Man) was being looked at the direct a future Marvel film, specifically Inhumans. Little has been heard about his potential involvement since, but we do know that the studio heads have a keen eye on McKay, with none other than Kevin Feige stating the studio hopes to work with McKay again.
“Adam McKay is in the running for everything. Adam McKay is a great, great writer and director. He did an amazing pass on the 'Ant-Man' draft with Paul Rudd for us, and I didn’t know him before then. And we got to know him through that and liked him very much, and have met with him a number of times trying to find something else, so we’ve talked about a lot of characters with him."
Feige wouldn't come out and say which characters specifically the studio has discussed with McKay, but it's safe to assume that everything with a "TBA" in the director's column is fair game for the time being. Since the rumor mill has pointed to Inhumans in the past, that film has probably had the most serious discussions; especially with Marvel allegedly wanting Angelina Jolie to make Captain Marvel and Drew Goddard is in the running for the Spider-Man reboot. We'll just have to wait and see.
If anything, Feige's words are a positive sign for the potential quality of Ant-Man, which arguably is Marvel's hardest sell yet. The film has not received the same kind of hype as some of their other upcoming movies having, due in large part to the massive change in the creative team shortly before production began. At this stage in the game, any good press the film can get is a benefit - even if it is from the studio head.
And the court of public opinion for Ant-Man is already in the process of changing their verdict from "doomed" to "this looks fun," thanks to the release of the second trailer, which showcased more polished visual effects work, creative uses of Scott Lang's abilities, and stronger comedic beats. If that preview is indicative of the final product, then it's easy to see why Feige feels so strongly about McKay as a filmmaker and would want to keep him under their roof - by handing him the keys to one of Marvel's other properties.
McKay has so far exclusively dealt with the comedy genre when it comes to his directorial outings, so some fans may be wondering if he'd be the best fit for a franchise that's continuously evolving in scope and aiming to tell more mature stories down the road. If Feige's comments aren't enough to sway you, McKay's next project - the financial drama The Big Short - might do the trick. That film is still in production, but it was strong enough on paper to convince the likes of Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt to star, so perhaps there's more to McKay as a filmmaker than some goofy Will Ferrell movies. It sounds like Marvel believes so.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron will be in theaters May 1, 2015; Ant-Man on July 17, 2015; Captain America: Civil War - May 6, 2016; Doctor Strange - November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 - May 5, 2017; Spider-Man reboot - July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok - November 3, 2017; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 - May 4, 2018; Black Panther - July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel - November 2, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 - May 3, 2019; Inhumans - July 12, 2019.
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