Adam McKay, Ruben Fleischer Among Those In Contention For Ant-Man

By Gabe Toro 2014-05-30 10:13:25discussion comments
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Ant-Man is coming July 17th, 2015, and Marvel is NOT messing around. After the departure of Edgar Wright over creative differences and a start date looming, they knew they would need to get this puppy in gear, and quick. And while most expected Marvel to take a look at the scrap heap in searching for a possible director available to jump on this quickly (us included), it looks like Marvel is actually parsing the A-List to find a captain of the Ant-Man ship.

THR has revealed some of the names Marvel head Kevin Feige is pursuing for the job. Apparently several directors are taking meetings, and three of them are Rawson Thurber (We're The Millers), Adam McKay (Anchorman) and Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland). Another source claims that Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies) might be another contender, but hasn't yet been approached.

Of those, it seems like McKay's the big catch. He has worked with current Ant-Man Paul Rudd before. But he's also had major input on the screenplays for his previous films thus far, writing each of them, all collaborations with Will Ferrell. He's clearly got his own sandbox, is he ready to jump into Marvel's? Specifically without kindred spirit Ferrell?

Adam McKay
Adam McKay
Adam McKay doesn't seem very busy right now, as his next directorial gigs Three Mississippi and Uptown Saturday Night have stalled. McKay's close to a comedy auteur at this point, with his last four directorial efforts crossing $100 million domestic. Will he give up creative control to try his hand at a superhero movie? And will he have to give up passion project The Big Short to do it? THR cites his relationship with Rudd, whom he directed in the movies, but that honestly seems like a pretty tenuous and superficial advantage he'd have over other filmmakers.

Rawson Thurber
Rawson Thurber
Rawson Thurber and Ruben Fleischer are in-demand, but significantly less exciting prospects. Thurber's involved not only with a We're The Millers sequel, but also Fletch and a Disney comedy called Overnight. His one journey outside of his comfort zone was the relatively unwatchable Michael Chabon adaptation The Mysteries of Pittsburgh. Fleischer, meanwhile, may have stretched too far out of his own comfort zone with the cartoonish Gangster Squad. It's not certain how he's in contention for another big job in Hollywood after that film did a creative and financial belly flop, but that's just how much people liked Zombieland.

Ruben Fleischer
Ruben Fleischer
Jonathan Levine seems unlikely for Ant-Man because he'd have to drop Xmas, the Seth Rogen-Joseph Gordon-Levitt comedy that apparently now has a title to go with its release date. That movie starts shooting in August, while Ant-Man is ready for a June shoot. Xmas doesn't sound like a terribly big film, and could conceivably be pushed back, but it's doubtful they would be able to retain the very-busy Gordon-Levitt and Rogen. More names will likely leak soon, as Marvel has gone above and beyond to ensure that Ant-Man will stay on track for its July 2015 release date. Other names we have been hearing for the gig involve up-and-coming Marvel talents who have tested their skills on the studio's One Shot films. News likely is going to break, and soon. Stay tuned.
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