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The legacy of the Marvel Studios adaptation that is Ant-Man has been one of mixed blessings, particularly after Edgar Wright left the project earlier this year. After a search of a couple weeks worth of contenders, Peyton Reed was settled on as the director and Adam McKay was brought in to re-work Wright's script into something more in line with Marvel Studios' vision of the project. Thanks to a recent interview, we have some word on just what's changed and just what's stayed the same.
Collider spoke with McKay at a junket for his current project, We The Economy, and among the wealth of information he gave to their reporter was some notes on how he got involved with Ant-Man in the first place, as well as what the fate of Edgar Wright's original draft was. Judging from the statement below, it looks like Wright's fingerprints will still be somewhat detectable in the final product, which the Anchorman series godfather co-wrote with Paul Rudd.
We added some new action beats. I grew up on Marvel Comics so the geek in me was in heaven that I got to add a giant action sequence to the movie; I was so excited. So we did, we added some cool new action. There’s a lot that’s already in there from what Edgar did, there’s a lot of dialogue and character still in there."
Adam McKay also revealed that it was Paul Rudd that first called him into the Ant-Man fray, which he looked to be taking over for a split second. While he let Peyton Reed take the director's chair instead, McKay still sounds like he's been extremely influential to keeping Ant-Man in the Marvel Studios' line up. Not to mention, just thinking of what a McKay/Rudd action sequence would look like in a Marvel film kind of starts the mind's motor revving with anticipation. So does the next portion of McKay's interview, where he explains that despite having to work on a project his good friend Edgar Wright had parted ways on, it was still done in a manner that was fun and respectful to the script that was in place.
"We just shaped the whole thing, we just tried to streamline it, make it cleaner, make it a little bigger, a little more aggressive, make it funnier in places—we just basically did a rewrite. Edgar had a really good script. But we just had a blast, and Rudd was just so much fun to write with. I walked away saying, ‘Hey, you and I gotta write a script together.’"
So what can we expect from these re-writes? It's safe to assume that along with the action and streamlining beats that Adam McKay and Paul Rudd had included in their draft, there's some new characters and ties to the existing Marvel Cinematic Universe. As that was one of the causes that Marvel had cited as relevant in their split with Wright, you can bet that there was some eleventh hour calls made to Howard Stark and other characters that could interact in the world of Scott Lang and Hank Pym. This last minute work on the script could also explain the burst of last minute casting that seemed to come out of nowhere earlier this year, which also helps explain why there might be more baddies for Scott and Hank to fend off against than we previously thought.
Considering how big of a ding Ant-Man took to its anticipation ratings with the fans once Edgar Wright left the project, it's starting to look like the work of Adam McKay and Paul Rudd has righted the ship for now. Peyton Reed, it's time to dazzle us with those directorial skills needed to bring Ant-Man in for a home run. Fingers crossed that the magic is happening right now, as Ant-Man is set to open on July 17, 2015.