Has your enthusiasm for Marvel’s “Ant-Man” been sufficiently quashed ever since Edgar Wright left the project, only to see it passed over by several comedy directors in Hollywood? Well, hold the phone, your interest could dip even lower.
The Wrap is reporting that Peyton Reed, the director behind the forgotten 2008 romantic comedy “Yes Man” starring Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel, is now the frontrunner to take the gig. Reed also directed Vince Vaughn’s underrated 2006 comedy “The Break-Up” and 2003’s “Down With Love,” but how many more names can Marvel fans take before they completely lose interest? THR also says David Wain (“Role Models,” “Wanderlust” and “Wet Hot American Summer“) is also a main competitor for the gig, which definitely is a stronger name. But Reed could have the edge as he almost directed “Fantastic Four” once and thus surely has a handle on these kinds of comic book characters. Rudd on the other hand has a good relationship with “Ant-Man” star Paul Rudd having directed him in several films (and all the ones mentioned above including his upcoming film “They Came Together“).
At the same time, Marvel doesn’t really care what the vociferous online crowd thinks. They’re not the ones that are going to make or break “Ant-Man” and it’s going to need big, broad appeal that Marvel brand can hopefully provide. Recent names touted for the “Ant-Man” director’s chair include comedy directors Nick Stoller (“Neighbors”) and Michael Dowse (“Take Me Home Tonight,” “Goon”). It’s unclear if the filmmakers are still in the running as they are only off-handedly mentioned in the report. Other names who were in the mix who passed or have moved on are Rawson Thurber, Adam McKay and Ruben Fleischer, which seems to have given the project an air of damaged goods. “How bad can it be?” fans ask.
But its quality probably has little to do with a director passing on it. All filmmakers need prep time and even Steven Spielberg, if he was interested in the gig, would not likely want to walk into a situation where they had less than a month to prepare. The flipside is bringing any creativity to the project. “Ant-Man” is locked, loaded, previsualized, storyboarded and ready to go. Marvel is looking for a director who can execute, not improvise or bring their idiosyncratic stamp to the project. This notion coupled with a short time to prepare doesn’t make this project ideal for anyone. Will it pan out? Who knows, and at this point, we’re not sure we totally care.
Meanwhile, even the cast is upset. “I was, very disappointed,” co-star Michael Douglas told THR about the news of Wright’s departure. “I’m a big fan of his movies [and] it’s a very disappointing situation.” Douglas added that the director’s exit “happened very late in the game [and] I don’t think anybody’s quite recovered. My heart goes out to Edgar. He’s been involved with the project for a long time, but he’s talented enough that you’ll be hearing a whole lot from him, and I’m sure with a little vengeance.”