Marvel’s ANT-MAN falls into Chaos
Marvel Studios announced this week that geek-loved director Edgar Wright (Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz) has left the upcoming production of Ant-Man, a film that was set to mark the characters (finally!) silver screen debut. Be sure to listen to GeekTalk where we discuss our thoughts on this situation.
Almost immediately following this announcement it was learned that Adam McKay (Anchorman, Step Brothers) was in talks to replace Wright and go on to direct his friend Paul Rudd in the feature. Word now comes that McKay has also removed himself from the Ant-Man carousel of possible directors, leaving the long-awaited big screen premiere of an original Avenger up in limbo.
Ironically, this seems to be the first major hiccup in the grand master plan that is Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. Their Ant-Man film was slated to debut as part of the Marvel Cinematic Phase 3 roll-out in the summer of 2015, releasing immediately following the sequel to Marvel’s The Avengers, and kicking off the third phase of Marvel’s films.
At this point we can conclude that the Ant-Man screenplay and the film’s overall production are both in surprisingly bad shape. With Edgar Wright leaving what was believed to be his dream project, and Adam Mckay subsequently saying “no thanks,” things must be far worse than we can imagine. As of this article’s publication, no other directors are currently attached to this project. And Marvel is certainly at a crossroads with this misstep. With plans laid out through nearly the next decade for their Cinematic Universe, not having the one film that was slated to kick off the final, or Third, phase of films is unquestionably a sign of bigger problems.
Disney and Marvel would be best served to go back to the drawing board with this choice for a new Cinematic Universe franchise at this point. Not only is the film itself obviously in real trouble from the ground up with two directors recently and abruptly leaving the project, but the Ant-Man character isn’t really a huge, culturally popular property to begin with. While it is true that he is an original Avenger, that boat sailed several years ago and it carried with it the opportunity to add him as an important member of the group, a time that has honestly passed for both Marvel Studios and Disney.
Should they try and continue to pull this production off with the great cast that they do currently have signed on, Marvel should also think about courting an outside-of-the-box style director to tackle this obviously difficult challenge head-on. Alfonso Cuaron and Darren Aronofsky are two of the most talented, and now readily available, directors that immediately come to mind.
From a screenplay by Joe Cornish, Marvel’s Ant-Man stars Paul Rudd, Patrick Wilson, Evangeline Lilly, and Michael Douglas is still set to be released in 2015.