UPDATE 6/7/14: Peyton Reed (Bring It On, Yes Man) is now the official, signed-on-the-dotted-line director for Ant-Man. Marvel itself broke the news, which mentioned that Adam McKay - who decided not to direct the movie - contributed to the script. It's unclear if McKay's contributions are what caused original writer-director Edgar Wright to leave the project he started, or if McKay's work came into play in the weeks since Wright dropped the film.
It's also curious that the Marvel announcement doesn't mention Edgar Wright at all, but it does feature this official synopsis for the movie:
Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang (Rudd) must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (Douglas), protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.
So it looks like Marvel's turmoil is all over... for now, at least. The question is, will all of these troubles be reflected in the final movie? Marvel fans are an easily forgiving bunch, but this has been such a public debacle that they may have to try extra hard this time around.
UPDATE 5/31/14 #2: Wow, how many updates can this movie have? After less than a day of being in final negotiations to direct Ant-Man, Adam McKay has pulled himself out of the running. Marvel's search for a new director continues.
UPDATE 5/31/14 #1: Following a busy 24 hours where three directors were said to be vying for the directing job on Marvel's Ant-Man, it looks like Anchorman director Adam McKay will reunite with his pal (and Ant-Man star) Paul Rudd, replacing Edgar Wright who left the project earlier this month. Wright had been attached to the film since 2006. As of now Ant-Man is still scheduled to hit theaters on July 17, 2015.
McKay is a comedy director who likes to play it fast and loose on set, utilizing lots of improv. Heck, the last Anchorman movie had so many extra scenes and jokes they released an entirely different version of it on DVD alongside the one that hit theaters. Will McKay be allowed to play like that on a Marvel movie, and if not how will that impact his directing style? Definitely an inspired choice by Marvel, and one that shows you just how important humor is--and how much Marvel values it-- when it comes to these big, action-packed superhero movies. -- via Variety
UPDATE: 5/23/14: As you can see from all of the updates below, Ant-Man has had a long road to becoming a movie, and apparently that road just got a little bumpier: Edgar Wright and Marvel have now parted ways due to a disagreement of what direction the movie should take. And considering Wright and Joe Cornish are the ones who wrote that movie, it certainly does seem to ring some alarm bells that after all this time Marvel has given them some kind of directive they didn't agree with.
It would seem Marvel isn't too concerned with losing Wright, though, as it is still planning on releasing Ant-Man on July 17, 2015 and will announce a replacement director soon.
UPDATE: 1/13/14: When Paul Rudd was confirmed to be playing Ant-Man for Edgar Wright, we didn't actually get confirmation of which Ant-Man he'd be playing. In the comics the original Ant-Man was named Hank Pym, but later in the series a brilliant burglar named Scott Lang steals the technology from Pym so he can use it to pull off one last heist so that he can use the money to save his terminally ill daughter.
Well now we have retroactive confirmation that Rudd is indeed playing Scott Lang, as Michael Douglas has just been announced as playing Hank Pym. This means that the movie will likely be using this specific storyline from the comics, which is particularly noteworthy because it marks the first time the movies will introduce the idea of legacy heroes (men and women who replace previous heroes after they retire) to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
UPDATE 12/1/13: According to The Wrap -- and following previous rumors outlined below on October 25 of this year -- Paul Rudd is now in negotiations to play Ant-Man in Edgar Wright's upcoming Marvel movie, the first of its Phase Three series of movies. This was pretty expected, and if anything Rudd's body changes over the past couple of months gave it away. Now we wait to see if Rashida Jones is indeed who they cast opposite Rudd as the film's leading female, or if the studio goes in another direction.
See the original rumor below, with more thoughts on why Rudd makes a great Ant-Man. The film is due in theaters on July 31, 2015, two months after The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
10/25/13: While no official announcements have been made yet, it's looking a lot like the folks at Marvel Studios have zeroed in on who they want to star in their first "Phase Three" movie. According to our friends over at Schmoes Know, their sources are telling them that a deal is just about done for Paul Rudd and Rashida Jones to once again reunite on-screen in Ant-Man, due in theaters on July 31, 2015.
If (and when) this does happen, Rudd would take on the role of Hank Pym, a scientist who discovers a size-altering formula that allows him to shrink down to the size of an ant. Jones would play Janet Van Dyne, Pym's love interest and a character who eventually becomes the Wasp. Rumors suggest both characters will eventually team up with their other Marvel friends in The Avengers 3, though we wouldn't be surprised if at least Hank Pym is introduced in some fashion prior to then, either in The Avengers 2 or in its mid-credits sequence.
Just the thought of Paul Rudd fighting alongside Thor and Captain America at some point is something that excites us beyond words. Rudd is one of today's most charismatic everyman actors, and just as it did with the casting of Chris Pratt for Guardians of the Galaxy, it seems Marvel is much more interested in a comedic personality than it is some Abercrombie & Fitch model with giant muscles and empty eyes.
The casting also makes sense from a chemistry perspective. Another important key for every Marvel movie is the chemistry between its male and female leads. Knowing Rudd and Jones have worked on more than one film together (I Love You, Man and Our Idiot Brother) means they already have the sort of established on-screen chemistry that will give Ant-Man -- a character who isn't as widely known as some of their previous heroes -- a lot more marketability when it comes to convincing nonnerds to go see this thing.
When we asked Marvel's Kevin Feige about the rumor that both Paul Rudd and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were up for the role, he told us the rumors were "slightly off." Does that mean the Rudd part was true and the Gordon-Levitt wasn't? Jones, meanwhile, was first rumored for the role of Van Dyne last week via Superhero Movie News. Here's hoping Marvel makes its Ant-Man announcement soon so we can start looking forward to watching Paul Rudd play a pint-sized Marvel superhero.
Here's a taste of the Rudd/Jones chemistry from Our Idiot Brother for those who need more convincing.
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