It was reported last Friday that Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) has stepped down as director for Ant-Man. While Marvel Studios has released a statement explaining that the parting between them and the director was “amicable,” Wright has only claimed that he left the project due to “differences in their vision for the film.”
Marvel has since stated that it has already found another director to helm the project, but it’s still fun to speculate as to who it might possibly be. This is a great opportunity to cast a “dream director” for one of Marvel’s most daring big-screen projects. Let’s take a look at some of the possible candidates that could helm a live-action adaptation based on The Irredeemable Ant-Man.
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
If there is one directing-duo that understands action and comedy, it is Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. Creating a career of doing the impossible, Lord and Miller have made hit after hit. First coming to public attention with the animated film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and continuing their success into live-action with their 21 Jump Street remake, Lord and Miller have made quite the impression on audiences of all ages.
Recently coming off of their critically and commercially successful Lego Movie, the two are probably the most sought after comedic filmmakers working right now. Since Marvel’s Ant-Man is said to be a comedic-heist film, it makes sense for Lord and Miller to helm the project. They know how to present action and plenty of comedy while telling an entertaining story. As they have proven in the past, they know how to take a script that no one thought would work and turn it into of the best films of the year. It’d be great to see them do it again with Ant-Man.
There’s no question that Marvel’s golden boy right now is Joss Whedon. Can you blame them? He’s made them a lot of money. That’s why it wouldn’t be surprising at all if they get a director who has a long history with Whedon. Enter Drew Goddard, one of Whedon’s former writing partners on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.
Goddard’s Cabin in the Woods is his only current directing credit, but it has attained a revered cult status among horror and comedy fans. That one film is one hell of a resume. Blending plenty of carnage, gore and some great comedy bits, Cabin in the Woods proves that Goddard can handle a geek property with love and respect.
While Goddard is focusing his attention on writing and directing Sony’s upcoming Spider-Man spinoff Sinister Six, it’s possible he might be lured away to work on Marvel’s Ant-Man. There hasn’t been a set release date for the spin-off and a third film in Sony’s reboot of the Spider-Man series seems more than likely to happen first. It’s possible he could drop out of Sinister Six in much the same as he did as showrunner for Marvel’s Daredevil television series.
If Marvel wants to replace the man, but not the style, then Joe Cornish is probably their best bet. Cornish has been a frequent writing partner of Wright and he’s been involved in multiple projects, including Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin.
Outside of writing, Cornish has directed only one movie, but it’s one that has left a significant impression on many critics and audiences. Cornish’s Attack the Block was one of the most underrated films of 2011. Perfectly blending science-fiction, horror and comedy, Attack the Block told a story steeped in social commentary about ethnic and class barriers. Even with only one film under his belt, Cornish is more than qualified to bring one of Marvel’s characters to the silver screen.
Cornish taking over as director is perhaps the most unlikely out of any possible candidates. After all, he did co-write the Ant-Man screenplay with Wright. His vision of the film will most likely reflect the vision of the former Ant-Man director’s. Still, a nice big fat check from Marvel could change anyone’s mind.
I think you get a nickel every time you mention how Matthew Vaughn should direct a comic book movie. There’s a reason why though. Writing and directing such films as X-Men: First Class and Kick-Ass has earned Vaughn a level of respect from comic book readers. All of his superhero films have a degree of comedy to them. Seeing him take over as director for a Marvel film that is more of a comedy than anything else does make sense.
X-Men: First Class and Kick-Ass, while awkward at times, did deliver enough entertainment to generate Vaughn a certain amount of goodwill to be mentioned on the shortlist of directors for comic books films. Having wrapped up production for Kingsman: The Secret Service, a Matthew Vaughn directed Ant-Man is a realistic possibility. Hey, I found a nickel!
Rian Johnson is definitely an oddball choice to direct a film about a guy who has the power to shrink to the size of an insect, but hear me out. Johnson has a love and appreciation for genre filmmaking. Looking at his body of work proves that. With films like Brick, The Brothers Bloom, and Looper, he is able to blend multiple genres together. Did anyone think a crime noire set in a high school could be so damn good to watch? I think he could easily do that with Ant-Man. A comedic heist film about a man with super powers sounds exactly like the type of genre mixing Johnson is so fond of doing.
Even though Johnson’s previous films have all been much more serious in tone, they’ve all had their fair share of black humor. Giving him the chance to direct a superhero movie that combines multiple elements from other genres could potentially lead to Marvel’s most original film.
What about you reader? Any directors that you want to take over the project? Let us know in the comments below.