UPDATE: The Short List Of Potential ANT-MAN Directors Is…Interesting

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This past weekend, Marvel was left with a really big hole in their upcoming Phase 3 of films. Edgar Wright, who has been working on the Ant-Man project for the better part of a decade opted to leave the project. It was eventually revealed that the eclectic director bailed due to some scrip rewrites that he was not involved with. Marvel and Wright are said to have parted on amicable terms, but it’s still a major blow to the project. The studio, in their press release, stated that a replacement would be found as soon as possible, mainly because production would have to begin ASAP. It looks as though that search is winding down as a very short list of directors has been revealed.

According to Heat Vision, the studio is looking at Rawson Thurber, Adam McKay and Ruben Fleischer. A rather interesting, and somewhat unexpected trio. Thurber is best known for his quirky, and somewhat successful comedy We’re The Millers and the hit comedy Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. Many fans will recognize Adam McKay as the man behind the hugely popular Anchorman films. It’s interesting to see two directors known for their comedies on the list. Finally, we have Ruben Fleischer, the director behind the horror-comedy smash hit Zombieland. More recently, he helmed the gangster period flick Gangster Squad, which was far less popular.

Looking at these three names, I think it’s a safe bet that Marvel is trying to strike a safe balance between comedy and a more serious tone. Of the three, Fleischer stands out as the most capable in that regards (see Zombieland). However, his last featured film was far less cohesive. The other two are much more consistent in regards to film quality, but they are comedy directors. It will be interesting to see who they land on. Marvel, for the most part, has been pretty spot on in regards to selecting their directors, so I have faith that they will place Ant-Man in the right hands.

Ant-Man is still expected to release next July, shortly after the highly anticipated Avengers: Age of Ultron arrives in theaters. The film will be the first in Marvel’s Phase 3 of their larger film schedule. Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Patrick Wilson, Michael Pena and Corey Stoll are starring.

UPDATE: The Wrap is reporting that Thurber is the frontrunner for the Ant-Man gig. They state that Fleischer just had a baby with his wife so he might not be too open to working on a project that will have him away from home for a good stretch just yet, though he is talking to people about directing Ghostbusters 3 (which would be a few years out still). McKay is said to be reluctant to take over a movie another director worked on for years and then walked away from. Plus he likes to improv and shoot scenes multiple times, and that’s just not the Marvel method. Thurber is the one that is most willing to accommodate producer’s notes and serve up the studio’s version of the film. Not official yet, but there you go. What do you think about Thurber possibly landing the gig?

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