Peyton Reed confirmed as Ant-Man director. After a flurry of rumor & speculation, over a list of likely contenders to replace Edgar Wright, Marvel has announced that Peyton Reed will be taking the reins.
About Peyton Reed:
Reed was born in Raleigh, North Carolina and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Reed directed the motion pictures Bring It On, Down with Love, and The Break-Up; all comedy films. He has also acted in small roles in some films including his own and has written a few original songs for his soundtracks. He has also produced a few music videos.
Reed directed the 2008 film Yes Man, starring Jim Carrey. Yes Man is an adaptation of Danny Wallace’s autobiography about his decision to say “yes” to whatever offer, invitation, challenge, and opportunity that are presented to him.
He is currently slated to direct the upcoming Brian Epstein biopic, titled The Fifth Beatle.
Adam McKay has also been announced as attached to the project. Initially approached for the director’s role, he will be providing re-writes to the original script.
About Adam McKay:
McKay originally auditioned for Saturday Night Live to be an onscreen performer, but did not make the cut. However, the scripts he submitted to the long-running sketch show earned him a job as writer from 1995 to 2001, including three seasons as head writer. He also directed a number of short films for the show, including the original SNL Digital Shorts. McKay encouraged his Second City friend Tina Fey to submit some of her scripts to Saturday Night Live, and she later succeeded him as head writer on the show.
Shortly after leaving SNL, McKay teamed up with comedian Will Ferrell to write the comedy films Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Step Brothers and The Other Guys. In 2007, Ferrell and McKay launched the user-submitted comedy video site Funny or Die. Ferrell and McKay co-produce the HBO series Eastbound & Down, McKay directed the George W. Bush Broadway show, You’re Welcome America, which he co-wrote with Ferrell, and he produced the horror-action film Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. McKay is in talks to direct the remake of Uptown Saturday Night, with Denzel Washington and Will Smith. He will direct the film adaptation of the Michael Lewis non-fiction book The Big Short, and is also producing the film Tammy and Bouncers.
The collaboration of Reed & McKay pretty much guarantees that Ant-Man will keep the light & humorous tone that Wright was expected to bring to the project; but the energy & style, characteristic of Wright’s work, will be that much harder to replace. Reed may also have to contend with “Ratner Recall,” as a relatively unproven replacement for a director with comic book cred. Having the Bring it On guy replace the Scott Pilgrim guy might draw comparisons to X-Men guy, Bryan Singer, being replaced by Rush Hour guy, Brett Ratner.
Edgar Wright had been with the project almost from the start, but if Marvel has reason to settle on Peyton Reed, after a brief, but (hopefully) thorough search, then the project will be Reed’s proving ground – for better or worse. If this turns out to be another example of Marvel playing penny-pinching contract hardball, however, the loss of Wright may be the least of their problems.
Besides the Singer-Ratner development, Marvel had generated some bad press with Terrence Howard‘s replacement, for the Iron Man franchise, and the falling out with Edward Norton, over The Incredible Hulk. Any failure, real or perceived, attributed to Reed’s direction could result in the kind of finger pointing that would dredge up some of Marvel’s previous “creative decisions,” regarding the talent attached to its adapted properties.
For a character that had been largely dismissed as an also-ran Avenger, by the general public, some buzz has come up around the Ant-Man film project. Some of that might be due to Edgar Wright, some to expectations of another Iron Man surprise (believe it or not, Iron Man had also been considered an also-ran Avenger, until the first film), it may even be benefiting from the growing buzz over Guardians of the Galaxy. Whatever the case, it is Peyton Reed’s to loose. Anyone dreading the choice may want to consider that Jon Favreau had no directorial comic book cred, going into Iron Man, either.
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