Peyton Reed replaces Edgar Wright as "Ant-Man" director!
For a long time, efforts to bring "Ant-Man" from the comic books page to the big screen have seemed as mighty as a superhero. Edgar Wright was involved in the project for some six years, seeking to write and direct a quirky shrinking hero film. However, with an official release date established of July 17th, 2015 selected and casting underway, some last minute demands of Marvel Studios didn't sit well with Wright, who left the project in May. Since then, it has been a scramble to find his replacement in the director's seat with barely more than a year to go, with various comedy directors being on the radar. Now, Marvel themselves have announced that Peyton Reed has been selected to officially direct the film that Wright built. In addition, Adam McKay, director of the "Anchorman" films who was reportedly Marvel Studios' first choice to replace Wright as director, will instead "[contribute] to the film's script" (i.e. "rewrite the script that the studio dislikes").
Peyton Reed, much like McKay, is best known for directing comedies. His films include "Bring It On", "The Break-Up", and the 2008 Jim Carrey vehicle, "Yes Man". He's also worked in TV, such as directing episodes of "New Girl", for instance. To date the only "official" cast members are stars Paul Rudd as Scott Lang and Michael Douglas as Hank Pym, with a premise of Lang being the current hero trying to protect the work of his mentor Pym from modern day threats. It is unknown how these corporate shuffles will affect the rapport of the cast, although Michael Douglas stated he was "disappointed" in the turn of events. In addition, Corey Stoll, Michael Pena, Matt Gerald and Evangeline Lilly ("The Hobbit") are rumored to also be cast in undisclosed roles.
It may seem bizarre how gung-ho Marvel Studios is about bringing "Ant-Man" to film despite him hardly being a major character and despite the film seeking to portray the secondary version in the lead role. It made sense as a quirky Wright project, but its' survival now may have more to do with it being officially scheduled and with pre-production almost finished, as well as a desire to have their own white, male bug-themed hero under their tent pole since Sony still retains the license to Spider-Man.
The notion of "celebrities" or at least people involved in other media circles writing comic books isn't new, but it seems to be an arena which Marvel Comics is dipping a toe into once again. Oddly, both recent cases involve Wolverine. In 2013, "celebrity chef" Chris Cosentino wrote a one shot called, "Wolverine: In the Flesh". Now, Elliot Khan, writer for "The Daily Show", will be writing August's "Wolverine Annual #1". As revealed to Newsarama, the story will focus on Wolverine and his relationship with Jubilee, his former sidekick who now has adopted a child of her own. As it proved with Thor several years ago, being dead (at the moment) won't stop Wolverine from appearing in stories "set in the recent past". At the very least, Marvel Comics seems to be a company that various figures seek to be fleeing towards, rather than from (see: DC Comics).
Scott Derrickson in talks to direct "Doctor Strange"!?
Although no source from Marvel Studios has confirmed this, the unofficial "Hollywood Bible", Variety, reported that director Scott Derrickson has entered talks to direct a film centered upon Marvel's sorcerer supreme, "Doctor Strange". Derrickson is mostly known for horror films, such as "Sinister" and "The Exorcism of Emily Rose", and Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has made it no secret that he wants to bring Marvel's premiere wizard to the big screen. Disney, likely hoping to ape Warner Brothers' success with "Harry Potter" along with the "snarky middle aged man being redeemed" motif that Robert Downey Jr. made hilarious in 2008's "Iron Man".
Created in 1963, Doctor Stephen Strange was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko (the creative team behind Spider-Man). A brilliant surgeon, Strange was involved in a car accident which mangled his hands and cost him his career. Arrogant and hot tempered, he eventually sought a mystical solution in Tibet under the teachings of "the Ancient One", where he wound up becoming the sorcerer supreme and opposing dark forces, such as the evil Baron Mordo. His name was "dropped" in "Captain America: the Winter Soldier", so a film featuring him seemed inevitable. Although DC Entertainment has earned much ire for squandering their opportunities with Wonder Woman, it may need to be said that Marvel Studios is willing to produce films about "Ant-Man" or "Doctor Strange" than any of their female heroes.