Adam McKay Not Directing Marvel’s ‘Ant-Man’ After All, Job Remains Open

Adam McKay, contrary to recently published reports, will not take the director’s helm on Marvel Films’ first foray into superhero comedy, Ant-Man. After the first choice for director, Edgar Wright, dropped out of the project, McKay was reported in numerous sources as the man who would step in and take over the Paul Rudd-topped Marvel Comics adaptation.

The Ant-Man character first appeared in 1962, in the Marvel Comics title Tales To Astonish, issue #27, credited to Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and Jack Kirby. The idea of an Ant-Man film first gestated in 2006 and Edgar Wright — a British director who proved his proclivity for genre-based comedy with a trio of Simon Pegg vehicles, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and World’s End — was announced as the prospective director.

The 40-year-old Wright also became a favorite among comic book fans for his work at the helm of the 2010 comics adaptation Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World.

But in May, Wright bowed out of the Ant-Man project, citing creative differences with Marvel over the direction of the adaptation.

While several busy comedy directors were rumored to be in the running to take over for Wright, earlier in the week it was Anchorman director Adam McKay who emerged as the presumed Ant-Man director. McKay has long been Ferrell’s producing partner and collaborator, directing the comedian in Step-Brothers and the buddy-cop genre parody The Other Guys.

He also directed Paul Rudd in both Anchorman and its sequel, Anchorman 2.

Though as recently as Friday, Adam McKay was reported to be in “advanced negotiations” to take over Ant-Man, on Saturday the director abruptly announced that he was not interested in the Marvel film, which remains scheduled for release on July 17 of next year.

On his Twitter account, McKay cited “other projects” as his reason for taking his hat out of the Ant-Man ring.

According to film industry trade publication The Hollywood Reporter, Rawson Marshall, director of the 2013 hit comedy We’re The Millers, and Zombieland helmer Ruben Fleischer remain in contention for the Ant-Man job.

It was Edgar Wright who reportedly persuaded hard-working comic actor Paul Rudd to assume the Ant-Man lead. Presumably Rudd would have been comfortable with McKay as well, due to their prior success together.

Whether Rudd will remain attached to Ant-Man after the withdrawal of Adam McKay from consideration as director has not yet been addressed.