It’s been roughly four months since Edgar Wright officially stepped down as director of Marvel’s Ant-Man film, which is slated to hit theaters July 17, 2015. Until now, there have been few details chronicling any changes to the iconic director’s original vision of the Ant-Man story. Luckily for us, the new director of the flick, Adam McKay, recently sat down for an interview with Collider, and discussed the changes both he and actor Paul Rudd (Ant-Man himself) implemented into the story, as well as how he got into the project in the first place.
“[Rudd] called me when Edgar Wright stepped away from [‘Ant-Man’] and told me what was going on. I went and met with Marvel, and I was a little dubious just because I’m friends with Edgar and I didn’t know what the story was, and then when I kind of heard what happened, that Edgar had parted ways, and then I saw their materials, I was like, ‘God this is pretty cool’. Ultimately I didn’t want to jump in as a director, I had too many other projects going and it was too tight, but I thought, ‘You know what, I can rewrite this, and I can do a lot of good by rewriting it.'”
McKay, however, didn’t walk away with the script all by himself. From the sound of it, Paul Rudd is equally as deserving of credit for the Ant-Man rewrite as McKay. For six to eight weeks, McKay and Rudd holed themselves up in hotel rooms and built “on an already strong script from Edgar Wright.” While it was an extensive re-write, it seems like it was mostly done to accent what Wright already put to page.
“We just shaped the whole thing, we just tried to streamline it, make it cleaner, make it a little bigger, a little more aggressive, make it funnier in places — we just basically did a rewrite. Edgar had a really good script. But we just had a blast, and Rudd was just so much fun to write with. I walked away saying, ‘Hey, you and I gotta write a script together.'”
Will this Ant-Man rewrite produce gold for Marvel? Only time will tell. Ant-Man has a storied past, with Edgar Wright putting time into it as long ago as 10 years. Even Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, has said the only reason Ant-Man has gotten as far as it did is because of Edgar Wright (via MTV).
“‘Ant-Man’ is definitely part of Phase Three. Like ‘Iron Man 3,’ it’s certainly set in the Marvel Universe, but it’s also through the lens of Edgar Wright — which is the only reason we’re making the movie…”
Times certainly have changed since then, but if Guardians of Galaxy has proven anything, it’s that the world is willing to accept second-tier superheroes in this post-Avengers world.