Peyton Reed, director of the Jim Carrey comic fable “Yes Man” and the Vince Vaughn adult relationship dramedy “The Break-Up,” will direct Marvel’s comic superhero film “Ant-Man.”
The news follows a chaotic few weeks in which Edgar Wright, who had been on board as “Ant-Man” director for eight years, unexpectedly dropped out shortly before the film was set to go into production. A flurry of reports followed, including the news that Will Ferrell collaborator Adam McKay was first in talks for the gig, then had withdrawn.
Marvel announced the news via its website, saying rather elliptically that “When Marvel’s ‘Ant-Man’ hits theaters July 17, 2015, director Peyton Reed will help shepherd the hero into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”
The studio also said McKay would be “contributing” to the script, though whether that entails new contributions or material he developed as part of the earlier talks remains unclear.
The news now sets up an interesting dynamic: Reed will helm a film that will come with built-in skepticism from fans, who generally adored Wright and wanted to see what he did with the property -- though the tumult of recent weeks may also set the bar a little lower.
“Ant-Man” is expected to start shooting shortly to make its summer 2015 date.
In the film, Paul Rudd stars as the titular hero, who can transform himself into an insect quicker than the swing of a fly swatter. Michael Douglas co-stars. The film has long been thought a more comic entry in the Marvel canon, which made the McKay reports a little less odd than they otherwise might have been.
Reed also co-directed the Kirsten Dunst cheerleading satire “Bring It On,” which presumably gives him the necessary comic chops for this project. But he has not directed a film since “Yes Man,” the high-concept Carrey tale that flopped at the box office in 2008.