Here’s one to get the Comic-Con crowd going as things ramp up in San Diego. I’m hearing that Edgar Wright has found his next film, after stepping away from Marvel’s Ant-Man. Wright’s looking to next direct Baby Driver for Working Title Films. The project, which Wright wrote, is described to me as a collision of crime, action, music and sound. That sounds like a close cousin to the Cornetto Trilogy of films that Wright did at Working Title, but at this point at least, it doesn’t appear that Nick Frost and Simon Pegg are part of this. They made the three comedies World’s End, Hot Fuzz and Shaun Of The Dead together. Working Title partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner are producing with Nira Park. This is all happening on a fast track, and I will keep you posted as more details emerge. It isn’t at a studio yet, but Working Title’s deal is at Universal and so it seems natural that the film will be made there or by Focus Features, which released World’s End. CAA and Anonymous Content rep Wright.
The duo behind Sony’s upcoming take on Sabrina The Teenage Witch are in negotiations to take a stab at the script for Marvel’s tiniest hero. Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari made the 2010 Black List fresh out of NYU with Die In A Gunfight and later scored the scripting gig on the horror pic Haunt. Now the pair is eyed to rewrite Ant-Man for director Peyton Reed, who replaced Edgar Wright last month. Adam McKay did the most recent pass on the script about the shrinking superhero. Marvel wouldn’t comment. Barrer & Ferrari are repped by WME and Caliber Media. Latino Review was first to report.
David Dastmalchian Joins ‘Ant-Man’, David Harbour Adds To ‘Black Mass’; ‘Ride Along 2′ Taps Olivia Munn
David Dastmalchian has signed on to play an unspecified role in Ant-man that Marvel is keeping under wraps. The actor’s character will join an ensemble headed by Paul Rudd. Dastmalchian most recently was seen in Prisoners and won the Courage in Filmmaking Award at this year’s 2014 SXSW Film Festival for writing and starring in Animals. He is repped by CESD, Principato Young Entertainment and Hansen Jacobson.
BREAKING: Marvel just announced that they have hired Peyton Reed to direct Ant-Man with Adam McKay to help script the superhero flick, ending the game of musical chairs on this film about who will helm the film. Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas are leading the cast of the film which will bow on July 17, 2015. Rudd is playing Ant-Man, of course, and Douglas will portray Dr. Hank Pym, Ant-Man’s mentor who helps protect the superhero’s secrets and develops the potion that turns humans into ant-sized. The film, based on the Marvel comic book from the 1960s, goes before the cameras this fall.
McKay was previously in talks to helm the Marvel property but dropped out last week; yesterday both Reed and David Wain were being talked up as the two possible helmers. That followed the surprising departure of Edgar Wright at the helm over creative differences. Interesting that Marvel head Kevin Feige is putting his bets on two filmmakers who lean heavily in comedy (and therein may lie the rub).
Reed has done much work in TV and also directed the comedies The Break-Up, Yes Man and Bring It On. He was previously considered to direct The Fantastic Four at Fox but that went to director …
EXCLUSIVE: Here’s some hot superhero dish to take into the weekend. There are reports tonight that Peyton Reed and David Wain are being considered for Ant-Man, but man, we are progressing down the comedy director food chain, and this is starting to feel stale. So how about Doctor Strange? Marvel is putting together its cast list, and I’m hearing that Tom Hardy and Benedict Cumberbatch are on it. While Marvel has teased this property with mentions in films including Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the film solidified and felt urgent when Scott Derrickson tweeted this week that he will direct the script by Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer.
The character has been around since the early 1960s, during that crazy period where just about all the spandex-clad heroes in all the Hollywood blockbusters were hatched at Marvel Comics headquarters (that might be a movie). Stan Lee and Steve Ditko created the character in 1963 as a neurosurgeon who serves as the Sorcerer Supreme, protecting Earth against magical and mystical threats with powers of sorcery, mysticism, and martial arts. Marvel’s Kevin Feige is producing. These two guys aren’t the only ones in the mix, but let’s face it, they are both poised to become major stars.
Catch up Marvel’s Ant-Man director saga and more from the week in movie news:
‘Ant-Man’ / Edgar Wright Lessons: Kevin Feige’s Vision Rules Marvel; Time To Get Excited About ‘Kolchak: The Night Stalker’?
By Mike Fleming Jr.
A couple of things to consider in the divorce between Edgar Wright and Marvel over Ant-Man. In my mind, Wright’s surprise exit Friday over creative differences shows that while Marvel certainly will try to tap strong directors for its superhero properties, the power at that studio clearly resides with one person, Kevin Feige.
Will Risky ‘Ant-Man’ Be Marvel’s Waterloo Or Greatest Triumph?
By Mike Fleming Jr.
Marvel and the reps of Adam McKay will spend the weekend trying to make a deal for the Talladega Nights helmer to replace Edgar Wright as the director of Ant-Man. McKay, the former Saturday Night Live writer who grew up on that show with Will Ferrell and moved with him to feature films, has become an accomplished director of comedies (Step Brothers is my favorite), but this seems to be a risky move (reports have him already deciding this is not for him).
Relativity Acquires ‘Fearless’ For Film On Navy SEAL Team Six Hero Adam Brown
By Mike Fleming Jr.
EXCLUSIVE: In competitive bidding, Relativity has acquired Fearless, based on the Eric Blehm bestselling book on SEAL Team Six operative Adam Brown. Brown battled personal demons, including drug addiction and jail time, to fulfill his childhood dream of becoming a Navy SEAL.
Sony Imageworks’ Flight To Vancouver Latest Blow In VFX Subsidies Battle
By Jen Yamato
Sony Pictures Imageworks announced late Thursday that its headquarters will relocate to Vancouver, leaving the fate of its 270 Culver City VFX workers in question.
And yes, met w/Marvel. Kirby & Lee r my Lennon Mccartney so it was awesome. But have other projects I’m committed to. Not sure it can work.
— Adam McKay (@GhostPanther) May 31, 2014
PREVIOUS, 8:04 AM ANALYSIS: Marvel and the reps of Adam McKay will spend the weekend trying to make a deal for the Talladega Nights helmer to replace Edgar Wright as the director of Ant-Man. McKay, the former Saturday Night Live writer who grew up on that show with Will Ferrell and moved with him to feature films, has become an accomplished director of comedies (Step Brothers is my favorite), but this seems to be a risky move (reports have him already deciding this is not for him). I was already skeptical of how serious to take the Ant-Man thing when Paul Rudd was cast as the title character, not because Rudd isn’t a good enough actor, but because he’s so identified as a comic actor. Setting McKay as director pushes the perception of this movie more towards, say, The Green Hornet than something like Captain America: Winter Soldier. I would have been less surprised had McKay been set to direct Ghostbusters, after Ivan Reitman bowed out, than a superhero film. One of the best things about these Marvel superhero movies under Kevin Feige is that they don’t take themselves too seriously in between giant action sequences. The blend of the occasional great comic line was particularly sharp in the Joss Whedon-directed Avengers film.
‘Ant-Man’ / Edgar Wright Lessons: Kevin Feige’s Vision Rules Marvel; Time To Get Excited About ‘Kolchak: The Night Stalker’?
A couple of things to consider in the divorce between Edgar Wright and Marvel over Ant-Man. In my mind, Wright’s surprise exit Friday over creative differences shows that while Marvel certainly will try to tap strong directors for its superhero properties, the power at that studio clearly resides with one person, Kevin Feige. You might recall this is the second high-profile shooter who was ousted from a big Marvel movie. Patty Jenkins, who guided Charlize Theron to an Oscar performance in Monster, had been set to helm Thor 2 until she clashed creatively with Marvel. If you recall, the hiring of Jenkins was considered a big step forward because so few female directors get a shot at a superhero film. Feige replaced her with Alan Taylor, the Game Of Thrones helmer who did a fine job and has taken on the job of resuscitating the Terminator franchise for Paramount and Skydance Productions.
The exit of Wright is more surprising, considering he came to Comic-Con several years ago and showed a sample of the shrinking technology that would anchor the film. Then, Wright got Feige’s blessing to postpone the movie while he did The World’s End because Working Title partner Eric Fellner had a life-threatening health matter and Wright felt honor bound to see through the final leg of the Cornetto trilogy. The fact that Wright is so revered among the demo that Ant-Man will have to appeal to shows the confidence that Marvel has in Feige’s vision — and, indeed, the movies under his watch have been so good it’s hard to argue. It seems similar to the hold that producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson wield over the James Bond franchise. How many huge directors have expressed desire to helm a 007 film but were rebuffed or stepped away because the ultimate creative call resides not with any filmmaker but the producers who are the flame keepers of the franchise?
Related: Comic-Con Q&A With Edgar Wright
We’re hearing that the relationship between Marvel and Edgar Wright has been going south for about the past two weeks, though the parties said in a statement today that their Ant-Man split was “amicable.” Either way, the director of The World’s End and Shaun Of The Dead won’t be telling the tale of the superhero who can shrink and communicate with insects after all. The studio and the helmer said today in a joint announcement that — after three years including an unexpected postponement — they have parted ways “due to differences in their vision of the film.” Marvel said the move won’t affect the planned July 17, 2015, release date for the pic and that it will announce a replacement helmer soon. But no one is talking about today’s news on holiday getaway Friday.
Related: The History Of Marvel’s ‘Ant-Man’
Wright, known for his collaborations with actor-writers Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, wowed the 2012 Comic-Con crowd with some early Ant-Man footage. But he then pushed the film — starring Paul Rudd as the diminutive title character along with Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Patrick Wilson, Corey Stoll and Michael Pena — to work on the pub-crawl pic World’s End, which grossed $46 million worldwide for Focus Features last summer. He explained the move during a Q&A with Deadline at Comic-Con last year:
Matt Gerald has joined the cast of Marvel’s Ant-Man for director Edgar Wright. Paul Rudd stars at the titular superhero, alongside Patrick Wilson, Michael Douglas and Michael Pena. Gerald will play one of the bad guys. He recently wrapped Solace with Anthony Hopkins and Colin Farrell, and his credits include Avatar, Escape Plan, Dexter and Hawaii Five-O. He is repped by APA and Benderspink.
Kenneth Choi has booked a role in director Courtney Hunt’s courtroom drama The Whole Truth. It centers on a defense attorney (Daniel Craig) who fights to get his teenage client (Gabriel Basso) acquitted of murdering his wealthy father. Choi will play the prosecutor. He just wrapped the NBC pilot Coercion and is shooting Sons Of Anarchy. Credits include The Wolf Of Wall Street and Ironside. He is repped by Mosaic and TalentWorks.
EXCLUSIVE: Patrick Wilson will join the cast of the Edgar Wright-directed Ant-Man for Marvel Studios, I hear. The film stars Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas and Michael Pena. Not sure what role Wilson will play at this point. He is coming off two fright franchises The Conjuring and Insidious. Wilson is repped by CAA and Anonymous Content.
The History Of Marvel’s ‘Ant-Man:’ Troubled Wife Beater, Creator Of Avengers And Ultron; Maybe Marvel Is On To Something?
Even though Comic-Con god Edgar Wright is directing, and Paul Rudd set as Scott Lang and Michael Douglas playing Hank Pym, Marvel Studios‘ Ant-Man movie still has me wondering if a guy capable of shrinking and communicating with insects warrants a movie franchise — especially with Rudd, who is so identified with comedy. The folks at IGN.com have helpfully sent me an Ant-Man primer, featuring the character’s various incarnations from the Marvel comics. From what I observed, the Pym version is a certifiable basket case, a complicated dude with inadequacy problems, a temper, and penchant for hitting women. And the Hank Pym version of the character, in helmet and costume, looks vaguely phallic. I remain unconvinced. What do you think?
Marvel’s Ant-Man starring Paul Rudd has moved up its release date two weeks to July 17, 2015, Disney said today. That’s the date just vacated by Warner Bros’ Superman Vs. Batman movie (it has moved back 10 months to May 2016). Now Ant-Man will face off against Warners’ Pan, which last month was moved to fill the Superman-Batman slot.
Michael Douglas has become the second major casting for Ant-Man, the Disney/Marvel movie that stars Paul Rudd. Douglas, fresh off his Golden Globes win last night for Behind The Candelabra, will play Hank Pym, who first appeared in the comic in 1962. Pym is a scientist who was first Ant-Man then became Giant-Man, Goliath, and Yellowjacket in the comic’s mythology; no word on which persona Douglas’ Pym will take per the announcement unveiled today on Marvel.com. “With Hank Pym’s rich history in the Marvel Universe, we knew we needed an actor capable of bringing the weight and stature to the role that the character deserves,” said Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige in the post. “We felt incredibly relieved when Michael Douglas agreed to step into the part with the charm and fortitude he brings to every character he inhabits, and couldn’t be more excited to see what he will do to bring Hank Pym to life.” Edgar Wright is directing the superhero pic, which is due out July 31, 2015.
Miss Deadline’s top film stories? Catch up now:
Is ‘Anchorman’s Paul Rudd Superhero Material? ‘Ant-Man’ In The Offing
By Mike Fleming Jr. – The long-rumored crowning of Paul Rudd as Ant-Man is finally happening. He is Marvel’s choice to star as the title character in the Edgar Wright-directed film.
Warner Bros Sets ‘Gilligan’s Island’ As Star Feature Vehicle For Josh Gad
By Mike Fleming Jr. – EXCLUSIVE: Remember Gilligan’s Island, the venerable 1960s TV series about seven castaways who wind up stranded on a tropical island after a torrential storm shipwrecks their yacht The S.S. Minnow? Warner Bros is charting a course for a feature film based on the series.
OSCARS: Nine Films On Foreign Language Shortlist; ‘The Past’, ‘Wadjda’ Miss Cut
By Nancy Tartaglione – Last weekend, I profiled 15 films that had a lot of heat ahead of the Foreign Language Oscar shortlist unveiling today. Of those 15 (plus a handful of wildcards), seven have ended up among the Academy’s nine selections that will move on to the second round of voting.
BOX OFFICE: Paramount Stretching Estimates As ‘Hobbit’ No. 1, ‘Anchorman 2,’ Lead
By Anita Busch – Gotta take Paramount Pictures to task with their inflated estimates for the five-day estimated gross for Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. There’s not a distributor in town who agrees that the five-day number will hit $40M.
Marvel is notoriously tight-lipped about its movies, so even after we told you yesterday that Paul Rudd has been tapped to play Ant-Man, it took the company until just now to admit the casting is true. Said producer Kevin Feige in a post this evening on Marvel.com: “When [director] Edgar Wright came to us with the idea of Paul Rudd, we felt a huge sense of relief because the first step in creating any Marvel Studios film is finding the right star. We knew early on that we had found the right person in Paul. When he not only agreed to do it but became as enthusiastic as any actor we’d ever met with about doing the work, we knew we’d found the right guy. We couldn’t be more excited for our audiences to see what he’s going to do to bring Ant-Man to life.” The pic is set for a July 31, 2015 release.
The long-rumored crowning of Paul Rudd as Ant-Man is finally happening. He is Marvel‘s choice to star as the title character in the Edgar Wright-directed film. Rudd has proven himself adept at light drama and he is exceptionally good at comedy, but I never really thought of him as superhero material. Wright, who wrote the Ant-Man script with Joe Cornish, showed at Comic-Con two years ago a demonstration of the technology developed that displayed a speck-sized Ant-Man running down the barrel of a gun and then re-emerging in actual size to put a hurting on a bad guy. It was pretty cool stuff, but Wright put the whole thing down to make The World’s End first. He did that mainly because the film’s producer, Working Title’s Eric Fellner, was diagnosed with cancer. Wright — who felt that Shaun Of The Dead — the first leg of what would become the Cornetto trilogy wouldn’t have gotten made if it wasn’t for Fellner — never would have forgiven himself if he didn’t make the third film in the series quickly, just in case the producer’s condition worsened. Marvel relented, and Kevin Feige agreed to wait. Fellner got his movie and, more important, a clean bill of health.
Disney announced a slew of tweaks to it film slate today, announcing that Marvel‘s Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World will now be released in 3D, and the comics studio’s Ant-Man will be released November 6, 2015. In addition, two more Marvel titles have official names: The Captain America sequel is titled Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and as expected the untitled August 2014 Marvel pic is Guardians Of The Galaxy. All wide release dates of the Marvel pics remain unchanged, but to refresh: Iron Man 3 is due May 3, 2013, Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, and Guardians Of The Galaxy on August 1, 2014.