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.
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 …
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.
‘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:
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?
EXCLUSIVE: There probably won’t be as much drinking and smoking as he’s done on UK TV, but Dylan Moran has closed a deal that could see him on American TV in the not-to-distant future. The BAFTA-winning Irish comic has signed an agreement with ABC Studios to create and write a pilot for him to star in for ABC, Deadline has learned. This would be Moran’s inaugural move into television on this side of the Atlantic. The details of the deal also have Moran producing the half hour pilot and series if they are ordered. The star and co-writer of the 2000-04 Channel 4 series Black Books in the UK, Moran has also appeared in the 2004 Edgar Wright-directed Shaun of the Dead and with Shaun star Simon Pegg again in 2007’s Run Fatboy Run. He’ll next be seen in the John Michael McDonagh-directed upcoming black comedy Calvary with Bridesmaids’ Chris O’Dowd and Harry Potter’s Brendan Gleeson. Moran will be touring the States next month with a new stand-up routine. Dylan Moran is repped by Kirsten Ames Management in the U.S., PBJ Management in the UK and attorney Jeffrey Bernstein.
Comic-Con Q&A With Edgar Wright: How Working Title Partner Eric Fellner’s Health Scare Put ‘The World’s End’ Before Marvel’s ‘Ant-Man’
Edgar Wright came to San Diego with cohorts Simon Pegg and Nick Frost to show the Comic-Con crowd The World’s End, the final installment of a trilogy of films that began with Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz. The trio greeted a raucous crowd that had spent about 12 hours or more camped outside the theater to get an early glimpse at the Working Title-produced comedy that Focus Features bows August 23. Wright took a few minutes to talk with Deadline.
DEADLINE: You had the Hall H crowd at the Marvel panel frothing last year when you took the stage and showed cutting-edge footage of Ant-Man, which Marvel hopes will launch a new superhero franchise. The crowd loved seeing the protagonist going from microscopic to full size. But you pushed that movie and came to San Diego with The World’s End. How did that happen?
WRIGHT: I had a chance to do Ant-Man in 2011. Simon was busy with three franchises, if you count Tin-Tin along with Star Trek and Mission: Impossible. We had the story down and it was in the back of my mind that if we didn’t do this film soon it might never happen, and we owed it to the fans. But then something else happened. [Working Title partner] Eric Fellner was diagnosed with cancer. When I found out about that, I’d literally just finished another screenplay for him and it was on delivery that he told me. He has given me permission to tell this story. That changed everything. Eric was our knight in shining armor on Shaun Of The Dead. That film was in turnaround, developed by Film 4 and they’d gone bust. Lots of other British companies had passed on it. Working Title, ironically the biggest British company, came in and saved the day. He wanted us to do another film together; we’d even done the deal for it. When I found out he was ill, one of many emotions I felt was, if we didn’t make this film, and something terrible happened, I would never forgive myself on not making good on my promise to do it. I wanted Eric to see this movie.
DEADLINE: What did you do?
WRIGHT: Me and Simon began writing it the very next week; in fact, we wrote it in Eric’s office in Beverly Hills. He was having chemo and said, please take my office, do it there. We wanted to make the film anyway, but it became a very personal thing. The happy news is, we’ve made it, he loves it and he’s got a clean bill of health. He came out of that ordeal and went straight into a tough period where he made Les Miserables and our film. It informed the movie script. The film is about regrets and these guys saying, I’ve got to do this thing. That sentiment became personal. To Marvel’s credit, when I went to see them to tell them to their face I wanted to do Ant-Man but that I wasn’t doing it next, Kevin Feige and Louis D’Esposito said they understood. We’ll see you in a couple years, they said.
Fantasia Fest 2013 Lines Up Edgar Wright’s ‘The World’s End,’ ‘The Conjuring,’ Lloyd Kaufman’s ‘Return To Nuke ‘Em High’
The annual Fantasia Film Festival held in Montreal has announced its first wave of 2013 titles and closing night film, Edgar Wright‘s The World’s End. The British comedy will make its Canadian debut at the fest which runs July 18-August 6 showcasing international features, special events, conferences, and its second annual genre co-production market. Focus Features releases The World’s End, starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in an unofficial follow-up to Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, on August 23. The fest will also screen WB‘s horror hit hopeful The Conjuring on Opening Night. This year’s edition features a special three-night live theater engagement of Clive Barker’s play A History of the Devil and will honor Polish filmmaker Andrzej Żuławski (Possession, La Femme Publique, L’amour Braque) with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Here’s the first wave of Fantasia Fest 2013 programming with more TBA:
Edgar Wright’s The World’s End (Canadian Premiere)
Fantasia 2013 will come wildly to a close on the night of August 6 with the Canadian premiere of UK filmmaker Edgar Wright’s hotly anticipated apocalyptic comedy THE WORLD’S END, starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Rosamund Pike and Martin Freeman.
Clive Barker’s A History of the Devil
Fantasia will again be delving into the realm of live theatre with a special three-night engagement of Title 66 Productions’ acclaimed adaptation of Clive Barker’s play, A HISTORY OF THE DEVIL. An epic show to stage, HISTORY weaves a tale told across thousands of years over the span of a near-three-hour running time. Director Jeremy Michael Segal and his team have created a macabre mounting that writhes with visual invention and primal acrobatics of performance.
The team behind genre comedies Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz has reunited for sci-fi romp The World’s End. Edgar Wright directs Simon Pegg and Nick Frost along with Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine and Rosamund Pike in the story of childhood friends who come together after 20 years to stage an epic pub crawl. Things do not go quite as planned. Pegg, next up in Star Trek Into Darkness, wrote the script for the Working Title comedy. Focus Features releases in the U.S. on August 23, a month after the film’s UK debut on July 19. Here’s the UK trailer that just dropped:
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures is mobilizing a sci-fi film called Collider, and it is a collision of several of the top guys in the genre. Edgar Wright will direct the film, and he is co-writing the script with I Am Legend‘s Mark Protosevich. Wright is producing with his longtime Big Talk Productions partner Nira Park and JJ Abrams through his Bad Robot banner.
Like with all Bad Robot fare, a log line was tough to get. The deal comes after Protosevich scripted the Oldboy remake that Spike Lee will direct with Josh Brolin (Protosevich is co-producer), and he also got story credit on Thor and scripted the video game transfer Mass Effect for Legendary.
Wright, meanwhile, next directs The World’s End with his cohorts Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, and he certainly perked up Marvel’s Comic-Con Hall H panel when he revealed some rough test-shot footage from Ant-Man, one of the next Marvel live-action films in the offing which Wright will direct. Protosevich and Wright are repped by CAA, and Wright is managed by Anonymous Content.
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has officially greenlighted The World’s End, the third film in director Edgar Wright’s trilogy of comedies with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost that began with 2004’s Shaun Of The Dead and 2007’s Hot Fuzz. Wright is currently in pre-production on the film, which will begin shooting this October in the UK
Pegg wrote the script with Wright and once again stars with Frost. Working Title’s Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan will produce with Nira Park of Big Talk Pictures. Here Deadline can unveil the teaser poster (at right) made for Comic-Con.
Disney has hired D.V. DeVincentis to script The Night Stalker as a vehicle for Johnny Depp. The film is based on the classic TV series that starred Darren McGavin as the tabloid reporter who finds his way to a series of supernatural killers. The move follows Disney’s hiring of Edgar Wright to direct the film. Depp and his Infinitum Nihil partner Christi Dembrowski are producing and David Kennedy is exec producer. The studio bought The Night Stalker for Depp, Dombrowski and Kennedy last summer.
EXCLUSIVE: Working Title and Edgar Wright have set a September start date for The World’s End, the last in a trilogy of comedies that started with Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz. Wright, who’ll direct, wrote the script with Simon Pegg. Once again, Pegg stars with Nick Frost. Universal Pictures hasn’t yet green lit the film, but is expected to after the modestly budgeted pair of comedies grossed $108 million worldwide between them. The plan is for The World’s End to reach theaters in spring, 2013.
The logline: 20 years after attempting an epic pub crawl, five childhood friends reunite when one of them becomes hell bent on trying the drinking marathon again. They are convinced to stage an encore by mate Gary King, a 40-year old man trapped at the cigarette end of his teens, who drags his reluctant pals to their home town and once again attempts to reach the fabled pub, The World’s End. As they attempt to reconcile the past and present, they realize the real struggle is for the future, not just theirs but humankind’s. Reaching The World’s End is the least of their worries.
The film is produced by Working Title partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, and Nira Park of Big Talk Productions. Wright, who last directed Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, is separately adapting the series The Night Stalker for Disney as …
EXCLUSIVE: Disney is setting Edgar Wright to direct The Night Stalker, the remake of the ABC telepic and series that the studio is developing as a potential star vehicle for Johnny Depp to play intrepid tabloid reporter Carl Kolchak. Depp and his Infinitum Nihil partner Christi Dembrowski will produce.
Wright, best known for directing Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, comes aboard before the studio has set a writer, and he will oversee and shape the project with Depp and Dembrowski from the ground floor. As Deadline revealed, the film took root at the studio last summer, borne out of Depp and Dembrowski’s fond memories of the original 70s movie and series that starred Darren McGavin. He covered crime for a tabloid and his cases always led to supernatural perpetrators that included zombies, vampires, werewolves and aliens. Of course, neither his editor nor anyone else would believe him or allow him to run what seemed like outrageous stories. But Kolchak would put himself in grave danger each episode. David Kennedy will be exec producer of the film.
The subject matter will be tailored to fit Disney’s family film mandate and likely a PG-13 rating, but the idea of Wright’s hyper-reality style and Depp’s gift for constructing quirky characters sounds like a good match to me. Wright is …
The film Attack the Block makes its debut at South By Southwest at a March 12 midnight screening. It is produced by Edgar Wright and first-time director Joe Cornish (who worked with Wright on Tin Tin) and has an ensemble cast that features Nick Frost. Here is the new trailer:
Luke Y Thompson is covering the Con for Deadline:
Universal is spending a lot of money to make SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD the talk of Comic-Con. There’s an interactive exhibit at the Gaslamp Hilton, multiple screenings of the movie itself, and almost everyone from the cast on the panel in Hall H, and we mean EVERYONE – 13 panelists in all. I question whether this is a smart strategy. The quirky Canadian manga-styled comic about a twentysomething bassist who engages in videogame-style battles with the “evil exes” of his dreamgirl clearly has rabid fans, judging by the number of people in costume and the loudness of their cheers. They would pay to see it, yet Universal seems determined to show it to all of them for free this week. So then who will pay when it opens in theaters? Or do we assume the fans are so rabid they will be repeat ticket-buyers?
Director Edgar Wright comes out to intro the panel, saying it was love at first sight when he read the comic in 2004. He shows a brief video that indicates how frame-for-frame accurate some of the shot compositions are to the comic. And he has a big announcement: SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD will be in 2-D, at regular ticket prices.
The entire cast comes out one by one, and Wright does a running joke where he asks them for one-word answers to save time. Then, a surprise: “Also appearing in this …