Marvel Studios has officially announced that Peyton Reed will replaced Edgar Wright as the director of their Phase Three kick-off superhero feature Ant-Man. Adam McKay, the director of the Anchorman movies and Step Brothers, is also coming aboard to rewrite the screenplay previously in the hands of Wright and Joe Cornish.
Reed’s past credits as a director include Bring It On, Down With Love, The Break-Up, and Yes Man. He’s accustomed to making entertaining comedies for major studios that are both visually and verbally inventive, so hopefully he will prove to be a worthy successor to the departing Wright. His hiring brings to an end a brief but exhaustive search for a viable replacement director that has sucked in and spit out names such as Ruben Fleischer, David Wain, Rawson Michael Thurber, Michael Dowse, and Nicholas Stoller. McKay himself was also mentioned as a possible pinch-hitter for Wright but bowed out close to signing a deal due to other directorial commitments.
A decade earlier, Reed was in the frame to direct a big-budget adaptation of Marvel’s The Fantastic Four for 20th Century Fox that would have been set in the 1960s, but the box office failure of Down With Love and studio concerns essentially put the kibosh on those plans. At least Ant-Man finally gives him the chance to make a lavish superhero spectacle a bit different than what audiences are used to and he should work well with Marvel Studios and the cast in ensuring the finished film meets its release date.
Starring Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Patrick Wilson, and Michael Pena, Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man will open in theaters on July 17, 2015.