Ever since Edgar Wright abruptly left Ant-Man a little over a week ago, Marvel has been listening to “I Will Survive” on repeat, drinking wine coolers, and promising that it’s “like soooooo fine.” To that end, Marvel is already dating around, looking for a new director. Evidently conducting its business via speed-dating, Marvel has met with directors Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland), Rawson Thurber (We’re The Millers) and Adam McKay (Anchorman). And though they haven’t officially spoken yet, Marvel is totally open to getting drinks with Jonathan Levine (50/50).
For a split second on Friday it looked like Marvel may have moved on to Adam McKay (also Will Ferrell’s producing partner), but then McKay decided not to call Marvel back and it’s okay like that, seriously, they were just having a little fun together. It’s too bad that doesn’t seem to be working out—Paul Rudd would undoubtedly feel reassured by having someone he’s familiar with calling the shots on the now-officially troubled Ant-Man. And McKay has experience with writing on the fly, shooting a bunch of material, and finding the movie in editing, which is pretty much the only production method left to whoever eventually takes on the project, given the tight schedule.
One thing we can glean from Marvel’s recent dating habits is that clearly they want Ant-Man to be a broad comedy. Wright’s made some of the funniest movies of the last decade (Hot Fuzz just gets better with time), but there’s also a lot of darkness in his comedy. His last movie, The World’s End, was f*cking brilliant, but it was also about an addict trying to reconnect with his childhood friends after a bender ended with one of them getting seriously injured in a car accident, and featured a heartbreaking sub-plot about the long-term effects of bullying. Perhaps that streak of black in Wright’s humor was the problematic “core morality” in his version of Ant-Man.
But for now, the search continues. Of the options, I like Fleischer the best. Gangster Squad was a mess but Zombieland was terrific—perhaps with a firm hand such as Feige’s on the reins, he’ll stay on track and produce something along those lines. But Thurber’s the one with the recent box office hit, which is sure to look attractive to the Disney overlords. All we know for sure, though, is that at this rate, Marvel will be on Tinder by the end of the week.