Two weeks ago, news broke that Edgar Wright would no longer be directing Ant-Man. This was a surprise for many reasons. Wright had been developing the movie, in one form or another, for close to a decade. The film had already lined up an impressive cast, including Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas as various Ant-Men and Evangeline Lilly as the Wasp. Reports circulated that Wright departed the project over creative differences with the studio, including an unsatisfying script rewrite. Marvel began searching for a new comedy-friendly director, but both Adam McKay and Rawson Thurber passed. With the release of Ant-Man just 13 months away, the whole project appears to be in jeopardy.
Disney is still trying to find a new director — supposedly Ruben Fleischer of Zombieland fame. If that fails, they’ll need to find another director. As it happens, EW managed to obtain an exclusive transcript of Disney executives pitching a potential director on the Ant-Man job. It begins:
So, as you might have heard, we need a new director for Ant-Man. We’re not gonna undersell this: It’s the opportunity of a lifetime. You’ll get to make a massive summer blockbuster with a massive summer budget. You’re gonna be working with a dynamite cast. Your career will never be the same. Alan Taylor? He was a TV director before Thor 2, and now he’s making Terminator 5. Jonny Favs? You remember what he made before Iron Man? Hint: Rhymes with Zathura. Wait, it was actually called Zathura.
We’re changing your life, baby. Now, the job comes with some stipulations. This movie, see, it was the brainchild of one of the most energetic filmmakers of his generation, a man with a completely unique style. So you’re gonna have to step in and try to kind of figure out what he was going for on the fly.
Oh, also, nobody outside the geek world has any idea who Ant-Man is. Actually, most people outside the geek world kind of laugh a little bit when you say the words “Ant-Man.” Actually, the only reason anyone was excited about this movie was because of the involvement of that aforementioned filmmaker — who, I can’t stress enough, was absolutely perfect for this project for about a decade, but then really wasn’t perfect for it starting two weeks ago. You’re perfect for it. You’re the guy.
And this movie will be fun! You’ll be making the newest entry in one of the most popular franchises in movie history! And you’ll get to figure out how to make your movie lead out of Avengers 2 and make it lead into Ant-Man 2 and Avengers 3 and maybe Captain America 3, we’re not sure yet.
Don’t worry about the special effects scenes; we’ve been working on those for months. We’ve actually already got a five-minute trailer ready for Comic-Con.
Also, don’t worry about the script — we’re really happy with the new draft. And if it’s not good when you’re done filming, we’ll call up Joss for a quick polish and to reshoot some scenes.
No no no, you won’t have to reshoot the scenes! We’ll reshoot the scenes! You’ll be busy talking to the press about the movie. No no no, you won’t be talking about the movie, specifically. We like to keep the actual content of our movies under wraps for as long as possible. But you can spend six months making very vague references to how it’s a new kind of superhero movie.
No, no, you won’t really get to talk about the movie after it comes out. Once it’s in theaters, the only thing people will be talking about is the end-credits teaser for Doctor Strange. No, you won’t direct that. It’ll probably be Derrickson.
Anyhow, you’ll be too busy working on the sequel! Or maybe you’ll have already been hired for your fabulous next job! I hear there’s an Indiana Jones reboot in the works! Wouldn’t that be fun?
I mean, of course we want you back for Ant-Man 2. But we also might not want you back for Ant-Man 2. Also, we might fire you. We’ve been doing that a lot lately. So… it’s a yes, right?