In light of the good news coming from Marvel Studios tonight with the news that Scott Derrickson has been given the nod to direct DOCTOR STRANGE, that sort of information does come with a price. And in this case it’s as the silver lining to distract us from the very dark cloud that continues to build on ANT-MAN. Earlier today, we scooped that Rawson Thurber had been offered the job in the hopes of settling down the movie’s rocky road to production and getting things back on pace to hit that July 2015 release date Marvel is still dead set on. Unfortunately, the ANT-MAN nightmare for Marvel continues, as sources tell us Thurber has indeed passed on the film, sending the studio right back to the drawing board to find someone actually willing to touch this movie with a 10-foot pole. It certainly won’t be Ruben Fleischer whose name popped up in the list of contenders but who may be doing something with the new GHOSTBUSTERS. He doesn’t want anybody’s sloppy seconds… Strike that. We’re onto sloppy fourths at this point, leaving Marvel to start from scratch once again if they want to find someone stupid enough to sign onto ANT-MAN right now.

Talk about a clusterfuck.

There’s no telling if Thurber would have accepted the job last week if he had been Marvel’s first replacement choice instead of Adam McKay, who subsequently walked away from the negotiating table after initially agreeing to take ANT-MAN. However, all of this would be an irrelevant and basically non-existent discussion in the first place if someone above Kevin Feige’s pay grade at Disney hadn’t made the call to gut the ANT-MAN written by Joe Cornish and Edgar Wright that Wright had worked for eight long years to be in the position to direct, leaving them no real choice but to walk away from the film and created this void that needs a replacement director.

Let’s face it… ANT-MAN is a tainted movie right now, and no one wants to have any involvement in it whatsoever. It’s a thankless job, because if it turns out as bad as we’ve heard all the changes have made it, guess who is going to get smacked right in the face with the blame? It might be a little bit of Marvel, as we’ve have endless think pieces about how Marvel’s run of solid films has come to an end. It’ll definitely be the director, as the average movie-goer who has no idea about any of the behind-the-scenes drama taking place currently typically points their finger at the director’s chair when a movie isn’t very good. And why would any filmmaker want to put themselves in the position to be labeled as the person who fucked up ANT-MAN when that’s a stink they’ll be unable to wash off ever? Take a look at bad superhero films, and look who gets slammed for them. Brett Ratner still is a popular target any time X-MEN: THE LAST STAND comes up in conversation, regardless of the fact that he came onto the movie late in the process, too far along to make any real dents in the creative direction of the film. Ben Affleck, George Clooney and Ryan Reynolds still hear about how terrible their Daredevil, Batman and Green Lantern were respectively. It’s a spot no one should willingly be putting themselves in, and, as a result, it’s going to be tough for Marvel to get ANT-MAN made as presently constituted, unless they’re really willing to lower their standards to find someone who’ll just get it done.

So what’s the next course of action for Marvel? Well, they’ve put themselves between a rock and a hard place. There are no good options for them… only slightly less bad ones… and that starts with bowing down before Edgar Wright, kissing his ass like there’s no tomorrow and granting him the autonomy to make the ANT-MAN film he was originally going to make. Do I think that’s going to happen? Probably not. After all, if you expect Disney to come groveling with their tail between their legs in order to get a certain director who now holds all the leverage, then you’re incredibly naive and really have no idea how The Mouse operates. It would be the right decision to make for the company, for Marvel and for ANT-MAN, but let’s not pretend the studios are all about making the best decisions for everyone. This comes right down to ego, and I cannot see Disney deflating theirs in order to get this thing back on the up and up with Edgar Wright at the helm for ANT-MAN. On the flip side, who knows if Wright would even listen to any sort of overtures from them? He was incredibly disrespected late in the process after investing so much time and creative energy in order to get ANT-MAN to the doorstep of being made, and he started before there even was a Marvel Cinematic Universe to geek out over. So why go back after seeing the clusterfuck this has become? I wouldn’t blame him for wanting to devote his attention to something else, but the specter of “What could have been” will always linger if ANT-MAN indeed goes unmade.

And I think that’s where this thing may be headed. ANT-MAN may be so tainted at this point that Marvel has no other choice but to kill this project… or at least stick it up on the shelf and hope people forget about it in a few years when they can then revisit reincorporating the character into the MCU. It’s Wright or bust, and pride and ego may have The Mouse choosing the latter at this point. Such is their prerogative, but now you at least know why this DOCTOR STRANGE news was fed into the pipeline today. They wanted to distract you with a little bit of goodness, so you didn’t notice that ANT-MAN just went from bad to worse.

About The Author

Famously fired via Facebook, Billy Donnelly ("The Infamous Billy The Kidd") has insisted on staying true to his honest opinions (like Greedo shooting first being BS) in order to build a true geek community that serves its readership with credible commentary.

  • C. Peter Roberts

    Sheesh. I’ve gone from jazzed to terrified for this film in the space of a week.

  • vincanss

    It’s such a fucking joke, they should just stick with the man that actually ‘wanted’ to make this film. Wright was attached to this since before 2006 even..

    • Worker11811

      If was Wright and Marvel reapproached me to direct I would tell them to go fuck themselves

      • http://ThisIsInfamous.com/ The Infamous Billy The Kidd

        I would tell them to go fuck themselves, too… and then I might kiss and make up with the leverage they’ve now given me to go back in and make the movie I originally wanted to make.

  • ieyke

    I’m still not worried about Ant-Man, and this whole article is just a bunch of dumb speculation.

    • SwagMeOutHoe

      Don’t you think it might be a little worrisome that, in “a week,” they’ve gone through 3 directors tho? I mean, it’s Marvel, where even their worst movie has make millions at the box office, so for them to have gone through THREE directors in such a short amount of time for a movie they still claim is coming out in 2015 might be a little worrisome…

      • ieyke

        Nope.
        Directors aren’t all just sitting around waiting for Marvel to give them work.
        They may very well be busy with other projects. Or maybe they don’t feel up to working on such a huge project. Or or or or.
        There are just tons of reasons why a director might not accept the job.
        This is all just worrying about nothing.

        • Adam

          Or Edgar Wright walked away from this because they were turning his creative vision into some generic crap. Who still wants to see this?

          • ieyke

            If you believe that, then you’re obviously not paying attention and have no idea what’s going on.

          • Adam

            You may not be paying attention to what happened to Jon Favreau, Joe Johnston, Kenneth Branagh…and now Edgar Wright. Is there something wrong with all of these people, or is there something wrong with how Marvel studios treats them? Then you look at how they treated Terrence Howard, and Edward Norton, and you start to get a clearer picture of “what’s going on”.

          • ieyke

            Actually, no, none of those mean anything.
            Also Terrence Howard was being a greedy douchenozzle. He wanted more money than RDJ.
            Norton just didn’t feel like playing the Hulk again. It was a one-time thing for him.

          • http://ThisIsInfamous.com/ The Infamous Billy The Kidd

            None of that is actually true. You do realize that, right?

          • menotyou64

            Either you work for Marvel and/or Disney or you’re the most sycophantic fanboy alive.

          • http://ThisIsInfamous.com/ The Infamous Billy The Kidd

            I think it is you, sir, who has shoved their head beneath the scene and isn’t all that wise on what is really going on behind the scenes.

          • ieyke

            Or you’re being lead around by wild speculation and sensationalist nonsense.

          • http://ThisIsInfamous.com/ The Infamous Billy The Kidd

            Nope… We know plenty about what is happening behind the curtain on this one.

    • Worker11811

      Plant!

      • ieyke

        Plant what?
        Piranha plant?
        Carrot?
        Apple tree?

    • http://ThisIsInfamous.com/ The Infamous Billy The Kidd

      This goes beyond Marvel. This is Disney meddling and now they’re facing the consequences as a result. Marvel did know what they were doing, which is why Wright has been at the helm all these years. Unfortunately, The Mouse tried to fix what isn’t broken, and now they’ve got a toxic mess of a film on their hands that no filmmaker wants to touch.

      • ieyke

        Unlikely.
        The known evidence doesn’t support that at all.

        • http://ThisIsInfamous.com/ The Infamous Billy The Kidd

          They’re trying their hardest not to let you see the mess that’s happening. Why would they?

  • Nerd Rage

    Disney needs to offer a director two jobs. First, direct Ant-Man. Next, the director gets to direct whatever his or her passion project is. Book the director a ticket out of director jail in case Ant-Man flops.

    • TrekBeatTK

      My dream in this scenario would be they offer it to Andrew Stanton in exchange for him getting to do another John Carter. But THAT will never happen.

      • http://ThisIsInfamous.com/ The Infamous Billy The Kidd

        We’re NEVER getting another JOHN CARTER.

    • http://ThisIsInfamous.com/ The Infamous Billy The Kidd

      Not a bad deal if you can get it, I guess, but you’d better be ready to have ANT-MAN thrown in your face from now until forever as a result.

  • Convoy

    I’m starting to think that maybe what Marvel really wants is to shelf this thing, forget about it, and introduce Pym in another movie, and rework their plans for Phase 3.

    • http://ThisIsInfamous.com/ The Infamous Billy The Kidd

      They didn’t expect Wright to walk in the first place. They really over-reached creatively, thinking he’d be okay with their changes. Now they’re doing whatever they can to save this thing, but it may be too late. They turned this thing toxic.

      • Convoy

        No director in their right mind will want to touch this now. It’s tainted and you would have to have a career death wish to want to even be associated with this project.

        • http://ThisIsInfamous.com/ The Infamous Billy The Kidd

          …Or have nothing to lose.

          • Convoy

            And it looks like they’ve found someone who has nothing to lose.

  • G@BRIEL GR@Y

    Good job Billy, nice to see this place getting some scoops permeating the movie blogosphere.

    I think AntMan should be dropped tbh. I think it’s a character that can be lost without much outcry. Doctor Strange on the other hand, I think that’s a character that can bridge the loss of Tony Stark in the MCU. Me personally, (and this is pie in the sky stuff) I think offering the gig to Robert Downey Jr would be interesting. Shape him into that character keeping his cannon in the MCU intact. Just change him up. He’s be perfect casting. However he’s just a little too mature for the project now.

    I heard Russell Brand had been approached a while back (oddly enough).
    Jared Leto while not necessarily a first choice for anyone, may actually be great in the role. I just think they need a character with a little edge to them for a role as supposedly dark as the one currently cooking at Marvel.

    Anyway, good work, I feel this project is pretty much doomed in the public eye now.

    • http://ThisIsInfamous.com/ The Infamous Billy The Kidd

      I think it’s doomed in our eyes. The average movie-goer is none the wiser about the behind-the-scenes drama. Remember… They went out and saw WORLD WAR Z without a clue as to the mess that film was shaping us to be. However, the appeal of ANT-MAN was to see Edgar Wright’s ANT-MAN. When it comes to Marvel’s version, suddenly it becomes a lot less interesting, because… let’s face it… who really cares about Ant-Man?

      • G@BRIEL GR@Y

        Yeah that’s a good point, the average movie goer doesn’t follow the minutia of development, and I tend to agree, Antman as a character is unappealing.

  • Jeff Gallashaw

    At this point the options seem to be that, They will get some wet behind the ears. Recent graduate of film school or some new filmmaker of note who has a feature or two behind them and want to make a name for themselves. Whose reel or vision for the project they love. Then of course bombard him with notes to sculpt his vision more to what they want and doesn’t have enough pull to talk back or refuse.The other way could be they get a foreign director whose vision they like, but the studio wants to control and put mandates on like Jose Padhila with ROBOCOP who actually managed to make a decent film actually. They could try Patty Jenkins who was in the running for Thor: The Dark World. Then again i am still hoping my one man campaign for my personal pick Joe Dante becomes realized. The only other person who comes to mind is Rupert Sanders (or is he still toxic after SNOW WHITE & THE HUNTSMAN because of more personal scandal problems)

    • http://ThisIsInfamous.com/ The Infamous Billy The Kidd

      Anyone with any sort of reputation under their belt is out. They’re not looking to make a film that gives them zero control.

      • Jeff Gallashaw

        Well i’m sure Michael Davis of SHOOT EM’ UP is certainly free

  • Calmixx

    I think they should make the executive who provided the notes that changed the tone and the third act direct it.

    Then when it fails to even get completed – let alone released under their “leadership and creative vision” send them to the curb with a box of Avengers action figures as a severance package.

    Hopefully this will act as a stern warning to other bean counters who think their ability to negotiate HR contracts or get makes them qualified to make movies.

    Or put their head on a spike. You know. Either way.

  • TL

    This whole film is toxic and was a bad choice from the start. The fact that from first negotiations until now this film has never been made speaks volumes.

    Talk of this film started in 06 and 8 years later still nothing.

    Ant Man is fantastic in a team movie but he never deserved a solo film.

    Marvel Studios must realize on some level that this film is weak.

    When this film is a financial flop it will show they should have listened to there instinct. This movie is garbage.

    Concentrate on Phase 3 with Dr Strange instead. Who is a much stronger character.

    Not Ant Man a book who even creators Lee and Kirby dumped working on early on.

    • http://ThisIsInfamous.com/ The Infamous Billy The Kidd

      Marvel wasn’t in a rush to make this film, and neither was Edgar Wright. They were taking their time, waiting for the right moment… only all that waiting left open the window of opportunity for disaster to strike.

  • Pingback: Rawson Marshall Thurber Abandona Negociaciones Para Dirigir ‘Ant-Man’()

  • CoosCoos

    I’d say kill the project. They’ve already changed Ultron’s origins, so Ant-Man is a marginal C-list character at this point. Move on to Dr. Strange, Black Panther, Ms. Marvel, or anybody else. Ant-Man is not anywhere near necessary to the future of the MCU.

  • CalvinballPro

    Only Edgar Wright can save this film. Get it out there, put it on social media, whatever.

  • Calmixx

    At this point Edgar Wright’s best move is DON’T make this movie no matter what. In the unlikely event Disney were to come to their senses and beg him back – a “hypothetical speculative Ant-Man” by Wright will always be stronger than whatever he ACTUALLY made regardless of how talented he is. This makes him a “fanboy legend”. Ra’s al ghul would be proud.