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Don’t Believe The Hype: James Gunn Says ‘Ant-Man’ Directing Rumors Are Bullsh*t

by Edward Davis
May 29, 2014 1:35 PM
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So if you believed the morning rumors, which honestly smelled a little bit more like horseshit than usual, James Gunn, director of Marvel’s “The Guardians Of The Galaxy” was going to take over “Ant-Man” from the now departed Edgar Wright. Hey, Gunn was understanding of the problems between mom and dad, and hell, his Marvel movie was to 2014 what Wright’s “Ant-Man” was to 2015—a risk. Presumably Gunn’s done a great job of blending wacky comedy and “risk” along with the narrative foundations of what Marvel needs and expects for their tentpoles, so he’d make a good choice, right?

But Gunn is also presumably finishing his own Marvel movie, set to open in August, and even if we presume that he’s mostly complete, would he want to make back to back tentpoles? The rumors had Gunn as the next possibility to fill the shoes, but Gunn has quickly slapped all that down. As you can see from his tweet, it’s b.s.

So who’s taking over? Well, some reports says there’s a replacement already waiting in the wings, which suggests Marvel knew Wright would balk at their script changes and bail. But a more recent report suggests that Marvel won’t be ready to hire a new replacement by the time late July arrives (the proposed “Ant-Man” shooting date) and therefore they may miss their summer 2015 release date window.

Frankly, it could go either way. For one, it’s easy to see Marvel finding a TV director already at-ease with executing a pre-ordained vision, but on the other hand, this is no TV episode; it’s at least a 90-minute movie and the month and half of preparation might be too much for anyone, lest they want to pull a Brett Ratner and inherit “X-Men: The Last Stand” about 4-6 weeks before filming began (and we all know how that turned out).

Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if Marvel delays "Ant-Man." Now that they’ve got “control” of "Ant-Man" and it’s their film and not the possibly-too-quirky picture Wright was going to make, they could rethink the project even more. Hell, one school of thought would even go so far as saying: does this movie need to be made now? Or should we just introduce this character as an ‘Avenger’ down the road? Depending on how much Marvel’s invested in the project already, it’s probably within the realm of possibility. We’ll see. In the short term, don’t believe the hype—James Gunn isn’t making back to back Marvel films.

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  • TheoC | May 29, 2014 9:13 PMReply

    Gregg Motola, is he working on anything right now? he has a solid enough record and the right ear for quirky, might be a good replacement.

  • Joey Santiago | May 29, 2014 2:17 PMReply

    They definitely have to make it, the contracts for all the stars would stipulate nice hefty pay-outs should the project fall-through or miss it's original intended release.

    They've got themselves in a pickle, for sure, but a pickle I suspect they knew they would get into. They'll hire some first-rate TV director, who'll churn out a second-rate Summer blockbuster (a la Thor 2) through less-fault of their own than Marvel's insistence on a "unified vision" - such a shame for Wright, though now he can go and make something truly his own (as he always does) and Marvel can carry on making derivative superhero-action movies (as they do) occasionally happening upon something somewhat-memorable.

    Lemme just say, in twenty years time when we still talk about 'classics' and 'Top 10' lists - there will NEVER be a superhero film amongst 'em.

  • Joey Santiago | May 30, 2014 8:33 AM

    Wash - my apologies, I struggled to see what point you were (desperately) attempting to make. And then I realised you have no idea what you're talking about anyway.

    Superhero films are another go-around on the Hollywood corporate merry-go-round. First Westerns dominated and everything was money (though we got some great movies, as many theorists say the 'Western' is one of, if not the only, true American genre of film), then the independent revolution of the late 50's and 60's happened and allegorical sci-fi pictures and avant-garde American directors took hold and were able to experiment.

    We moved into the 70's with auteur-driven pieces before Lucas ruined it all with a 'blockbuster' negating all the hard work that countless others had done before - but so be it, it's what the people wanted. We move into the 80's and it's all action-heroes with Stallone, Arnie and Bruce "The W" Willis taking the mantle, bringing in reams of cash with the same film over-and-over.

    The pendulum swings. Always has. From commercial pictures (that eventually run out of puff) back to independent and interesting auteur-driven and creatively expansive works, decade-to-decade. I look forward to the end of superhero films because they are cheap, soul-less copies of themselves already and exist only because The House of Mouse wants you to watch them and people are gullible enough to believe they really want to watch the same film again. And again. And then again, but this time in space and Tony Stark OMG is going to die.

  • Emperor Zerg Rush | May 30, 2014 3:44 AM

    Wash - Relatively new? You're joking, right?

    The superhero genre is nothing new. It's just taken Hollywood decades to shape it into something that's viable.

  • Wash | May 29, 2014 7:30 PM

    Joey, super hero films are a relatively new genre in film. If you look at, say the Top 10 Films by Rotten Tomatos, a Top 10 List, like you recommend, the "youngest" film is from 1972. "Superman", arguably the "first" superhero film didn't premiere until 1978. Also, if you look at the Top 10 Films from Rotten Tomatoes of this century, "The Incredibles" is in fact, listed. And it is a superhero film. Apologies, but you're wrong.

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