When Edgar Wright vacated the director’s chair on Ant-Man after close to a decade of being attached to the project, Marvel Studios found itself with the unenviable task of finding a suitable replacement for the fan favourite filmmaker. Step forward Peyton Reed (Down with Love), who has admitted in an interview with Uproxx this week that upon hearing the news of Wright’s departure he himself wondered which “poor sap” would find themselves facing the daunting task of picking up the reins.
“I remember when, literally as just a bystander, when that thing happened and I was direct messaging with Jeremy Smith, Mr. Beaks at Ain’t It Cool,” said Reed. “Jeremy and I were exchanging messages like, ‘God, what happened with Edgar Wright?’ And he’s like, ‘I don’t know, man.’ I think I literally DMed him, ‘Who is the poor sap who is going to take over that movie?’ I did that! Then, I found myself a week and a half later meeting with Marvel and I decided to do the movie. I can’t remember if I emailed or called Jeremy, but I was like, ‘Guess what.’ He just read about it and was like, ‘What the f*ck?’ So, it was a really weird turn of events. Listen, it’s the kind of movie I’ve wanted to do for a long time. And I knew coming in last minute that it was going to be a speeding bullet that I had to catch up on.”
Reed went on to discuss how he approached the project in terms of developing Wright and Joe Cornish’s original script: “I read all of the existing drafts that Edgar [Wright] and Joe [Cornish] wrote. It was clearly Edgar and Joe’s idea to make this a heist movie and to sort of loosely base it on Marvel Premiere “To Steal an Ant-Man” that introduced Scott Lang. It was also their idea to create this Hank Pym/Scott Lang, mentor/mentee relationship. And, also, their idea to kind of do a Marvel movie where the third act battle take place in a little girl’s bedroom. Genius. It was great. I was a kid who grew up since elementary school reading Marvel comics. And when you’re a comic nerd, you develop your own personal relationship with these characters and that notion of like, well, this is what as a fan I want to see in the movie. So, there were definitely things that, when I came in and read the drafts that were like, this is great, but I also want to see this and see this.”
Ant-Man is set for release on July 17th, with Peyton Reed (Down with Love) directing a cast that includes Paul Rudd (I Love You, Man) as Scott Lang, Michael Douglas (Behind The Candelabra) as Dr. Hank Pym, Evangeline Lilly (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug) as Hope Van Dyne, Corey Stoll (House of Cards) as Darren Cross / Yellowjacket, John Slattery (Iron Man 2) as Howard Stark, Hayley Atwell (Captain America: The First Avenger) as Peggy Carter, Judy Greer (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) as Maggie, Bobby Cannavale (The Long Play) as Paxton, Michael Peña (American Hustle) as Luis, Abby Ryder Fortson (Togetherness) as Cassie Lang, David Dastmalchian (The Dark Knight) as Kurt, Wood Harris (The Wire) as Gale, T.I. (American Gangster) as Dave, Jordi Molla (Riddick) as Castillo, and Gregg Turkington (The Comedy) and Martin Donovan (Inherent Vice) in as yet-unrevealed roles.