Despite earlier reports and confirmation from Variety, Anchorman director and Funny or Die cofounder Adam McKay will not come aboard to take Edgar Wright's place as director of Ant-Man.
Marvel is reportedly determined to have Ant-Man debut on schedule, with the film hitting theaters on July 17th, 2015. Stars Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas have already been cast for months, with the actors playing younger and older versions of the title character. With McKay out of the running, Marvel will need to continue its search.
Fans were originally excited to see Wright at the helm of Ant-Man, a film he'd been attached to since 2006, after seeing his work on such films as Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. That's no longer the case, and fans now speculate that the director's relationship with Marvel and Disney may have been strained by the end. Wright recently tweeted an image of depressed Buster Keaton holding a Cornetto ice cream cone, a move some observers believe might be a reference to his own Cornetto Trilogy and the creative control Keaton felt he'd lost when he signed up to work for MGM. That tweet has since been deleted, but fellow Marvel director Joss Whedon did tweet a Cornetto of his own to show solidarity.
Update 1:15pm ET: According to The Hollywood Reporter, Adam McKay has pulled out as director for Ant Man, despite sources confirming this morning he was committed to the project. Negotiations reportedly started in earnest last night, but McKay abruptly turned Marvel down. McKay would later go on to confirm on Twitter that he was unable to take on the role:
And yes, met w/Marvel. Kirby & Lee r my Lennon Mccartney so it was awesome. But have other projects I'm committed to. Not sure it can work.— Adam McKay (@GhostPanther) May 31, 2014
The post has been updated to reflect McKay's departure.