UPDATE: The good folks over at Collider are reporting they have it on “very good authority” that Deadline’s report stating that Stoller’s name is in the mix for Ant-Man is “unfounded.” They have no word, however, on Dowse’s involvement.
Marvel has been having an extremely rough few days as far as their planned superhero blockbuster Ant-Man goes. First, script changes caused Edgar Wright, who had been trying to get the film made since 2003, to step away from the director’s chair, largely shocking fans who had been looking forward to his take on the pint-sized hero for a long, long time. Then, potential replacements Adam McKay (The Other Guys) and Rawson Marshall Thurber (We’re the Millers) each passed on the film, leaving Marvel scrambling. Ruben Fleischer has also been eyed, but he may be doing Ghostbusters 3. Now, if a recent report from Deadline is to believed, Nicholas Stoller (Neighbors) and Michael Dowse (What If) are in the mix.
On paper, Stoller makes a lot of sense, given Marvel’s preference for comedy directors on Ant-Man. By all accounts, the film is a quirky and funnier entry than we’ve seen from the studio thus far (after all, comedian Paul Rudd is playing Hank Pym). Plus, Stoller just delivered a major comedy hit with the well-received Seth Rogen and Zac Efron outing Neighbors.
Dowse is a little bit more of a surprise. His next film, What If, stars Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan but doesn’t open until August. Still, it’s received highly positive reviews, which likely helped him get on Marvel’s radar. His past films also make a strong case for the director; he previously helmed the underrated Take Me Home Tonight and Goon, a cult comedy that will be getting a sequel at some point.
We only have Deadline’s report to go on right now, which only even mentioned Stoller and Dowse in an off-hand way, stating that their names were “making the rounds.” And neither director has much experience with tentpoles (Neighbors came first on the festival circuit), so that may stand in the way of either landing the gig.
Personally, I think Marvel should approach Captain America: The Winter Soldier helmers Joe and Anthony Russo. They did a tremendous job on that film and they don’t have another project lined up yet, besides Captain America 3.
We’ll be sure to keep you posted as all this Ant-Man drama continues to play out. Hopefully the next director Marvel names will save this film though, as it appears to be on its way to crashing and burning.