Joss Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron (watch the newly-released official trailer) will conclude Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe next May, before Phase 3 gets started just a couple months later, with Ant-Man. The onetime Edgar Wright passion project is now being directed by Peyton Reed (Bring It On, Yes Man) and received a rewrite by Adam McKay, director of such Will Ferrell comedies as Anchorman 1 & 2 and The Other Guys.
Will this be the only time McKay goes for a swim in the Marvel pool? Not necessarily, it seems. The filmmaker previously admitted that he passed on directing Ant-Man due to his current workload, but he sounds glad that he agreed to help with revising the film’s script – a process that involved amping up the scale and action scene quota (in addition to adding some Marvel-style humor). In fact, McKay says he might even call the shots, if there is a “next time” for him and Marvel Studios.
Following the release of Ant-Man, Marvel Studio has the Russo brothers working on Captain America 3 for a May 2016 release and, although it’s not official just yet, it seems very likely that Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange movie will take the July 2016 date staked out for a Marvel film. Thereafter, Marvel has scheduled release dates for five untitled projects (plus Guardians of the Galaxy 2) and, when interviewed by Crave Online, McKay said there’s a real possibility he could direct one of those.
I just did a big rewrite on Ant-Man with Paul Rudd and had such a great time working with them that we’re kicking around ideas. But yeah, maybe I would take on one of the characters so we haven’t locked in anything, but discussions are definitely going on.
One of those unannounced Marvel movies is, no doubt, Avengers 3, but it’s not clear yet what other films will be included as part of Phase 3 (and the beginning of Phase 4) in the MCU. Indeed, in the aftermath of reports claiming that the next Captain America installment will begin the “Civil War” storyline in the Marvel Studios shared movie universe, most everyone’s been forced to step back and reconsider their theories about what the future of the MUC holds.
For the time being, it’s known that a Thor 3 screenplay is in some stage of development; an Inhumans movie has reportedly started to move forward; and the public’s demand for both Black Panther and Captain Marvel films haven’t gone unnoticed by Marvel’s top executives. There could also well be some other, as yet unmentioned Marvel comic character(s) eyed for a movie in the next few years (with McKay interested in taking the helm).
Mckay does make sense as a prospective Marvel movie director, when you think about it. He’s well-versed in the sort of playful humor often found in Marvel Studios projects, and has begun to move away from the improvisational comedies that helped make his name, having produced Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters and co-written Ant-Man. Similarly, McKay wants to next adapt Moneyball author Michael Lewis’ book “The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine” – a project that could be well removed from his past Will Ferrell collaborations (which tend to be “bigger” in scale than other related Hollywood comedy offerings, as it were).
Anthony and Joe Russo, like McKay, had limited experience in action filmmaking (much less the political thriller genre) before they worked on the critically-acclaimed Captain America: The Winter Soldier – and now those two are reportedly the front-runners to direct both Avengers 3 & 4 after they make Cap 3. Indeed, that duo is a perfect example of why you shouldn’t pigeon-hole a filmmaker(s), before they’ve tried their hand at something different.
The Russo Brothers has clearly established a healthy working relationship with Marvel Studios and, seeing as McKay has apparently done likewise, it would make more sense for the comic book studio to at least consider giving the latter his shot at making a superhero film. Question is, do you like the idea of McKay directing a Marvel movie? If so, what character film do you think he would be a good fit for?
Next: Adam McKay Talks Ant-Man Shooting Script
The Avengers: Age of Ultron opens in U.S. theaters on May 1st, 2015, followed by Ant-Man on July 17th, 2015, Captain America 3 on May 6th, 2016, and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on July 28th, 2017.