Between Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Step Brothers, and The Other Guys, filmmaker Adam McKay has written and directed some of the laugh-out-loud funniest comedies of this millennium, with last summer’s Ant-Man filling out his résumé. But McKay took many by surprise with his most recent movie, The Big Short (based on the book by Michael Lewis); which takes a hard, often angry look at the housing market collapse and the resulting financial crisis that ruined the lives of many while those responsible were bailed out by the federal government. No one was more surprised than McKay when the film netted him a nomination for this year’s Oscar for Best Director. But rest assured, McKay hasn’t turned his back on comedy just yet.
When I caught up with McKay at last week’s Santa Barbara International Film Festival (at which he and his fellow Oscar-nominated directors received the festival’s Outstanding Director award), he confirmed to me that he will most definitely be involved with the Ant-Man sequel, Ant-Man and the Wasp (on which writers Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari, and Paul Rudd have already been announced). The film is due out on July 6, 2018.
“We’ve been talking to Marvel actually,” McKay told me. “We just talked to them the other day, and it looks like I will be involved. I don’t know if it’s gonna be right from page one. But it looks like I will definitely be involved. There you go. There’s a little headline for the fanboys!”
Regarding The Big Short‘s Oscar nod, the director commented, “What’s thrilling about it is we tried to make this movie part of the popular conversation. Not the elite conversation. Not the esoteric conversation. And it’s been really satisfying to see people really responding to it. I don’t really care about the money, but to see that many tickets being sold and to see people responding to it… We wanted this to be a populist movie. So it’s absolutely thrilling.”
Does The Big Short represent a turning point for McKay?
“What I really figured out from it was I love not being restrained by a genre,” he said. “I love that it was true life, so it could be funny, tragic, sad. That was kind of an eye opener for me. I was like, ‘Aha!’ I was surprised by the amount of laughs we got. And then I was surprised by how tragic it got. I thought, ‘Wow, that’s really exciting…’ I’m kind of a believer in a post-genre medium. I thing the genres are starting to fade away. That was probably my biggest discovery with this movie.”
As for what’s next for him, McKay commented, “I’m talking with Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly about maybe doing an immigration comedy. I’m trying to crack climate change very, very hard. I have an interesting idea, I think. But it’s got to be a movie that plays. It can’t be didactic or pedantic. It’s got to be… I want to keep an audience on the edge of their seats. So I’m trying to figure that out. But I don’t know. After this, we’ll see where we end up.”
The 2016 Academy Awards Ceremony will be broadcast live at 8:30 p.m. EST/5:30 p.m. PT on ABC.
Image Credits: Marvel, Paramount, Santa Barbara International Film Festival
Are you looking forward to Ant-Man and the Wasp? Have you seen The Big Short? Let us know below!