Just a week ago Marvel Studios dropped a devastating bomb on fanboys everywhere, announcing that their long gestating Ant-Man movie was losing its director, Edgar Wright, who’s been attached to this movie since way back in 2006. With just about a month to go before production begins, the question is, just who in the heck is Marvel getting to direct this movie now??
According to rumor master El Mayimbe of Latino Review, it’s probably not a name you know, but someone whose work you have probably seen before: Louis D’Esposito. Louis D’ Esposito has been an executive producer on just about every single Marvel Studios movie since the first Iron Man back in 2008, including Ant-Man. He’s directed two of the Marvel One-Shot films, Item 47 and Agent Carter (which is more directing work than Roberto Orci has done, and he’s doing Star Trek 3, but that’s another mess for another day).
Why is this rumor likely to be true? Well, no “name” director out there is going to want to touch this one with a ten foot pole. Look at all the fanboy hate that Brett Ratner got when taking over for Matthew Vaughn at the very last minute for X-Men: The Last Stand. The entire Ant-Man movie has been storyboarded, cast, and essentially created already by Edgar Wright. No one wants to come in and take over for a well respected director’s movie after he left under what is probably less than ideal circumstances. But Louis D’Esposito is already intimately familiar with the material, being a producer on it, and has already directed before with the Marvel short films. He’s already inside at Marvel and knows about as much as anyone about how to get this movie going, aside from Wright himself.
The only other way that Marvel Studios could possibly turn this lemon into lemonade? Hire a woman to direct it. There have been almost no female blockbuster directors, due to deeply entrenched Hollywood sexism. Marvel almost had Patty Jenkins, who directed Monster, direct Thor: The Dark World, but the alleged micromanaging at Marvel Studios resulted in her being fired and replaced with Alan Taylor. This one thing could change the conversation from “Edgar Wright leaves Ant-Man” to “Marvel hires first female director.” One way or the other, we will know the answer to this question sooner rather than later.
UPDATE: Well,that didn’t take long. The Hollywood Reporter is now saying they know who the shortlist for directors is on Ant-Man, and Louis D’Esposito isn’t on that list (so far.) Their sources say Rawson Marshall Thurber, Adam McKay and Ruben Fleischer are among a group of directors that are meeting with the studio to replace Edgar Wright. (so much for hiring a woman.) Adam McKay is best known for the Anchorman movies, Rawson Marshall Thurber most recently made We’re The Millers, and Ruben Fleischer’s filmography includes Zombieland and Gangster Squad. Over at The Wrap, they’re reporting that Rawson Marshall Thurber is the front runner right now among the three.