Archive | Directors

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Josh Trank Set To Ruin A Stand Alone STAR WARS Film

Posted on 04 June 2014 by William Gatevackes

Josh-TrankJosh Trank is going from working on a Marvel Comics property at another studio, to the studio that owns Marvel Comics.

Disney announced today that they have hired the director to helm one of their stand alone, Star Wars spinoff films. No word on which characters Trank will be working with or when the film will be released.

Star Wars fans should be slightly concerned over the hiring. Trank is currently shooting his reboot of the Fantastic Four franchise, a reboot rife with selfish casting decisions and potentially damning changes to the mythos. One would assume that Trank will not have as free a hand to mess up the Star Wars franchise, but there’s always a chance that might happen.

It seems that the earliest Trank’s Star Wars film will hit theaters will be in 2017 or 2018, which means that his involvement in the presumptuously scheduled 2017 Fantastic Four sequel has been put in doubt. Of course, there might not be a sequel for him to be involved in, but still.

Via Collider.

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Marvel Burns Through ANT-MAN Director Shortlist

Posted on 04 June 2014 by Rich Drees


Marvel may have found the director that they want for their upcoming Dr. Strange movie, but they are still having problems getting a director locked down for their previously announced Ant-Man film.

The studio has been scrambling to find a replacement ever since Edgar Wright, who had spent eight years developing the project for the studio, walked off nearly two weeks ago. The studio reportedly had three possible replacements in mind – Adam McKay, Reuben Fleischer and Marshall Thurber. Well, McKay removed himself rather quickly from preliminary talks over the weekend and Fleischer has reportedly declined an offer in favor of potentially working on other projects.

And now it appears as if Marvel has moved beyond Thurber as well. Last night, Jeff Sneider tweeted out the following -

Aint It Cool’s Jeremy Smith jumped in with some clarification -

So while the circumstances appear to be cloudy as to exactly why Thurber is now out of consideration for the job, one thing is certain. Marvel now has to come up with a new list of potential directors for the troubled project. One the key requirements now appears to be the ability to step in and pretty much be a director for hire, willing to work with what is being handed to them and perhaps forgo imprinting much of their own personal style on the material. Marvel has a script that they are happy with, even if its co-writer Wright wasn’t, and a cast ready to go. Presumably shooting dates have been scheduled, given that the film has a July 17, 2015 release date.

Unfortunately, such a mandate is making it harder to get enthused for the film. Where once we had the prospect of Wright bringing his own unique vision to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, we are now faced with the prospect of something churned out by someone who will be managing the assembly line for the studio. Marvel will need to come up with a surprising and dynamic choice in order to restore the rapidly eroding confidence many fans such as myself now have.

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Movement On DOCTOR STRANGE–Derrickson As Director, Leto Possibly As Lead

Posted on 03 June 2014 by William Gatevackes


Well, I guess this solves the mystery as to what another of Marvel’s mystery Phase Three films will be.

Variety is reporting that The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Sinister director Scott Derrickson is in has been hired to helm the long-rumored Doctor Strange film. The director confirmed the hiring via a Tweet.

Derrickson has a reputation as a low-cost, big return talent. The Exorcism of Emily Rose made seven times its budget back worldwide, and the $3 million dollar budgeted Sinister made over $77 million, worldwide. Even his remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still, which failed to make its budget back domestically, made over $233 million world wide. Surely this played a role in Marvel’s decision.

jared-letoBadass Digest’s Devin Faraci adds that Derrickson will also take a pass at the script, as he is wont to do on films he directs. Faraci also states that newly-minted Oscar winner Jared Leto is the latest name on Marvel’s wish list to play the good doctor, a move he doesn’t act kindly to.

I am not familiar with Derrickson work, but he seems to be a fan. And Leto is riding high on a lot of buzz right now, and even if he rubs you the wrong way, he’s an actor that takes every role he’s cast in seriously.

So far we know that Ant-Man is set for a July 31, 2015 release, with Captain America 3 following on May 6, 2016. As of now Marvel have July 8, 2016 and May 5, 2017 staked out for as yet unannounced films and conceivably Dr. Strange could slide into one of these berths easily. Judging by how their previous two phases have unfolded, I would guess that 2017 will see one more film and early 2018 will give us the third Avengers film. With Dr. Strange now slated for one of those three spots, speculation will begin as to what characters will take the other two spots, as they will probably be needed to help set elements involving intergalactic villain Thanos for his expected appearance in Avengers 3. Will it be sequels to Thor and Guardians Of The Galaxy, or new characters such as The Inhumans or Black Panther? I believe we’ll find out a lot in several weeks at San Diego Comic Con.


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Adam McKay Tweets About Declining ANT-MAN Directing Job

Posted on 01 June 2014 by Rich Drees


Almost as quickly as we was into talks with Marvel Studios to direct Ant-Man, Adam McKay was out of the talks, reportedly declining to take over the project from departing director Edgar Wright within 24 hours after receiving an offer from the studio.

Lots of speculation followed as to why McKay withdrew from talks so quickly. Well, the director has taken to twitter to give his reason for passing on the film.

A quick glance at McKay’s IMDB page shows that he has a number of projects in development and and it sounds as if one is ready to pop and go into production. It will be interesting to see which one it is.

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Adam McKay In And Then Out Of ANT-MAN Negotiations

Posted on 31 May 2014 by Rich Drees


Well, that was quick.

No sooner than reports started to circulate that Anchorman director Adam McKay was in talks to direct Marvel Studio’s Ant-Man, than comes word that he has withdrawn from negotiations for the film.

McKay was one of three directors rumored to be on Marvel’s shortlist of potential replacements for Edgar Wright, who departed the project last weekend. Word started to circulate late yesterday that McKay had received an offer from the studio to take over the project. The Hollywood Reporter this morning confirmed that “[n]egotiations began with McKay in earnest on Friday” but added that “the Anchorman director abruptly decided against taking the job on the film.”

We’re The Millers director Rawson Marshall Thurber and Zombieland‘s Ruben Fleischer were also on Marvel’s reported shortlist, and presumably the studio will be moving on to talks with one of them.

While the real disappointment about Ant-Man is Marvel having lost Wright’s singular vision for the film, which he spent eight years developing with the studio. I suppose that McKay would have been a serviceable replacement, especially given him having previously worked with Ant-Man star Paul Rudd. Additionally, McKay has been known to shape his films in the editing room more so than most directors, a technique Marvel reportedly uses as well.

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Thurber, Fleischer, McKay In Running To Direct ANT-MAN

Posted on 30 May 2014 by William Gatevackes

Thurber Fleischer McKayWhoever takes over the reins from Edgar Wright on the Ant-Man film will have not only big shoes to film, but also have to have the fortitude to endure a constant Internet lambasting. It’s fitting then that, according to The Wrap, Marvel is looking at three veteran directors to step in and take over. Who are they? Let me tell you, from left to right above:

  • Rawson Marshall Thurber: The Wrap says that Thurber is the front runner for the job. He is best known for the comedies Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story and last year’s surprise hit We’re the Millers.
  • Ruben Fleischer: Best known for the inventive Zombieland, he is coming off the flops 30 Minutes or Less and The Gangster Squad.
  • Adam McKay: Certainly the most experienced of the group, with the most films on his resume. He is known for his improvisational style of directing and his frequent partnering with Will Ferrell. He has worked with Paul Rudd on both Anchorman films. He’s the less likely of the three to get the job because A) he has always directed stuff he himself wrote and B) while his improvisational style might work on the film that will be making up its script as it goes along, I doubt Marvel is going to let anyone have that kind of freedom.

Having three men known primarily for comedies in contention for the directorship lends us to believe that Marvel intends Ant-Man to be a comedy.  This flies in the face of a popular line of gossip that Marvel was upset and concern about Guardians of the Galaxy‘s humorous tone, and that played into the decision to part ways with Edgar Wright. Of course, the Russo Brothers were primarily known for sitcoms, and they delivered a fairly fine action film in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

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Tarantino Prepping To Shoot HATEFUL EIGHT, Cast Announced

Posted on 27 May 2014 by Rich Drees


Now that he has, in his own words, “calmed down” from the leak of the first draft of his screenplay The Hateful Eight, Quentin Tarantino has decided to go ahead and shoot the western after all. Showbiz 411 is reporting that the writer/director is prepping to shoot the film this coming November in Wyoming.

Joining Tarantino on the project will be the complete cast of actors who participated in a stage reading of the screenplay last month – Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Dern, Michael Madsen, Kurt Russell, James Remar, Amber Tamblyn, Walt Goggins, and Zoe Bell.

It was at that reading that we got the first inkling that Tarantino had not given up on the project that he previously stated he was shelving after the screenplay first leaked at the beginning of the year. It was at that event that he stated he was working on a second draft of the screenplay and would probably be taking a third run through it as well.

Tarantino’s lawsuit against Gawker Media for posting a link to the where the screenplay had been uploaded was thrown out of court earlier this month after his legal team legal team had not supplied any evidence that anyone actually clicked on the link in the article and went on to download a copy of the script from that independent website. The judge decreed that since they hadn’t proven that there was no proof that any actual infringement had taken place.


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Edgar Wright Tweets Then Deletes Sad Picture, An Allusion To ANT-MAN Departure

Posted on 26 May 2014 by Rich Drees


The weekend got off to a rocky start for some film fans when it was announced that Edgar Wright had walked off his planned Ant-Man film for Marvel Studios after having spent eight years developing it. Outside of a joint brief statement issued on Friday that the split was due to “differences in their visions of the film,” there has been no further word from either party.

That’s not to say that Wright hasn’t said anything though, especially if you consider a picture worth a thousand words. Very briefly today, the picture below showed up on the director’s Twitter feed before being deleted.

If you can’t recognize who the subject of the picture, first of all, shame on you. Second of all, that is silent film superstar comedian Buster Keaton, whose influence has even extended up to modern day film. But if you know Keaton’s film career, you’ll know that his early films were produced independently. He would later sign with MGM studios, though he was never happy there and called it the worst mistake of his life. Hard not reading anything from that into Wright’s current situation.

And I have to wonder if Wright’s photoshopping of a Cornetto ice cream treat into Keaton’s hands isn’t just a nod to his trio of collaborations with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as it is an acknowledgment of Avengers director Joss Whedon’s tweet yesterday.

I doubt that this will be Wright’s last word on the subject, and if anything, he’ll be asked about this for some time to come.


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Two Marvel Directors Respond To Edgar Wright’s Departure From ANT-MAN

Posted on 25 May 2014 by Rich Drees


It’s been a roller-coaster of a weekend for Marvel Studios. The latest installment of their X-Men franchise co-produced with 20th Century Fox, X-Men: Days Of Future Past, is looking to clear $90 million at the domestic box office with another $171.1 million overseas. But putting a damper on things was the very surprising exit of Edgar Wright from the studio’s upcoming Ant-Man film. (A second black eye came to the studio in the form of writer/producer Drew Goddard walking of the studio’s planned 13-episode direct-to-Netflix series Daredevil less than 24 hours later.)

There’s been much speculation as to the nature of Wright’s departure, aside from “differences in their visions of the film” as stated in the press release that was released. A couple of outlets have independently confirmed that it was indeed differences over the film’s tone and an in-house rewrite of Wright and co-scripter Joe Cornish’s screenplay to reflect the changes that the studio wanted did indeed precipitate Wright’s walking off the film.

But two of Marvel’s other directors have gone online this weekend to comment on this turn of events.

Avengers and Avengers: Age Of Ultron director Joss Whedon tweeted the photo below in tribute to Wright. (And shame on you if you don’t get the reference.) While both Whedon and Wright have strong fan followings for their work, only Whedon has proven himself in the eyes of the studio by delivering them a $1 billion hit. Wright, unfortunately, doesn’t have the muscle with the studio to let him bring his vision of Ant-Man to the screen. But it still begs the question as to why after years of knowing exactly what Wright was looking to bring to the project why the sudden rewrite? It has been speculated that this sudden shift may have been from Marvel’s corporate parent, Disney. Can we read Whedon’s tweet as a gesture of solidarity with Wright?


Meanwhile, another Marvel director has taken to Facebook to respond to Wright’s departure. James Gunn, who has helmed the upcoming Guardians Of The Galaxy, is no stranger to stirring up trouble with an injudicious or ill-advised comment. But here, he certainly seems to be striking a conciliatory stance, suggesting that there are no good guys or bad guys in this scenario, that sometimes disagreements just happen and it is better to part ways than to continue with the project while such differences continue.

Sometimes you have friends in a relationship. You love each of them dearly as individuals and think they’re amazing people. When they talk to you about their troubles, you do everything you can to support them, to keep them together, because if you love them both so much doesn’t it make sense they should love each other? But little by little you realize, at heart, they aren’t meant to be together – not because there’s anything wrong with either of them, but they just don’t have personalities that mesh in a comfortable way. They don’t make each other happy. Although it’s sad to see them split, when they do, you’re surprisingly relieved, and excited to see where their lives take them next.

It’s easy to try to make one party “right” and another party “wrong” when a breakup happens, but it often isn’t that simple. Or perhaps it’s even more simple than that – not everyone belongs in a relationship together. It doesn’t mean they’re not wonderful people.

And that’s true of both Edgar Wright and Marvel. One of them isn’t a person, but I think you get what I mean.

While admittedly, loosing the possibility of an Edgar Wright directed Marvel film is a bitter pill to swallow, perhaps we should take Gunn’s advice and not cast blame here. Marvel has done pretty well with their films so far and I don’t think that they are going to stumble too greatly now. But the studio really will need to come up with a great choice of replacement to gain back some of the enthusiasm that fans lost with Wright’s departure.


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Edgar Wright Drops Out Of ANT-MAN

Posted on 23 May 2014 by Rich Drees


A surprising announcement today as Marvel and director Edgar Wright have issued a statement stating that the director has left the studio’s long in development Ant-Man project.

Marvel and Edgar Wright jointly announced today that the studio and director have parted ways on Ant-Man due to differences in their visions of the film. The decision to move on is amicable and does not impact the release date on July 17, 2015. A new director will be announced shortly.

Wright’s departure from the film comes as an incredible surprise as the director had been working on the project for Marvel since 2006. Working with writer Joe Cornish, Wright had turned in several drafts of the screenplay and shot some test footage showcasing the heroes shrinking powers before the studio gave the greenlight to the project.

This is an unfortunate turn of events as while I have enjoyed Marvel’s output so far, I think Wright was going to be bringing a unique visual style that would standout more from the rest of the studio’s pack. Of course, that could very well be the reason why he is on his way out.

Wright is the only one departing the project. Cast members Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Pena, Corey Stoll and Patrick Wilson are all still on board.

It should be noted that Wright is not the first director to leave a Marvel project after being brought on board. Patty Jenkins was the original director set for Thor: The Dark World before she moved on, also citing “creative differences.”

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