Shortly after writer-director Edgar Wright left Marvel's Ant-Man over creative differences, one of the first filmmakers sought to replace him was Adam McKay. While he decided not to direct the project, McKay was hired to rewrite the final draft turned in by Wright and Joe Cornish, with Marvel announcing in June that Peyton Reed would take the helm. During an interview with Collider, Adam McKay has now revealed what he did in terms of the rewrite, working closely beside his former Anchorman star Paul Rudd to perfect the story. As you might well now, the actor is playing Scott Lang in this Phase Three adventure.
"Yeah, that's absolutely true. [Rudd] called me when Edgar Wright stepped away from the project and told me what was going on. I went and met with Marvel, and I was a little dubious just because I'm friends with Edgar and I didn't know what the story was, and then when I kind of heard what happened, that Edgar had parted ways, and then I saw their materials, I was like, 'God this is pretty cool.' Ultimately I didn't want to jump in as a director, I had too many other projects going and it was too tight, but I thought, 'You know what, I can rewrite this, and I can do a lot of good by rewriting it.' I've always known Paul Rudd is a really good writer from improvising with him on set, but I had no idea he was that good. He's really great with dialogue. So the two of us holed up in hotel rooms on the east and west coast, and I think it was like six to eight weeks we just ground it out and did a giant rewrite of the script. I was really proud of what we did, I really thought we put some amazing stuff in there and built on an already strong script from Edgar Wright and sort of just enhanced some stuff."
When asked if they kept the same action beats from Edgar Wright's script, Adam McKay confirmed they did add a "giant action sequence" and that they made the movie "more aggressive" and funnier in certain places.
"We added some new action beats. I grew up on Marvel Comics so the geek in me was in heaven that I got to add a giant action sequence to the movie; I was so excited. So we did, we added some cool new action. There's a lot that's already in there from what Edgar did, there's a lot of dialogue and character still in there. We just shaped the whole thing, we just tried to streamline it, make it cleaner, make it a little bigger, a little more aggressive, make it funnier in places-we just basically did a rewrite. Edgar had a really good script. But we just had a blast, and Rudd was just so much fun to write with. I walked away saying, 'Hey, you and I gotta write a script together.'"
Of course, it isn't known exactly what this "giant action sequence" is, or how it fits into the story. It also isn't known if Paul Rudd will receive a screenplay credit for his work on the script. His only feature writing credit is on the 2008 comedy Role Models, which he shared with director David Wain, Ken Marino and Timothy Dowling.
After Adam McKay came on board, Marvel also added writers Gabriel Ferrari and Andrew Barrer for a final script polish before production started, and it isn't known how much they changed from Adam McKay and Paul Rudd's draft.
Are you more excited for Ant-Man after these new details? Chime in with your thoughts below.