Saturday, June 7, 2014

The "Ant-Man" Turmoil: Peyton Reed Picked to Replace Edgar Wright

I wanted to hold off from speaking my mind about this giant controversy until the game of musical chairs finally ended.

Back on May 23rd, cult comedy writer-director Edgar Wright announced that he was leaving his duties for Ant-Man, the first movie of Marvel Studios' Phase 3 line-up. The news was burned off over the weekend in order to distract the world at large but many caught on and foamed profusely through the mouth. Wright helped shepherd the project into fruition for over a decade, as he and his buddy Joe Cornish wanted to do justice to the superhero on the big screen. The business split between Wright and Marvel was uncovered somewhat to be over his script and direction, though Wright has continued to remain mum.

After much online bile spewed at them, with many misguided commenters labeling this decision as the first step towards Marvel's downfall, the studio picked a replacement director. They really wanted Adam McKay, the writer-director of the Anchorman movies, but he tweeted out that his scheduled was busy but not enough so as he would later be announced today as its script director. Another top pick was David Wain; this strange contender makes logical sense, since Wain and Ant-Man's star Paul Rudd are best of buds, and he would possibly fit as a suitable substitute for Wright, since he too has an eclectic taste and view on comedy.

Unfortunately, it was proclaimed today by Marvel that Peyton Reed is the new director. Everybody had the same reaction: Who? Reed hasn't made a feature film in over six years, instead doing a couple of television episodes for sitcoms, but he's best known for Yes Man and The Break-Up.

I will say this first: I do hope he can pull off this project and make a fun movie. Now, let me be mean: Reed is no auteur, nor has a distinct presence in Hollywood. Those two comedies of his made money but were quickly forgotten about months later. Honestly, has anyone beyond a USA or TNT viewer had anything to say about either film today? Supporters of Reed do bring up that he also did the teen classic Bring It On and the rom-com pastiche Down With Love. Those are fair points but the former movie's auteur was its writer Jennifer Bendinger, who would later create the cult girl power flick Stick It, while the latter movie banks solely on the viewer's knowledge of the fluffy sex comedies of the 60's, hence why it floundered at the box office.

But again, I do wish Reed makes this whole thing work. For you see, even if Wright stayed on, the film's biggest problem is the main character himself. I frankly hate the character of Ant-Man; his powers are really stupid to comprehend in other visual mediums and his very rough comic book history has always put him right next to Cyclops and Mr. Fantastic at the top of numerous "Most Hated Marvel Characters" lists. More importantly, it seems that none of these people noticed the common man's view of the superhero and realized that paying for a ticket to see something called "Ant-Man" is highly embarrassing. Hell, there was even a film released this year literally called Ant-Boy, and it was a frivolous kids' movie.

So, let's just wait and see what happens at this year's Comic-Con and when the first trailer hits the web.

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