A representative for Marvel did not immediately respond to a request for comment, though the studio has previously indicated it would not comment on speculation regarding who would replace Edgar Wright, the British director who exited the project one week ago due to creative differences.
Rawson Marshall Thurber was believed to be the frontrunner for the job as recently as Friday afternoon, according to insiders, with McKay and “Zombieland” director Ruben Fleischer also in the mix.
Also read: Edgar Wright Exits Marvel’s ‘Ant-Man’
However, it turns out that McKay was Marvel’s man all along, and Thurber and Fleischer were high on the studio’s list should the “Anchorman” director have declined to show interest in the project. The studio had not met Thurber or Fleischer yet but planned to if McKay elected to remove himself from consideration.
Sources now indicate that McKay is eager to take on the challenge of replacing fanboy favorite Wright and would likely accept the job should Marvel tender an official offer.
Marvel drives a notoriously hard bargain but it doesn’t have the same leverage this time around, as the studio is being forced to move quickly due to its intention to keep the production on schedule in order to release “Ant-Man” as planned in July 2015.
McKay’s likely hiring was first reported by Ain’t It Cool News.
Despite a limited VFX background, McKay always made the most sense for the job, aided by the fact that he has worked with Rudd several times in the past. In fact, Rudd is believed to be among those who lobbied hardest for McKay to take over the director’s chair. McKay is also a seasoned director with a knack for physical comedy and a filmmaker who is used to the pressure of working on high-profile projects.
McKay’s upcoming films as a producer include the Melissa McCarthy comedy “Tammy,” the Kristen Wiig indie “Welcome to Me” and WB’s comedy “Get Hard” starring Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart. He most recently signed on to adapt and direct Michael Lewis’ “The Big Short” for Paramount.
McKay is represented by WME and Mosaic.