He's perhaps best known as director of the two wacky – and insanely quotable – Anchorman movies. But Adam McKay has made his plunge into comic book scripting with the forthcoming Ant-Man.
The Marvel adventure stars Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas and has been plagued with production woes, with original director Edgar Wright replaced by Yes-Man helmer Peyton Reed. Nevertheless, McKay says the genesis of Wright's script remains in the film.
"I was really proud of what we did," he told Collider last year. "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."
The film stars Rudd as thief Scott Lang, who must adopt the mantle of former Ant-Man superhero Dr. Hank Pym (Douglas) in order to save the world. Wright's departure from the film last year caused a great deal of controversy, his vision reportedly not meshing with that of Marvel.
McKay pointed out that he also put his own stamp on the film's storyline. "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."
Given the two very different sensibilities of both McKay and Wright as filmmakers – the former an encourager of improvisation, the latter famous for exerting a scrupulous visual sense – it remains to be seen how the Ant-Man script will work out.
Ant-Man hits Cineworld screens later this year on 17th July.