One of the really great aspects of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the way the writers and directors have worked some laughs into each film. Even Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which had the highest body count and arguably the most serious overall tone, had its share of lighthearted moments.
Even so, you wouldn’t classify any of the movies as comedies first and foremost, and even though the Guardians of the Galaxy previews have emphasized humor, I’m pretty confident that will be the case for that film as well. But you have to wonder if Marvel is taking it even further with Ant-Man and planning on venturing into outright comedy territory.
Had Edgar Wright remained on board, Ant-Man would no doubt have been a quirky take on super heroes that emphasized the silly or ridiculous nature of a guy who shrinks and talks to insects. The obvious assumption when Wright departed the project was that maybe Marvel wasn’t feeling his unique sensibility.
Yet given the fact that the names being thrown around to replace him are Adam McKay (now out of the running, according to the director himself), Rawson Thurber and Ruben Fleischer, it’s possible Marvel wanted the movie to go for laughs even more than Wright did. After all, those are the guys who did Anchorman, Dodgeball and Zombieland, respectively.
I’d be a little disappointed if that turns out to be the case. Yes, it’s hard to take the character completely seriously, but there’s nothing all that funny about the life and times of Hank Pym. And while Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang, who looks like he’ll be the main character, can be a jokester under the right writer, it’s usually a coping mechanism for dealing with all the bad crap he’s had thrown at him in the comics.
The ultimate decision on a new director will be telling, as will the first round of previews. I still have high hopes for Ant-Man — and Marvel has earned some trust, to be sure — but let’s just say I’m a little wary of how this might play out.