Adam McKay opens up about his Ant-Man rewrite and efforts to 'streamline' the script

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Oct 20, 2014, 11:14 AM EDT

Marvel’s had a sterling track record when it comes to movies, which makes the story surrounding the long-gestating Ant-Man project all the more peculiar. So, what’s the latest on that rewrite?

After Edgar Wright famously departed the project he’d been shepherding for the better part of a decade just months before it was supposed to start shooting, things went haywire as Marvel desperately searched for a replacement director to step in and keep the schedule on track.

Before signing Peyton Reed (The Break-Up) to take the helm, Marvel courted Adam McKay (Anchorman). Sadly, McKay couldn’t make the schedule work — but he did like the project enough to come on as a writer and spend the better part of a month fine-tuning the new-look script.

McKay opened up to Collider about the writing process, including some extensive help from star Paul Rudd when it came to the dialogue. According to McKay, they essentially set out to make things “a little bigger, a little more aggressive, and funnier in places.” But he promises there’s still a ton of Wright’s “character” left in there. Check out some excerpts from his comments below:

“I’ve always known Paul Rudd’s 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 …

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.’”

Aside from a so-so sequel here and there, Marvel has largely avoided any truly awful movies or flops. We’re hopeful all this trial by fire will still result in a good film. Unlike most studios, it's Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige — not any particular director — who really drives the whole universe’s vision, so it stands to reason this could still ultimately work out.

If nothing else, we’re dying to get a look at some actual footage to see how all the mish-mashed rewrites will come together. How do you think Ant-Man will turn out?

(Via Collider)