UPDATE: After we broke the story on Saturday that McKay would in fact not be replacing Edgar Wright as the director of “Ant-Man,” the “Anchorman” helmer confirmed our story by tweeting that, although he had indeed met with Marvel about taking on the job, his plate is already too full to commit:
And yes, met w/Marvel. Kirby & Lee r my Lennon Mccartney so it was awesome. But have other projects I'm committed to. Not sure it can work.
– Adam McKay (@GhostPanther) May 31, 2014
ORIGINAL STORY: With cast and crew already in Atlanta, Marvel Studios is no doubt anxious to try and salvage its big screen version of “Ant-Man.” The shocking departure of Edgar Wright from the project a little over a week ago over the notorious “creative differences” leaving the Disney division scrambling to find another notable helmer to replace him. Contrary to reports, it will not be Adam McKay.
Sources close to McKay tell HitFix that reports he is taking over the film are “false” and that he is simply “not directing the film.”
A former head writer of “Saturday Night Live,” McKay is best known for his collaborations with Will Ferrell. The duo have teamed up on modern day comedy classics such as both “Anchorman” movies, “The Step Brothers” and “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.” He's also produced “The Campaign,” “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters,” the upcoming Melissa McCarthy comedy “Tammy” and HBO's “Eastbound & Down.” McKay was obviously a candidate for the gig because he previously worked with locked in leading man Paul Rudd on the “Anchorman” series. Rudd was recruited to the project by Wright who sold him on what was expected to be a darker comedic and unconventional Marvel film.
Other reported candidates for the job include “Zombieland's” Ruben Fleischer and “We're The Miller's” Rawson Marshall Thurber. While McKay's selection would have calmed some fanboy anger after the departure of the beloved Wright, it's unclear whether Fleischer or Thurber would meet with approval. No matter who is chosen, a decision has to be made soon. The notoriously frugal Marvel has already invested heavily into a production set for a July 17, 2015 release. The longer the delay, the tougher it will be for the film to make that release date.
Look for continuing updates on this story on HitFix.