The search is over, Marvel have found their man and it’s ‘Bring it On’s’ Peyton Reed.
So Ant-Man finally has a director and his name is Peyton Reed, the search is over. The announcement may come as surprise to some, as Reed's name seemed to be a pretty late addition to the race, but Marvel clearly saw enough in the Bring It On director to entrust him with their most contraversial project to date. He might not be that well known name, unlike Adam McKay who turned down the position last week, but the Reed does have some pretty apt credentials, which may mean the troubled film has fallen into good hands. Now he's officially in, let's get to know Peyton Reed a little better.
Peyton Reed, Marvel's new (ant) man
Reed has quite the diverse CV, with credits ranging from animated series to big screen comedies. His career began in television, working on the the animated ‘Back to the Future’ series in the early 90s, directing the live action sequences. He would also go on to help create the Universal studios attraction ‘Back To The Future: The Ride’ based on the franchise.
Throughout the 90s, Reed continued to cut his teeth on television, taking on mostly forgettable projects including TV movies, The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes with Kirk Cameron and The Love Bug in 1997, based on the popular ‘Herbie’ character. He then moved on to work with comedy singer Weird Al Yankovic on a short lived CBS series which was aimed at younger viewers and shown on Saturday mornings. But thanks to creative differences between Yankovic and the network, the series only lasted for 13 episodes.
Reed made the leap to the big screen in 2000, with cheerleader comedy, Bring It On, starring Kristen Dunst. The teen comedy became a cult classic, eventually grossing over $90million worldwide. Film critic Roger Ebert would later describe the film as “the Citizen Kane of cheerleader movies.” His follow up feature, Down With Love, released in 2003, was significantly less successful, taking just $40 million at the worldwide box office. Despite starring Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor, the romantic comedy, set in the 1960s, failed to find an audience even with a mostly positive critical response.
Perhaps the most significant point on Reed’s CV, as it pertains to Ant-Man, came during this period, when he was connected to the first Fantastic Four movie. Fox had put the director in charge of developing a film based on the Marvel superhero team, working with writers Doug Petrie and Mark Frost. But much like Edgar Wright, Reed would eventually exit the project citing creative differences. It was reported, that Reed envision the film to be in the same vein as Down with Love, looking to pay homage to the romantic sex comedies of the 1960s and citing A Hard Days Night as inspiration. Fox weren’t keen on the idea and wanted a more contemporary take on the characters, causing Reed to pull a Wright and drop out of the project.
After the Fantastic Four fallout Reed bounced back with his most successful projects so far. First he directed Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughan in The Break Up. Despite a negative reaction from the critics, the romantic comedy went on to gross over $200 million at the box office. But Reed’s next film, Yes Man, starring Jim Carrey would eclipse the Break-Up’s success when it earned over $220million worldwide., making it Carrey’s second most financially successful movie to date.
Paul Rudd will be playing Henry Pym aka Ant-Man
Reed’s next project was said to be directing The Fifth Beatle, a biopic of the fab four’s manager Brian Epstein. The movie was scheduled to begin filming this year, but it’s unclear what effect Reed’s new Ant-Man role will have on the production. As for now, Ant-Man is still scheduled for a 2015 release and hopefully Reed is the man to make it happen.