Edgar Wright quits Marvel's Ant-Man movie

News Simon Brew 23 May 2014 - 21:12

Here's a surprise: Edgar Wright will no longer be directing Marvel's Ant-Man.

Now this is a shock. After working on the project for many years, Edgar Wright has quit Marvel's Ant-Man, just as physical production work approached.

Thus far, all we know is that creative differences have been cited. In a statement put out from Marvel, it said that "Marvel and Edgar Wright jointly announced today that the studio and director have parted ways on ANT-MAN due to differences in their vision of the film. The decision to move on is amicable and does not impact the release date on July 17, 2015. A new director will be announced shortly".

Time is not on Marvel's side here. Whilst there's precedent for it losing a director close to a shooting date - Patty Jenkins departed Thor 2, before Alan Taylor took charge - the fact that Wright had been so close to Ant-Man for so long, and that he's co-penned the script, makes it very much a project with his identity on it. Plus when the director changed on Thor: The Dark World, there was still a little time to settle someone new in.

The cast- featuring Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas - still stands. Expect an announcement of a new director very soon.

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Oh cock.

I'm torn. I trust Edgar Wright AND I trust Marvel's choice of directors. Bad news whatever the reasons.


One wonders if Michael Douglas didnt get a lot of what Edgar was probably intending?

Uh oh

He's prepping this for years. God knows how he must feel.

Honestly think you've made a bad move here, Marvel.

The new vision that Wright didn't agree with is probably to re-write the origin of Ant-Man so that the hero lost both his parents to a mugger when he was a child, and has since sworn to use fear and his vast inherited fortune as weapons against the superstitious and cowardly lot that are criminals. He will operate from a cave under his mansion and drive a car that is built more like a tank, and use martial arts skills he learned from a secret society of assassins to make up for his complete lack of any superpowers.

Wright must have washed over some continuity errors while Marvel wanted it to flow. Or maybe they didn't like the tone he was going for. At any rate, because the movie goes too and from the 60s I'm sayings its because of continuity issues.

Holy crap! WHAT!?

Interesting idea for an origin story, probably wont work on film. I mean c'mon, a billionaire assassin? Gimmie a break.

Disappointing. But what I am interested in is who could be next in line?

He's been working on this since 2006 - that's a bloody long time to then cite creative difference, with a year to go till release. It'll be interesting to find out if we ever get the full story on what's happened. Of all the directors Marvel has hired since the launch of the MCU, his voice is the most singular.

I'm guessing Marvel wanted Ant-Man to tie in more to The Avengers, while Wright may have wanted something a little more self contained.

It's a damn shame for him.

Edgar Wright made 4 brilliant films. I haven't seen a single Marvel film that I would actually call brilliant, so I personally see this as brilliance leaving the Ant-Man film. I really don't care about this film now. He probably wanted to make an actual film, but Marvel saw it as another stand alone advert for Avengers 3 or 4 or whatever. He worked on this project for years, and for him to be leaving so close to filming, something really bad must be going on.

The World's End and Scott Pilgrim weren't really brilliant, were they?

Yes. They were.

Nah. Compared to Shaun and Fuzz, neither are classics.

Whoa! What?!

And dressed as an opossum at that! Nocturnal marsupials, gimme a break! Unless of course it's Wombat Man...

Visionary British directors and American studios go together like molasses and Marmite. They all had to deal with it. Ken Russell, RIchard Stanley, John Boorman...

Shaun is it for me. But it was outstanding! This sucks!

Don't forget honorary Brit Terry Gilliam.

It's easy to jump to the "marvel sucks" conclusion... Could be true. It could be Wright's fault. Gunn ain't complaining, and by the looks of it he's got lots of creative license. Maybe Wright wanted to show spousal abuse and marvel didn't. Or maybe he didn't and marvel did. Since both sides can lie, I'm not picking one. All I wanna know is, what now? Will Rudd quit? Will this push the movie back? What's gonna happen to Antman?

Marvel won't want to move the release date, but no director just a year before release? That can't be good. Edgar Wright is a great director, though admittedly I don't know how good he'd be with a big budget superhero movie.

Ok fine, let's say he only made 2 brilliant films. Still 2 more than Marvel. The director/co-writer of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz just left the project ! Not good. By the way I thought The World's End was just as good as Shaun and Fuzz. If you compare Scott Pilgrim to most comic book movies, it actually is brilliant in comparison.


Having heard Wright talk enthusiastically about this for (many) years, this is a huge disappointment. I don't know the source material at all but his presence was a huge draw.

Even the intriguing cast can't make up for this.

Here comes Ratner...

Ratner's busy on Beverly Hills Cop 4, thank the Gods.

Let me clarify: There was nothing wrong with Wright's work on The World's End, or Pilgrim, it was other facets of the two films that didn't work for me, characterisation being one of them.

None of them are classics. Let's not get carried away.

Um, are you trolling me a tad? You just said up there you thought they were brilliant.

Blimey, theres a director that can pick and choose his projects obviously *Sniggers*

Screw watching this then. Wright was the only driving force for this film, you can't cap a director's vision.

Not a surprise. Nope nope nope. Its been so much time since his name and ant man are togheter, "im writing", "im rewriting", "we started over", someone is rewriting"... he was on the way to do another pos like thor 1, a good director unable to work, now everywhere they will hire directors without any kind of control and a lot of marvel films will be like the years 007 and schwarzenegger alll did films with guys who vanished from the planet

Bring on James Gunn then. He has to be almost done cutting Guardians and Guardians 2 won't start filming for a bit. He can write Guardians 2 inbetween takes of Ant-Man.....I was excited for Wright, but I can live without the fast cuts and watching Ant-Mans coffee perculate while he ties his shows..

Edit: Ties his shoes...I'm a bit shook up by this, can't type properly...

I loved SP. TWE was a bit of a let down...this news has dampened my enthusiasm.

Avengers and Winter Soldier are brilliant.

Edgar Wright in his projects is King of the details and continuity. Not saying you're wrong but I'd be surprised if it was that.

Worlds end was crap. Probably didn't help that it was made in the town where I live ( kinda took me out of the film seeing the place I walk in every day) but nonetheless, it wasn't very good

All I can say after looking at his picture is you know nothing Jon Snow.

I don't see this decision process ending well. I was hugely excited to see Wright's Antman, and I just don't know how keen I'll be once the new director is announced. I hope it's someone with Wright's level of integrity, clout, wit and talent.

does mean it's going to be another Thor: The Dark World? what a crap film that was.

Paul WS Anderson anyone? (you know, the one who "did" Aliens vs Predator and THOSE Resident Evil films) *sarcasm*

This is absolute madness! WTF are Marvel playing at?! The only reason so many people were interested in this film was for Edgar's involvement. I've been waiting for this for around 8 years because it was Edgar and Joe's baby. Now he's not directing I've lost 99% of my interest. That last 1% of intrigue is down to the script, but I bet that will change once they bring a new guy on.

Own goal Marvel.

wtf? Thor 2 it was great!

Also IronMan 1 kicks arse.

Yeah a lot of people see to jump to conclusions and make assumptions based on very little information. It's very negative. Hopefully they get another director in that makes a great film.

That's how it always is.

If no Edgar wright equals no good movie, well, the library is free.

Yup, i'm sure I have feelings about this but I have no idea what they are

You never became suspicious that your neighbours were being...replaced?

How's that for some boiled gems?

It was nauseating. Even the fact that Loki was in it couldn't save it.

Thor destroys the giant rocky guy at the start (he probably has a name, but TBH I don't even care what it is) in one hit with his hammer, but that Kursed/Algrim guy who's much smaller almost beats him to death later on?

What else...the whole Thor/Jane Foster relationship was thoroughly annoying, part of the reason I liked The Avengers so much was that there was hardly any shipper-bait nonsense going on, even the Tony/Pepper stuff was kept to an acceptable minimum in that film.

In Thor 2, Malekith suffered a lot from the editing, resulting in a rather two-dimensional cutout antagonist, even the showdown between Thor and Malekith ended up being a ridiculous slapstick farce with them sliding down the side of the Gherkin building. It's like they wanted to make the whole film into one big silly lighthearted comedy. I heard the director of that film wanted to make something more dark and serious but got reigned in to make something more lighthearted.

Marvel mustve clamped down hard. Given how their movies have started to look samey. Its supposed to be a uniform motif look across the movies but its getting dull and formula imho.

Keeping in mind Stan Lee's best decision in establishing the original MCU was to let his artists off the chain to come up with every kooky thing they could imagine, this bodes not well.
Perhaps Wright could re-cast with Simon Pegg and make a film called Ant-Person for a rival company.

Does that mean a lot of his crew will be departing as well? I was thinking of his regulars like producer Nira Park and cinematographer Bill Pope. Very surprised at Edgar's departure but I honestly haven't been keen on his movies since Hot Fuzz. He has seemed to have lost something since. Don't get me wrong, Scott Pilgrim and The World's End had some good comedic moments but Hot Fuzz perfected it for me.

Effin damn it.

Well that's disappointing...

Well, this isn't half bizzare. Still, given the quality of Marvel movies so far, I don't think the quality of the final film will be affected as much (we'll just have to be consider what could have been while enjoying it)

Hey! Don't forget Mortal Kombat! :D

If Joe Cornish steps up then it may not be all bad.

I'm going to withhold judgement until the new director is announced.

I feel like Edgar Wrights fingerprints are still going to be all over this movie after working on it so long; I'm surprised he didn't quit earlier when they went over five years with no forward movement. It reminds me a bit of when Guillermo Del Toro left The Hobbit films; but he still got a writing credit because he was SO INVOLVED with the pre-production of the film.

Unfortunately I didn't really like the way the Hobbit films turned out, so maybe it's not the best example :/

Still, I find myself not being overly distraught about this. I love Edgar Wright. Love his Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy, loved Spaced. Everything. But I wasn't so completely attached to him being involved with Ant Man that I won't go see the movie when it's released. People tend to jump to conclusions with these sorts of things and had fans had their way, in the run-up to The Avengers, Mark Ruffalo would have been fired from playing the Hulk after the outburst caused by Norton's leaving; and Ruffalo ended up being one of the best parts of that movie.

Best thing that could have happened. Edgar Wright is Brilliant but this project doesnt seem right at all for him. worst case scenario we get M.Night.Shyamalan

His departure is unfortunate but this doesnt mean the film won't be worth watching. Lets wait for a trailer and review eh?

"The only reason so many people were interested in this film was for Edgar's involvement"

Not me. That was a bonus certainly, but I'm now very much invested in the MCU regardless of directors

It wasn't "nauseating"

No they weren't. Scott Pilgrim in particular was terrible

oooh, this is the first thing to irk me from Marvel, ands trikes me as a sudden crack in their armour.. I do hope this doesn't herald a a regressive period. C'mon Marvel, you can afford the odd risk right now yeah?

I've got the theory that Guillermo actually managed his way out of it in a politically sensitive way because he saw the clusterF*ck that was on the horizon. Peter's good sense is obviously in reverse proportion to his weight. Let's stuff him with hamburgers and tell him to go do some re-shoots.

This 100%.

I hear ya but he's no Uwe Boll, he at least made Event Horizon which is great.

Agreed, TWE was weak sauce in the script department. They basically made a facsimile of all those shitty Lesbian Doghouse Vampire movies that were shitty facsimiles of Shaun.....which is frankly depressing. nowt wrong with the actual direction though.

True ! It had everything, a good plot, good dialogues, fun moments, epic action scenes. I don't see what was wrong in Thor 2.

It had a cardboard cutout for a villain, wacky sidekicks with wacky sidekicks of their own, it killed off a major character and then forgot all about her five minutes later
(this was probably done only to prevent post-movie fanboy speculation of an unsavory sort), and treated its "science" so badly they would've been better off just calling it magic.

It looked great, but the story and script were a huge mess.

Well, that's pretty sad... One of my fave director's + Marvel was like a match made in heaven for me. I also saw Joss Whedon's Twitter photo response to the news. Respect.

I mean, what do you suggest? It's fake! You can do whatever you want with it in a movie! Everyone will know they're watching a movie!

Event Horizon was awesome, but I can never get other people to think so.

That is one of the best video game movies, even though it was toned down and not great. The Subzero and Scorpion scenes were fantastic.


What'd he say?

I was wondering about Joe's involvement. It would be a long shot for him to direct but will his script contributions remain I wonder?

I share urban.spaceman's sentiment to a certain degree. I will almost definitely see this because, as you say, it's a Marvel film, but I was only actively excited about it because of how passionate Edgar was for the project. A good director being really excited about a property always commends it, so it's sad to see him go.

It's a superior horror for sure, certainly good enough to be ripped off by Sunshine!

Wright has indeed been working on this for years, but that was back before the Marvel Cinematic Universe exploded, and the Suits sat up and took notice. Now every film needs to be tied in with the rest, and I suspect Wright's vision was too self-contained and outside of continuity, so the Suits probably moved in and changed things (villains, guest appearances from other established characters and related events). They may even have wanted to change the overall tone of it, make it more serious (though really, a serious movie about a guy who shrinks down and communicates with insects?).

I hope DoG do an article on the theories/rumours over why Wright has left.

He just had a picture with his head bowed down in respect holding up a Cornetto high.

The World's End ain't, at all. Scott Pilgrim, Hot Fuzz and Shaun are.

Nonsense, Scott Pilgrim was great

A film being brilliant doesn't make it a classic.

Yeah I saw that later

I kind of wish Marvel (and everyone else making comic book movies) would take more time doing fewer movies, and making them more interesting and breaking the formulaic plots they have settled into...
I feel like I've seen the same movie about 8-9 times now.

As the movies have been very popular so far, it seems like they want to pump out as many characters and sequels as possible, because people lap them up right now.

I think the danger is it turning into what happened to the Wu-Tang Clan (bear with me with this analogy).
Wu released a string of excellent solo albums by their core members, but then it was like they just wanted to keep churning out tons of things with the Wu logo on it because it was hot (based on the goodwill of the excellent first releases).
Very quickly you got every minor Wu affiliate releasing several albums each and mostly following the same formula and it then burnt itself out.

I think we're fast reaching the point where people will go, "do I really want to see Thor 4: The Rise of the Ant Avenger feat. Iron Man 7?"

Elektra didn't irk you?

Never seen it, plus I mean Marvel 'proper' productions.

Good comparison, noone needed a U-God solo album!

Thor 2 is definitely the weakest film in the recent batch of Marvel films (you are welcome to disagree of course), so this development doesn't fill me with much hope- given your comparison. No disrespect to the other directors (as some may see this as a weakness), but Edgar Wright style seemed too distinctive to work within the Marvel Universe. The Cornetto Trilogy and Scott Pilgrim all have a similar pacing, that uses fast, kinetic editing to create comedy and action.

The World's End was nice, but I was really disappointed by Scott Pilgrim. That movie wasn't the "epic of epic epicness" like the tagline.

Thor 2 was weak. Then again, Winter Soldier is in my eyes the strongest Marvel movie to date. Edgar Wright would be closer to Joss Whedon than any of the other directors of any of the superhero movies.

Yeah, but my point really was that one of the issues with Thor was the change in director. With Winter Soldier the brothers were in place early on.

I see your point and I raise you Iron Man 2! :p

I would like to think that the Avengers trilogy would be the closing act of all of these movies. I don't think it will be the case but it would be nice to think it all comes to an end. Sure, go off and start a new franchise but with all of their "A-List" characters seemingly involved in the current generation of movies, it wouldn't please the cash-cow gods to use the minors and we'd probably see the start of the (dare i say it) Marvel reboots!

Haha that is why I made sure I put "recent" as that film did cross my mind!

The Marvel cinemanitc universe has been consisently impressive so far, so I'll still be watching :)

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