Edgar Wright, Ant-Man and where next for the film

Feature Rob Leane 27 May 2014 - 06:18

Why did Edgar Wright walk away from Ant-Man, his eight year passion project? We went looking for clues...

The recent news that Edgar Wright was stepping away from the Ant-Man project came as a huge shock, and not only because he’s a perfect choice from a fan perspective and that it’s so late in the day. The British director has been so integral to getting this project into production, and has been battling for it for the last eight years, predating the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Why would he leave now? We had a look through the history of the project hoping for some answers...

It began back in April 2006 when Marvel announced that Wright would reunite with his writing partner Joe Cornish to pen the film, which the former would go on to direct. Wright’s Big Talk Productions cohort Nira Park was also attached to produce. To put that in context, the same announcement heralded the news that Jon Favreau would be working on bringing a little known property about some metal dude to the big screen. Of course, Favreau’s Iron Man project hit the ground running and made it onto our screens and straight into our hearts two years later. The same cannot be said for Wright’s long-gestating Ant-Man.

Things seemed rosy later that year though, when Wright appeared at the San Diego Comic-Con in July 2006 to talk up the film. "In terms of high concept and character, it intrigued me,” the director was quoted in IGN. "The idea of Ant-Man is how kick-ass it would be to be small,” he stressed, batting away reports that his comedic background meant he was developing a parody movie (at this point his only major feature had been Shaun Of The Dead).

The same IGN article suggests the first hints of friction in the project, reporting that Wright responded negatively to an audience-member's query about the potentiality of other Marvel heroes rocking up in his movie. "One of the things I don't want to do," the budding director had claimed, "is get into the whole Marvel history… The last thing I want to do is try to cram too much in and fail."

Now, eight years and nine MCU movies later (It’ll be eleven by the time Ant-Man hits our screens, making Wright’s former project the twelfth), could this growing universe, and Marvel’s desire to tie everything together have got in the way of Wright’s creative vision? It seems like a long shot, seeing as the Phase 2 movies so far have seemed fairly keen to keep their central heroes separate from their fellow superpowered Avengers. But at this stage, we can’t rule much out. And we do know that Wright has steered clear of sequels and overtly-shared narrative continuities so far in his career.

Superhero Hype interviewed Wright at the time, when he revealed that his passion for getting Ant-Man on the big screen predated even 2006. Around the time he and Cornish had been writing a draft of Shaun Of The Dead, approximately three years before he actually ended up in a Marvel Studios discussion, Artisan Entertainment had propositioned Wright to take his pick from their pile of lesser-known Marvel titles they had acquired (and later lost). Intrigued straight away by Ant-Man, Wright had an idea to “basically [do] a superhero film in inverted commas, in another genre, almost more in the crime-action genre, that just happens to involve an amazing suit with this piece of hardware.”

So we know that Wright had been interested in an Ant-Man movie over ten years ago, but by February 2007 the production had hit some difficulties. “Ant-Man is in a bit of a holding pattern,” Wright told IGN. “We're figuring things out with the script and we haven't initiated casting. We still have quite a bit to do. I expect I'll have more to say about it in a few months.” At this point, Wright also claimed to be deep in research for the film, investigating the science of nanotechnology to ensure his film was based as near to reality as possible.

That interview also featured an early reference to Wright’s work on Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, which again highlights how long the Ant-Man project gestated in development, with Scott Pilgrim shot, released, ‘flopped’ and become a cult favourite long before Ant-Man had even began casting. That kind of timeframe is sure to frustrate a director, but after eight years in development, surely more than impatience would be needed to cause him to walk.

Fast forward to 2010, and Marvel were pressing ahead quickly with Kenneth Branagh’s Thor and Joe Johnston’s Captain America: The First Avenger. Meanwhile, the cogs had slowly began to turn for Wright’s passion project. Marvel’s original Generalisimo Stan Lee spilled some beans on Twitter in February 2010, telling the world that “Marvel is prepping a movie starring– Ant-Man!” and that he “had fun discussing the tiny hero” with “cool, young director Edgar Wright.”

Later that week, Wright clarified where he was at with his adaptation of the diminutive hero, revealing that there was “no timetable” for the film. “That character isn't one of [Marvel Studios’] biggest properties, it’s not like a tentpole deadline," he told MTV. "It’s more like me and Kevin [Feige saying], 'Let's make a really good script.' We've always agreed on that — 'Let’s make a good script that works, that’s all about a great genre film, and that isn’t necessarily relying on anything else.'”

Again, despite both parties commitment to doing things right, the time spent scripting this film, and Wright’s reference to avoiding "relying on anything else" seems to suggest a conflict between Wright’s love for genre flicks and the possibly-intrusive elements of working in a tightly constructed pre-established universe. Again, that’s pure speculation, but the script and what does (or doesn’t) feature in it certainly seems to be a recurring conversation point.

At Comic-Con in 2010, Wright alluded to some further meetings with Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige, centring on the possibility of linking Wright’s Ant-Man to the 2012 would-be-hit Avengers Assemble. “We [Wright and Feige] discussed whether he would be in The Avengers,” the director told Cinema Blend. “The thing is, the script that I’ve written [...] the chronology of it or the way it works wouldn’t really fit in with what they do," he continued.

"My film is very much an introduction to that character, and so it wasn’t something where it felt right to introduce him in that film,” he added. No tell of a major problem there then, but Wright actively wanting to avoid the Avengers (at least initially) does set him apart from the other MCU directors, which could possibly have caused problems further down the line.

Returning to Ant-Man after two years of producing and promoting Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, Wright told the LA Times in January 2011 that he was now actively producing a new script draft for Marvel. Joe Cornish claimed this script was handed in by April, Superhero Hype reported.

By the time Comic-Con rolled around in July they were on a third draft, with MTV picking up a quote where Wright again drew a line between his film and the Avengers’ shared screen-space. Once more he stated a desire for “a standalone genre film,” which would “create an ‘in’ for people so you don’t have to know 50 years of ‘Avengers’ history to enjoy the movie.” There are also reports in that piece that Joe Cornish’s directorial debut Attack The Block had held up script-writing advancement, too.

At the end of 2011, Marvel lost a thought-definite director for one of their tent-pole movies, with Patty Jenkins of Monster fame backing away from Thor: The Dark World citing creative differences. Unlike Wright’s film which allegedly begins shooting next month, Jenkins’ principal photography wasn’t set to begin until September 2012, giving Marvel Studios the best part of a year to find their replacement and get the production back on track.

While Marvel struggled with these Thor foibles in early 2012, the ship seemed to finally be steadying for Ant-Man as Wright was happily teasing fans with pictograms of his miniature Marvel man and beginning work on a test-reel that would later astound fans at the 2012 Comic-Con. In October of the same year, Marvel announced the release date for Ant-Man as November 6, 2015.

So everything seemed to be going swimmingly then, and a few months passed before any other news arrived. Come May 2013, Feige was doing the press rounds and explaining to Entertainment Weekly that “Frankly, now we have to re-write [Ant-Man] to put it a little bit more into the [Marvel Cinematic Universe] because it was written before it existed,” pointing to a compromise between Wright’s genre-loving action and the MCU’s intertwining continuity.

No further warning signs appeared though as Feige revealed that casting would come in 2013 followed by filming in 2014, which seemed to be pretty close to the truth until this week’s events put a question mark over the film once more.

In July 2013 Wright and Cornish confirmed to Digital Spy that they had finished the script and that Marvel had allowed them to complete their work on The World’s End before taking Ant-Man to the next level. Things had moved forward slowly with appropriately tiny steps, but they had indeed moved forward. The film was scripted, the studio happy to wait and plot compromises had been made. For all intents and purposes, Ant-Man was finally good to go.

Questioning about Hank Pym’s involvement in the creation of the cinematic Ultron allowed Wright to clarify to the Huffington Post that Ultron had never been in his script anyway and that Pym would not pop up in the Avengers sequel to create the crazed Artificial Intelligence, so he wasn’t fazed by the character's inclusion in the team-up flick.

Wright stressed his position on the Avengers once more to Indie Wire in August of 2013, claiming that "[Ant-Man] is pretty standalone in the way we're linking it to the others. I like to make it standalone because I think the premise of it needs time”.

He went on to add that “I think Iron Man really works because it's a relatively simple universe; it's relatable. I definitely want to go into finding a streamlined format where you use the origin format to introduce the main character and further adventures can bring other people into it." It does seem then, that links to the Avengers (or lack thereof) continued to prey on Wright’s mind however close the film got to finally being made. A few weeks later, the film’s release date was pushed by until July 2015. Coincidence? Who knows at this point.

In November 2013 it was revealed that the film couldn’t shoot in England as planned, due to the rejected Pinewood extension. No one seemed to flare up about this publically, though. Given his frequent interviews and seeming honesty with the press, it seems unlikely that a location change could have unsettled Wright, but again we really don’t know.

From that point forth, it genuinely seems to have been pretty plain sailing for Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man movie, until now. Everyone involved seemed jubilant when Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas’ casting was announced in the past few months. Casting has continued throughout 2014, and Wright was merrily tweeting Ant-Man cartoon pictures under the caption ‘homework’ back in January.

So what caused Edgar Wright to walk away from this eight year passion project just when everything seemed to be finally going to plan? It’s hard to say. Unlike Patty Jenkins, who departed nearly a year before shooting began, Wright has left incredibly close the start of principal photography on Ant-Man, suggesting that something rather sudden occurred, be that a new falling-out or the resurgence of an old problem.

Could LA be too much for the Brit director? Are Marvel Studios trying to shoehorn in one too many Avengers references, pulling away from Wright’s intended comic crime drama tone? Was it one rewrite too many for Wright? Has Wright received an offer he can’t refuse for another project? Has Paul Rudd been wearing Sex Panther on set?

Well, ‘differences in their vision of the film’ has been cited as the ‘creative difference’ causing this separation, suggesting that one or two of those reasons are far more likely than the others. But we really must stress that we don’t know. At this point everything is rumour and we will let you know when we hear anything else official.

As for the future of the project, all we do know is that Ant-Man is still currently scheduled for a July 17, 2015 release date and that Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas remain attached. Will Joe Cornish step up to direct or will Marvel call in someone new? Hopefully we'll find out soon.

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Disqus - noscript

Was Marvel not trying to be creative or seek something fresh and new enough? Should also be a question here.

This seems like a pretty big blow to marvel from a fans perspective, lord knows how much I wish we could have seen Wrights version of the film, but until a replacement is announced its really hard to say how this will pan out. Wright doesn't have a track record of box office success, though I don't think that had anything to do with his departure. Ultimately the group of people who are really upset about this is deceptively small, made to seem much bigger by the outpourings of emotion on geek sites and forums like this. This may not hurt the box office at all but the film.... Yeah, I'm nervous too

It could be for personal reasons he left. Health, family etc

Honestly, him leaving doesn't bother me that much, I enjoyed Spaced but both the Cornetto Trilogy and Scott Pilgrim were, to me, only 3.5/5 films. As much as Marvel needs to keep things fresh by having new directors and new visions it might be better he leave than struggling to play ball with the wider MCU if that indeed was the reason.

I just hope Cornish steps up. I loved attack the block & the sense of humour it had could translate very well to a marvel film =)

I can only presume Edgar Wright had written in a scene where
Ant Man runs, jumps over a fence and falls over, the studio rejected the idea,
so Edgar left.

Reading this and the other two articles here, I find myself thinking that the problems were two-fold: a) Wright's unwavering demand/wants for a stand-alone movie with no connections to the MCU at all and b) that he's been taking some time to "get it right".

The obivous problem with a) I guess we don't have to elaborate. Either you play in Marvel's MCU or you're out. Their biggest draw is the continuity - you want films without one, you go make a DC movie.

Maybe b) is the more delicate point. Wright strikes me as a bit of perfectionist. With his cornetto trilogy, he had full reign - but Marvel announcing the movie's release date must have put him under some pressure.

Eventually, I believe him quitting/being fired is a culmination of both (and maybe other) points above: Maybe the links with the MCU weren't good enough for Marvel, maybe they were too much for him, plus he might have gotten told to "finally get this rolling".

This would also fit with James Gunn's relationship theory.

And I'm pretty sure Wright worked on a small part of Attack the Block, and I'm positive he loved the film. Cornish would be a perfect replacement to be honest.

But do we really prefer Wright's version of the film over somebody else's? That's making a lot of assumptions. Maybe Wright stayed too far from what Marvel movies make Marvel movies. And maybe we wouldn't prefer his version of the film.

The connected MCU is overrated anyway. My interest in Ant-Man was only piqued due to Wright's involvement. Without him, I very much doubt I'll be seeing this movie.

I really don't mind, tbh. Shaun and Fuzz were great, but I didn't like Pilgrim and I found TWE dreadful. I liked Spaced when it was on TV but I've found that it's dated pretty badly.

And as much as it has been a passion project, I've never though he was a good match for MCU once Phase One was over. I'm a ridiculous Shane Black fanboy and even that almost seemed like too much. It'll be interesting to see who they pick next. I liked what Kenneth Branagh did with Thor, so hopefully somebody similar.

Cornish and Wright work as a team. If the re-write is as shite as is being mooted then I doubt if Cornish would cross his mate to work on it.
It's a shame but that's show business!

8 years of being upfront about his vision for Hank Pym and then leaving strongly suggests back office shenanigans to me. There's a strong stench of mouse on this.

Wouldn't mind Cornish stepping into place (should've been Buxton instead of Rudd if it happens, lol). But I think he could be too close to Wright and might have difficulties removing Wright's visual style and creating something genuine.
It's a massive shame for Wright but I'm sure he'll recover. Maybe his buddy, Quentin will help him find a new, big project that makes us all forget about his Ant-Man.
But mostly I'm concerned that whoever comes in now will find it difficult to remove Wright's style and the film will suffer as a result.

Pure speculation but I imagine that someone was brought in above him. Executive Producer-types dropping in adverts, Marvel links and cash-grabs that detracted from his creative intentions. Hollywood.

It's a pity because apart from World's End I have really enjoyed Wright's movies, especially Pilgrim and I was looking forward to a rather wacky, stylish Ant Man.

Agreed. I was interested to see "a Marvel movie directed by Edgar Wright". I am rarely, if ever, interested to just see "another Marvel movie".

I really loved all of Wright's film but though 'The World's End' was okay; in particular I thought 'Scott Pilgrim' was superb and a clear indicator that 'Ant Man' could be too. Writing 'Ant Man' as a more standalone film makes sense because he is such a 'minor' character compared to the other Marvel heroes. It sounds like Wright did make compromises to add some integration into the MCU and forcing more into it, detracting from the original story seems like a bad idea.

I guess we'll see how the final film turns out and whether he and Joe will ever comment on what's left in that final version that was part of their original vision.

I think it'll be decades until they make an overt comment. Marvel has everything sewn-up so tight that it could destroy their chances in Hollywood to say too much.

That sounds like a far too easy explanation to me.

I loved Shaun of the Dead but really was not fussed on the other 2 and I disliked Scott Pilgrim massively.

So I agree with you. For me, this is not a huge loss.

Buxton for Dr Strange!!

Agreed regarding Shaun and the other 2..... But if there's one thing I liked about Scott pilgrim, it's the Zelda references.

SHIELD was the glue that connected these films. I mean, who knows what'll happen in gotg and age of ultron? But maybe the infinity stones are that new glue.

However, those don't seem very Antmanly. I don't pretend to know, but I don't see how they would OBVIOUSLY connect it, having not seen it.

So barring SHIELD and the stones, what are y'all thinking marvel was gonna do? Bring an avenger in? That's a thought. Probably not one of the big four, maybe Hawkeye, Widow's kick-ups are over-used, and any of those 6 could die in A2. (And come right back to life)

Which brings me to Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and Vision.

If it happened, I sure wouldn't mind.

We don't know what the true story behind this was and maybe we never will (or at least won't know for a good while) but it's always a shame when a director who was really behind a project pulls out. Especially so this close to filming, meaning that whoever steps in will just have to work with the pieces that are left behind (and see how that worked for Brett Ratner after Matthew Vaughn bailed on X:Men Last Stand, leaving him with a messy script and Vinnie Jones).

I think the 'continuity' issue is subjective - it depends on how you approach it.

I really don't see why every Marvel film has to have references to each other or cameo appearances from familiar characters in order to remain part of the same whole. That can get pretty tiresome as the years roll by, and only serves to exclude casual audiences who might have only seen one or two of the previous movies. Look how inferior Iron Man 2 was to its predecessor, thanks largely to the insistence of Marvel top brass to do all the heavy lifting for subsequent MCU films rather than simply getting on with telling its own story.

As long as events don't actively contradict anything in the other films, a standalone Ant-Man film would have remained in continuity regardless of whether other Avengers cropped up or not. They could have left that guff for sequels.

It is a shame that they are starting to stick to a formula in that regard, however different the movies appear to be on the surface. The level of meddling certainly casts an interesting light on all the incidences where a director tends to only make one movie for them - two at the most - before hurrying off to some other project at the earliest opportunity.

See, that's the difference between your opinion and Marvel's. I personally share Marvel's opinion and not yours, too.

But that's the freedom of speech for you right here. :)

Well, my nerves about the matter are less about it not being Wrights vision and more tied to the fact that whoever is being brought in has a year to drag themselves and a cast with whom they probably have no prior relationship, not to mention discourse about the direction the film is going in, through shooting and post production. That sentence is too long

I agree. I think the conditions aren't very good. But I also think it's better than not having Ant-Man at all. Since the casting's done, the script is written and principal photography could technically start, all you need is a guided director that "simply" follows the list that Wright's been doing for him.

Yes, yes, I know, movies are art and whatnot. But I wouldn't be too worried until we hear that either the director wants to put "his own spin" on it - or they hire Michael Bay.

Ya ain't got no full freedom of expression if you're working a job for somebody. They still have the right to tell you HOW to work it. And that's fine, cause it's not Wright that's paying for the movie.

That's a pretty big leap from "creative differences" to "shite re-write" isn't it? And we definitely don't know if the split was amicable or not - if it turns out that they parted on good terms, I don't see any reason why we should rule Cornish out.

I'm not massively au-fait with the MCU comic history, but I get the impression that Ant-Man is actually a pretty major character if we go by the comic history? Creator of Ultron and founding member of the first Avengers is about as major as it gets really.

You don't hire an artist with a unique perspective if you want to stifle that vision. What the studio are paying for is that director's talent - they're investing in a filmmaker. If you just want someone simply to follow your instructions and get the job done, manufacturing product to order, then you get a director-for-hire. Which is what seems to be happening with Marvel now with increasing frequency.

Following a set template repeatedly, however differently each installment is dressed, makes the entire enterprise feel like an ongoing, grandiose TV show rather than a series of films which just happen to take place in the same universe. I find that a bit dull. But to each their own.

I don't really understand what you're angry about. Hiring a director's talent for their own unique vision doesn't mean that they're allowed (or even should allowed) to go unchecked.

Directors in the MCU are just that - they're working in another person's universe and need to abide by these circumstances. Marvel asking for several alterations (like including more MCU) isn't necessarily immediatly nullifying a director's vision - quite to the contrary, I would see it as a professional's character trait to continue with their vision while still including the studio's wishes.

Yes, sometimes that is not possible. I do not believe this to be the case here, though, because otherwise surely Wright would have quit ages ago - we're talking about fundamentally different directions.

I'm not angry, just disappointed.

What are you disappointed about?

I think I outlined that at length in all of my previous posts.

In any case, it will be interesting for us to learn what the exact problems were at some point in the future when Wright is able to talk freely, rather than relying on rumours.

You might, but if you did, I did not understand it. Pleas ehelp me explain a bit more. What were your expectations that now got not fulfilled aside of Wright directing the movie to its end, and why?

A couple of points - as far as I know the only involvement Cornish had with Shaun of the Dead was a cameo as a zombie - it was written entirely by Wright and Pegg, ditto The World's End. I also believe Ant-Man was Wright and Cornish's first writing project together (although it might have been Tin Tin, I'm not 100%).

As far as the controversy goes, I have heard rumours that Marvel were unhappy with the latest draft of the script addressing their notes and so brought in a couple of hacks at the last minute, so Wright walked.

This wouldn't surprise me a great deal - I don't know about anyone else, but I found Thor 2 in particular was a very messy film that reeked of sloppy last-minute rewrites, not just in terms of plot (the relegation of the film's villain to a cameo, far less screen-time for Jane) but also in terms of tone. I'm 99% certain that Thor 2 was originally conceived as a much darker, grittier film (why else hire a Game of Thrones director?) but then Marvel saw the box office receipts for The Avengers and sent out an urgent memo saying 'Make it funny!!! Lighten the tone!!! More Loki!!!'. Iron Man 2 is also a total mess for similar reasons. From an outsiders perspective, Marvel appear to have a bit of a track-record for rocky relationships with directors - just look at how many of them leave after one movie, or even before cameras roll.

It wouldn't surprise me in the least if Marvel wanted to force changes to Ant-Man - not just frivilous continuity stuff like links to other MCU characters, but actual tonal and structural stuff, and potentially ruining the script in the process. Wright's scripts tend to be incredibly dense and intricate, full of set-ups, pay-offs and call-backs - and any amount of alteration would ruin this meticulousness.

And playing devil's advocate, you can't entirely blame them - their tinkering with Thor 2 clearly payed off (in financial if not critical success), and though many regard Wright as geek royalty who can do no wrong, it's worth remembering that in terms of mainstream success, he only has three cult movies under his belt (and believe me, the Cornetto movies are pretty obscure outside of geek circles, especially in America) and his only high-profile gig (Scott Pilgrim) was a huge box office flop. Add to that a wildly obscure, goofy-sounding character of Ant-Man, you can't blame Marvel for getting jitters.

Interesting point of view that I could definitly share. Once the movie's out and Wright will speak his side, we'll know more.

Whatever the case may be, I think it's a great shame as I was really looking forward to Ant-Man and am a big admirer of both Wright and Cornish.

Personally I don't rate Scott Pilgrim at all (not a 'bad' film as such, I just found the tone of it very irritating and didn't find it funny enough for a comedy) and thought both Fuzz and End would have been far, far better films if they had been whittled down to a breezier 90-100 minutes. Even so, Wright is a proper director - a real craftsman - and I will watch whatever he does.

If you like any of the Cornetto films or Scott Pilgrim and mix it up with a Marvel property, you should like it. If not, okay.

I'm pretty sure it was Marvel getting cold feet. A standalone picture isn't set yet. Even Guardians of the Galaxy will be set within the MCU. It'll just start from a whole other perspective, but can surely be included or excluded in the MCU, whether it'll be a success or not.
Wright has always said that he wanted a standalone movie. I guess that's the whole problem.

The same reason Tom Cruise didn't get to be the Iron Man: too much power or too much reign over Marvel's property. They always took yessayers in the past. Just think of a Tim Burton or Christopher Nolan doing a Marvel movie - that'll never happen. That's why Edgar left. IMHO. We'll find out soon, regardless.

I'm relying to you in regards to my badassdigest posts- Devin showed how ultimately vain and petty he is-as he banned me for calling him out on his writing and troll speculation that has predominated his articles, as one minute he hails Cap2 and the next second he hates Marvel and rome is burning.
Anyway, my stance wasn't strange dude. A lot of what I was relating was assumption and a little speculation.
Inside stuff- no salacious details- just that Edgar might be ultimately too particular and meticulous of a director as this project ramped up for filming, brass started seriously worrying about this production and what could become a problem as sometimes a square just can't fit in a round hole, no matter how hard you try. Even if you really, really want it to.
My stance also was of a Director who could hold more blame than the studio, since everyone only wants to attack Disney and Marvel as this unfolded. It seems people forget how long they let this personally gestate for Edgar and once the ball started rolling on actual real deal production things became very clear on both sides.

A director who chooses to work for Marvel has to understand it will be different from anything they have worked on before and realize they have been hired to partake in Marvel's vision and ultimate plan that goes way beyond any one directors talent and paticular demands or artistic choices. I'm sure they get some loose leash as it does seem Marvel has let each esteemed director put a very unique stamp on each movie and there are many things each director will have to consider when constructing a movie for Marvel that HAS to fit into their brand. No question as the end game is way more important than one movie.
Spielberg would have to follow the same rules if he chose to make a Marvel movie and people have to understand the money and risk Disney and Marvel are taking with each one of these movies they produce. They can't let any one director interfere with very well laid plans.
Marvel has an awesome track record and let's not forget James Gunn made this little movie called Guardians of the Galaxy coming out in a couple months. Disney and Marvel apparently let awesome directors run free within their guidelines and I'm guessing no matter what there will be some directors who will be unable to realize their personal visions within set sandboxes,

I'm unsure if whether you think that's a good or bad thing. I'm certain that Marvel's plan is playing out very well at the moment - and it couldn't have been without them being in (sometimes) tight control. They've got Whedon and Feige as showrunners, and they have a plan where they sometimes cannot put an actor or a director first.

I think so as well. As for Marvel getting cold feet - I wouldn't put it this way. Marvel has been making it clear that they want their movies tie-in together. They simply made sure that with Ant-Man, it would uphold their vision.

Sounds more like a problem with Wright, to be honest. Eventually, both wanted different things so they had to separate.

I don't think that the box office for an Ant Man film was ever going to be huge to begin with. Unless the studio's want to give Iron Man or one of the other popular characters a cameo appearance and THAT'S why Wright left.

I feel like the people who care enough to complain about Wright being gone are the ones most likely to see the movie the weekend it's released anyway.

The people who didn't even know that Wright was ever attached (the general audiences) are the ones that need to be swayed to see the film.

Marvel is better served by appealing to the people who don't know who Wright is and don't care. Those who DO know who he is are probably giant geeks to begin with and will be showing up to see the movie anyway.

Couldn't have put it better myself.

Well it sucks that this has happened. But life goes on. So who do we want to take over at this late stage? Imagine they wouldn't touch it with a barge pole due to the time frame they have to get it made in, but I'd love to see Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman - think they could have the lightness of touch it would need but also be able to keep a reign on the script.

It's worth catching the animated series Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes as a shorthand for background. Marvel have already removed Hank Pym (Ant-Man) as the creator of Ultron and they have cast an older Pym as a secondary character in Ant-Man. If we don't see any cast departures then it's probably safe to assume that some of Wright and Cornish's ideas are still in the script.

I meant minor in the sense of a less known character. Certainly much less known the the Avengers that we've already seen and I did used to read some comic books, mainly Spidey/Wolverine/X-men and the occasional Avengers.

I agree with all of that. Must remember that Edgar Wright initially started working on the film long before the Marvel masterplan had been set in motion though.

Meh... This guy has been working on this movie since before Iron Man and there is still no footage outside of that little test demonstration. I say, good riddance.

I did not like iron man 2 on first view... Watching it again, in order, before the Avengers... It is genius.

You are in the minority. I could care less about Edgar Wright. I follow the MCU.

As long as it works, okay. But I have to confess that I like the more bold ones like Shane Black and the guys from Community over the replacable ones like Branagh, Taylor, Favreau and such. The personal style gets lost in the MCU most times. But they are all fun, so I'll not complain.

sounds like Marvel and Wright wanted to do very different movies.

Keep taking the tablets.

You just can't fit a square through a circle, no matter how bad you want it to.

If the square is small enough then yes one can..

So he's meant to have made a blockbuster without any budget? He was the one pushing the original licence holder and Marvel to make an Ant-Man movie in the first place.

If the square is Marvels vision and the circle is Edgar's vision and they are both of equal size..someone is going to have to alter their size ( vision ) way too much to make that happen.
Im pretty sure you got the point I was making...

Marvel also showed true patience and willingness to let Ant-Man sit on the back burner while Edgar finished At Worlds End and Marvel seems to have gone much further out of the way for Wright as opposed to any other director they have worked with.
If you truly follow the timeline and realize that Marvel actually went out of their way to wait and cater to Edgar and to hopefully see him realize his vision for this movie. Until it became very clear that he was just uncompromising to their needs for what this movie had to be.
He obviously had a disdain for the universe idea before Marvel really took off and he would have to understand its not his billions of dollars on the line and either he needed to conform somewhat and check his ego and deliver what he was HIRED to do or else they would HAVE to find someone who will. Ant-Man is part of something bigger now and concessions just have to be made.
Obviously this lays on Edgar's shoulders more than Disney and Marvel or else he would have found a way to make it work if he was that passionate about it. Same guys hired Brannagh, Favaru,Russo bros, Alan Taylor, Shane Black and James Gunn.

Thank you DoG for this and all other in-depth articles. You're the only page where a geek like me can have his need of having comic-book-films over-explained and taken way to serious in lenghty articles fulfilled, I luv u so much T_T

I follow good films. Because that's more important than treating taste and competence like supporting a football team. Try it sometime, your life will improve immeasurably.

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