Is this why Edgar Wright left Marvel’s Ant-Man?

News Ryan Lambie 28 May 2014 - 19:33

Following Edgar Wright’s disappointing departure from Marvel’s Ant-Man, possible reasons for his exit have emerged...

For both comic book movie devotees and fans of Edgar Wright’s work, the director’s abrupt departure from Marvel’s Ant-Man is surely among the year’s major disappointments.

The news was doubly shocking, not only given Wright’s personal investment in the project, but also because of the sheer length of time he spent developing it: his adaptation of Marvel’s comic book began life as long as eight years ago in 2006.

Even Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige once said that Wright was “the only reason we’re making the movie” - a sure sign that it was the director’s obvious enthusiasm which got Ant-Man going in the first place.

And yet, on the 23rd May, just days before shooting was officially due to commence in June, it was formally announced that Wright and the studio had “parted ways on Ant-Man due to differences in their vision of the film.”

Although Wright was by no means the first filmmaker to leave a Marvel production - Patty Jenkins walked away from Thor 2 for example - but few could have predicted that a relatively personal mainstream film could splinter in quite such a dramatic way. In the days since, one obvious question has lingered: why?

If the Hollywood Reporter’s sources are correct, some of the answers to that no doubt complex question have already come to light. Their latest article suggests that, although Ant-Man was set to start shooting on the 2nd June, Marvel had, in fact, put the project on hold. The reason: Kevin Feige had ordered a new rewrite of the script - this was after Wright had already created a new draft with Attack The Block’s Joe Cornish.

The script ordered by Feige was reportedly written by another screenwriter, and its changes were made “without Wright’s input.” As a result, Wright left the project, and due to the delay in shooting, several heads of department have also departed.

It’s fair to say that Marvel Studios has changed considerably since Wright first began to create his own take on Ant-Man. With the studio’s films now woven into a tightly-controlled tapestry of interlocking stories and characters, it seems likely that Wright’s take on an inherently quirky premise simply didn’t fit with Feige’s own grand plan for the Marvel universe’s future.

Whether the Hollywood Reporter’s stated reasons for Wright’s departure are correct or not, the end result is the same for Marvel: they’ll have to find a replacement director, and quickly, if they’re to get Ant-Man finished for its originally scheduled release date of July 2015. The rest of us can only sit and wonder what might have been.

The Hollywood Reporter

See also: Edgar Wright, Ant-Man, and where next for the film.

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I'm a fan of his work, but i'm not sure Wright was a good fit for this project. Probably best for all concerned that he is off Ant-Man.

Worm farms

Apparently he's off to do Night Stalker with Johnny Depp. I don't agree with the comment about EW not being a fit for Ant Man, more like Hollywood not being a fit for EW.

Yep...I'll still go watch Marvel films but my respect dropped.

Like it or not, no matter how long Wright had nursed and developed this movie, in the end it was still Marvel's baby. It was a dick move to spring it on him this late in the game, assuming they did indeed do that, but then Wright would have been a fool not to see the signs before now. Ant Man is a terrible choice for a standalone superhero movie. Size *does* matter.

They're creating a serialistic movie universe. The movies need to all fit together in some fashion, and that doesn't bode well for a film maker who likes to have creative control. I don't see a reason to hate on Marvel for this, it seems like a logical breakup.

Who knows how long the script re-writes had been in the work. Marvel could have been pushing for months.

honestly, Antman isn't that great a superhero. might as well make a movie about Toad from the first X-men movie. no one's going to remember this in a week and no one's going to care. sorry.

I thought the same thing until I saw the potential in the demo reel. The idea of using his ability to grow and shrink during combat, while retaining the same weight, makes for one of the most intriguing fight scenes I've seen since Michel Gondry wasted a great technique on Seth Rogen's Green Hornet travesty.

Only partially true. The reason a lot of us were looking forward to Antman was Edgar Wright's involvement (and having Joe Cornish help in the re-write is no bad thing either).

People will remember it, if only because of what they were all looking forward to for so long.

Id rather watch Honey I Shrunk the Kids...

I have to say I have mixed feelings about this. While I love what Edgar brought to Scott Pilgrim and the promise he showed with the test reel for Ant Man, I also feel that the real appeal of the MCU are its movies' interconnectivity. It's what made the Marvel comic universe so popular and accelerated them past DC.

If Edgar felt unable to fit in with the greater plan then I think it's better that he went. I trust Marvel's grand plan, I just hope it doesn't turn out to be misplaced.

I already knew Hank Pym/Ant man was a great choice for a standalone superhero movie but when I saw the demo reel before Captain America TWS I was blown away with how much potential it has to be great. When you consider Pym's personal demons plus his many incarnations, Ant Man/ Giant Man/ Yellowjacket, Pym is one of the most complex and interesting characters in the Marvel Universe.

The problem is one of perception, most people think of him as just a guy that shrinks (a not very impressive power), and that perception is not just with the general public that may be casually aware of him but also with many long time comic readers who are also just casually aware of him.

The fight scene you're talking about is great and should begin to open people's eyes about the character.

I'm with you to a point. I don't actually think there would be a perception problem because no one outside of comic book fans even knows about him and they're most likely going to watch anyway.

Put together a serious trailer with the type of action sequences we saw in the test reel and no one would have any reason to perceive the character as anything other than a badass.

I disagree. The test reel alone shows the film's potential. I'd be staggered if you can say the same thing after watching it.

If EW's vision didn't fit into the plans for phase 3 of the MCU then it's best for both sides to part ways. The MCU has been outstanding because they stuck to their well laid out plan, and I don't think any one director, no matter how much I like them should be allowed to disrupt the plan.

I hope you're right about people going to see it anyway. I'm assuming you mean people will go see it just because it's part of the MCU. I guess we'll get some indication with GOTG as to how many people are willing to see a MCU movie with characters they haven't heard of.

If this did all happen, I don't think that Marvel should go behind someone's back and rewrite the script that person had put their heart and soul into. They should have sat down Wright with the other writer and Marvel reps and hashed out what needed to be changed to fit help fit their Universe together. That's the respectful thing to do.

I'm a bit worried Marvel might be shooting themselves in the foot here. As much as there's talk of allowing their films to branch out into other genres - Winter Soldier being a throwback to the 70s political thriller, Thor being an epic fantasy etc - most of their films are really quite similar. And I say that as someone who LOVED Winter Soldier.
I think they shouldn't be afraid to REALLY branch out and have some movies with distinct identities. Wright certainly would have provided just that.

"Tightly-controlled tapestry of interlocking stories and characters!?" That's a goddamned joke isn't it? Since when are Marvel's movies interlocking? How many things have they done in one of their movies that they completely ignored in the next one?

It was a mistake to make Antman at this time anyway. Wish they would can it.

It is also a mistake to change the Antman to Scott Lang instead of Henry Pym in a first Antman film.

Michael Douglas as ancient Antman.....big mistake.

Avenger 2 Ultron origin....bigger mistake. Many consequences.

What about Janet?
It was not just Edgars' fault of course. Marvel should have insisted on correct continuity anyway from the beginning.

New Hollywood operations should have followed more closely to the 616 Universe like regular Marvel. As much as possible. Now they realize this. Hope it is not too late. Can the Antman movie maybe. Big deal, eh?

Fix Avengers 2 Ultron.

You do realize that Hank Pym wasn't going to be the character behind Ant Man right? They were going with Scott Lang.

Is DoG protesting against Wright's departure by spelling Kevin Feige's surname incorrectly as many times as possible?

Which movies, exactly, are you referring too?

I expect to see this movie in one of those "comic book movies we never got to see" articles 20 years from now

He's left to make Bananaman with Joe Cornish. Statham will be Eric and Bill Oddie will be back as Crow.

Um...none?

Sounds like it's better off without him. "Scott Pilgrim" was totally unwatchable. Truly awful bilge, junked it before halfway. A glance at IMDB shows his other stuff isn't much better. Saw a bit of "Spaced" when channel-surfing and it was, again, really low-brow crap. The only thing that rises even to the level of mediocrity seems to be "Shaun of the Dead" and that's nothing more than a watch-once-and-forget light comedy. Marvel's set its sights a lot higher than Wright's level, so they're probably very glad to see him go.

In fact, they'd be better off scrapping "Ant-Man" altogether.

I mean, "Ant-Man?" Surely they've got far better properties to develop.

Because if there is one thing Hollywood cares about, it's the writers.

Without EW acting as a one man cheerleading squad for this team, and so keeping it on everyone's radar and some excitement buzzing in the fanbase, I wouldn't be surprised if it never gets made (unless Douglas and Rudd have massive "pay or play" deals in their contracts). Ant Man is not a lead character (happy to be corrected, but I don't think he's even had a standalone comic in his name). You may as well make Hawkeye The Movie or one focusing on the Vision. Just remember, people were originally a bit put off by Iron Man as an unknown quantity (until the first film/RDJ proved to be so good) and he's always been a Marvel mainstay (complete with cartoon etc) and, even as an idea, Ant Man sounds goofy as heck. As one of the comments below suggests, I expect Marvel will see how the unknown GotG do this Summer before pressing ahead with this, noting that that is still an ensemble movie which may be carried by the sum of its parts. A film about a guy who can command ants, grows and shrinks? Not so sure. Also not sure if Marvel needs to gamble on it, they've got loads of other characters to choose from.

Agreed. Shame he's gone but you can totally understand Marvel and Feige's viewpoint. They've worked very hard to create a hugely successful universe. A universe which, by some accounts, Wright wanted his movie to stand apart from.

Woooaaahhh there pardner. Spaced is awesome! Asis Shaun of the Dead.

I'm not sure that was the issue, was it? It seems more to do with the fact that Wright was not willing to tie his movie in to the existing MCU.

Scott Pilgrim dissing I can live with but as soon as you brand Spaced 'low brow crap' your opinion is instantly rendered worthless.

Marvel can't afford to have a superhero movie that has subtext that is making fun of superhero movies. They are creating an emersive experience for the viewer and if this movie is going to be linked, then it has to continue that experience or it will hurt the overall effect. Wright obviously has no interest in a being a team player and he never bought into the overall universe. It's just too bad that it came to this so close to filming. I am very excited about the casting and I really want it to be a fun movie that leads into Ant-Man (Rudd) joining The Avengers.

That's why I think we are not getting the full story. Marvel/Feige may have been very clear about what they want with Wright and if Wright just flat out refused, then they had no choice but to go and have it done without his participation. They are protecting a plan that is bigger than Wright and this movie. It stretches out for years.

Yeah. Give an example? They even reference and tie in the Ed Norton Hulk movie..

Is Feige turning into the new Avi Arad? Mmmmmmm I love hubris, it makes for such great films.

Yep, what a massive plum. Typical invested fanboy illogic and pseudo-opinion.

He must mean punisher, punisher, punisher, and Howard the duck.

Well gotg comes after cap2, but Antman comes after Avengers2. I predict a significant boost for Antman, not so much for gotg since it deals with space. The only tie-in we've seen was the Asgardians, and I doubt, but there's no telling, that they'll pop up in gotg. People forget that gotg is not the introduction to the marvel cosmos, Thor did that.

I expect at the very least a reference or even cameo of an Antman character in avengers 2. "Stupid marvel, connecting their movies and stuff. Whoever heard o that. They ain't got nothin own mah trilogy, yo. I hate them"

EW will be back for Deadpool! It will be a glorious days for Deadpool fans.

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