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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