Marvel's Ant-Man is no longer an Edgar Wright joint

Official Marvel PR:

Marvel and Edgar Wright jointly announced today that the studio and director have parted ways on Marvel’s “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.

Well, poop.

Still interested in seeing Paul Rudd as a guy who can, uh shrink? (I don’t know much about Ant Man) But this is a bummer.

Two concerns:

  1. Wright started this project back in 2006. His script written with Joe Cornish is supposedly a labor of love, so it sucks that his vision for Ant-Man won’t ever make it to the screen.

  2. Marvel’s statement that changing directors now won’t impact the Summer 2015 release date is not reassuring.

Interestingly, as late as last week, Bill Pope, Wright’s DoP on Ant-Man discussed the fact that they were using film.

You worked with Edgar Wright on Scott Pilgrim and The World’s End, and the visuals for both of those films were just brilliant. Next, you’re shooting Ant-Man for him. Do you know what camera you’re going to use for that?

POPE: Ant-Man will be shot on film with the Panavision cameras. We’ve shot all of his movies on film. He likes it. I like it. I feel more transported. Interestingly, because it’s not as crisp and all-seeing as digital, I’m actually transported by the graphicness of it into the imagery, emotionally. It’s hard for me to explain why I like film, but that’s the best I can come up with.

Just to state the obvious, a studio having cold feet about Wright’s box office potential or something like that would hardly be a surprise, but letting things get this far before getting cold feet about it doesn’t make sense. So, weird. If Edgar had just had a movie bomb, or if Marvel had for that matter, I could see that making people suddenly more risk-averse, but there’s nothing like that I can think of.

Damn shame. I really like Wright’s storytelling and thought something like Kirkman’s Incorrigible Ant-Man series would be a good fit.

I’m thinking this is Marvel trying to protect a character who might be potential Avenger, and Wright realizing this was going to be a compromised vision at best.

Rumor from the relevant reddit thread: Wright got too far behind schedule.

I can only hope Wright left to get Scott Pilgrim 2 off the ground.

The fallout:

Wright, 40, is an irreverent British filmmaker, and sources say Marvel had been unhappy with his take on Ant-Man for weeks. Originally set to begin shooting June 2, the production had been put on hiatus while Feige ordered revisions of the script that was co-written by Wright and Joe Cornish. According to sources, Wright had been willing to make revisions earlier in the process. But the new rewrites took place without Wright’s input, and when he received Marvel’s new version early during the week of May 19, he walked, prompting a joint statement announcing his exit “due to differences in their visions of the film.”

Wright declined comment, but he tweeted, then deleted, the word “selfie,” followed by a sad-faced Buster Keaton holding a Cornetto ice cream cone (Wright’s trio of genre movies is known as the Cornetto trilogy). Keaton famously lost his independence after his ambitious 1926 film The General didn’t perform well. He took a job at MGM, which he later called the worst decision of his life. Avengers director Joss Whedon also tweeted a photo of himself appearing dejected and seeming to salute Wright with a Cornetto.

Thats sucks. Ive enjoyed everything Ive seen by Wright so far. It kind of sounds like Wright expected to be able to make a major independent film using MGM’s studio and money. Welcome to the West, cookie!

There is no more Scott Pilgrim to get off the ground. He adapted all of the books with the first movie.

Insofar as Ant-Man, as I heard it told, when Wright started this project, there was no Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now that we have all of these films, the reports I read note there were changes that Marvel (Kevin Feige) wanted made to make it fit, Wright balked, they made the changes anyway, and he walked. As Joe Gunn said:

So he is saying that Wright isn’t human?

He’s saying one of them isn’t human, and they have a plan.

Looks like Adam McKay is the choice. Very smart move by Marvel.


Aaaaand Adam McKay has declined, unexplained.

Lots of speculation on the CBM fan interwebs that this may be Marvel’s first proper train-wreck.

If it ever gets filmed at all. I think it only really qualifies as a train wreck if gets released and is horrible.

Oh, I don’t know about that.

Heh, if movies that never leave development count as train wrecks, then Hollywood history is 99% train wrecks.

I imagine that it would be tough for any director to step in at the 11th hour on a big-budget summer movie. Add in an uber-controlling studio (if the rumors of the Marvel movie machine are to be believed) and the money may not be worth it.