Marvel Studio announced Friday that Director Edgar Wright has abruptly parted ways with Marvel Studios after years of work on the upcoming film version of Ant-Man.
Ant-Man had attracted an A-list cast, including Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas and Paul Rudd as the titular hero. Variety reported that a new director had been chosen but not yet publicly named. A press release was published by Marvel on Friday stating that: Edgar Wright and Marvel jointly announced that they have parted ways on Ant-Man ‘due to differences in their vision of the film’ and that ‘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.’
At the 2012 Comic-Con, Wright wowed audiences with what amounted to test-footage of the film version of Ant-Man he intended to make. He ultimately pushed the film back, moving it to a production start-date of 2014. During a Q&A with Deadline at Comic-Con last year, Wright explained the move:
“I had a chance to do Ant-Man in 2011,” Wright said. “Simon was busy with three franchises, if you count Tin-Tin along with Star Trek and Mission: Impossible. We had the story down, and it was in the back of my mind that if we didn’t do this film soon it might never happen, and we owed it to the fans. But then something else happened. [Working Title partner] Eric Fellner was diagnosed with cancer. When I found out about that, I’d literally just finished another screenplay for him, and it was on delivery that he told me. He has given me permission to tell this [World's End] story. That changed everything…To Marvel’s credit, when I went to see them to tell them to their face I wanted to do Ant-Man but that I wasn’t doing it next, Kevin Feige and Louis D’Esposito said they understood. ‘We’ll see you in a couple years,’ they said. … When people ask what’s the hold-up on Ant-Man, my stock line is I’d rather do it with 2015 visual effects than 2005 visual effects.”
Latino Review is reporting that the reason Wright left the project is Marvel hired two writers to “homogenize” his and Joe Cornish’s script and the result was too far away from the film they wanted to make. This report is currently only rumor, but could bring the real reason out of the woodwork soon.
Now it’s almost certain we will never see that version of Ant-Man, but there is a silver-lining somewhere out there. In addition to helming, Wright also co-wrote the script with Joe Cornish. There’s a possibility Cornish could take over as director which would make the best of a bad situation.Cornish has a close working-relationship with Wright and if anyone has seen Attack The Block it’s apparent he has a certain knack for style, humor and narrative that could lend itself to an interesting comic-book adaptation.
Many were looking forward to the fast-paced, self-referential and rather zany approach Wright would have surely brought his version of Ant-Man. A welcome addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Fans were not alone in feeling the blow to this franchise. The current ‘King of the Nerds’, Joss Whedon tweeted a picture of himself holing a Cornetto aloft. A way of honoring Wright’s ‘Cornetto Trilogy’ (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End) and his decision to part ways from Marvel studios (at least for the time being).
— Joss Whedon (@josswhedon) May 24, 2014
Images: Marvel Studios