An official announcement says Marvel and Edgar Wright parted amicably from their Ant-Man adaptation, but there are suspicions that Wright was abruptly fired from his passion project.
Friday afternoon it was announced by Marvel that Edgar Wright had surprisingly decided to leave Ant-Man’s film adaptation with Marvel “due to differences in their vision of the film.”
They also said that this parting was “amicable,” which many have found a bit suspicious.
Edgar Wright is a passionate director, with an incredibly loyal fanbase, and the fact that he has been working on an Ant-Man adaptation for over eight years brings up some question as to whether he would willingly leave a project that he’s wanted to make for nearly a decade.
For those unfamiliar with Wright, he’s directed Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and 2013’s The Worlds End starring friend and writing partner Simon Pegg. He’s known for being very passionate about his projects and while they aren’t seen as massive financial blockbusters, they’re often well made and cost a fraction of normal films.
When the director screened Ant-Man test footage that he shot himself for Comic-Con 2012, fans were incredibly pleased. Wright spent about a week shooting footage for a secret reel that would be used to test out the potential look and tone of his vision of the film and to also see how convincing Ant-Man’s powers would look on screen.
After the footage went viral, Marvel took notice and decided to hire the director to begin production of Ant-Man in mid 2013. This was a big deal, considering Marvel was coming off of the box office smash Iron Man 3 in May 2013. The film would go on to pull in $1.2 billion worldwide and Marvel was officially a billion dollar movie-making-machine. Proving that The Avengers‘ billion dollar box office was no fluke.
This made Ant-Man’s adaption even more exciting, considering Marvel had become such a well-oiled machine and they were giving a director like Edgar Wright a chance to take on a film adaption of a somewhat unknown superhero. It became even better when he made the exciting choice to sign actor Paul Rudd to star in the film as Ant-Man.
Everything seemed to be lining up perfectly, but then suddenly Edgar Wright decides he doesn’t want to make Ant-Man with Marvel anymore. How could Marvel and Wright go from starting a new superhero franchise together to parting ways after most of the characters had been cast?
The release date is just over a year away, meaning Wright had most likely finished the majority of pre-production and may have even begun shooting in the next few weeks.
We’re talking months, possibly years, of work that Wright had completed on the film and now he’s just leaving – amicably. Rumors have emerged suggesting that Wright was floundering, crumbling under the pressures of such a massive production and was costing the studio precious time and money, but that’s never been a problem for him before.
But he hasn’t filmed such a massive film before, or worked for a studio like Marvel, which has people like Kevin Feige monitoring every move you make, as to not bump into any of Marvel’s other superhero storylines that are proven money makers.
Marvel’s methods clearly work, but the departure of a director’s passion project such as Edgar Wright with Ant-Man brings up the question as to whether the method is always worth the cost.
No one truly knows what happened between the director and the studio, but there’s no question that Wright did not amicably leave the film. He was fired or asked to leave, take your pick.
Marvel no longer wanted him as their director and so we won’t see the vision that caught our attention at Comic-Con. Instead, we’ll have the vision of a new director that they’re already grooming to join the well-oiled billion dollar movie-making machine.
Ant-Man will most likely still be a good film, but it won’t be Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man and that’s disappointing.
The small-budget director was being given a shot to put a pint-sized superhero on the big screen, but for whatever reason Marvel decided they just weren’t willing to take a little risk.