Edgar Wright No Longer Directing Marvel's Ant-Man

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Edgar Wright No Longer Directing Marvel's Ant-Man

antman

High-profile creative split came without warning Friday afternoon

In a shocking turn of events that stunned the film industry, entertainment reporters and movie/comics fandom today, news has broken that Edgar Wright has officially departed as director of Marvel Studios' long-gestating Ant-Man. Wright had been gradually developing the "Phase 3" Marvel feature since 2006, when it was originally planned as part of the first wave of Avengers lead-ins.

No specific explanation was immediately given for the sudden split, save for press-release boilerplate reference "creative differences" and that the split was "amicable." This would not be the first time that the Disney-affiliated studio had clashed with one of it's filmmakers: Director Patty Jenkins was originally hired to direct Thor: The Dark World, but was replaced shortly after production began by Alan Taylor. But this most recent parting of ways comes after Wright had spent almost a decade working with the studio, participating in studio press/publicity events and even crafting an FX demo reel.

No replacement has been named and no further changes have been announced to the film's production, casting or planned release date. Paul Rudd is at this time still signed to play the title character, who can radically change his height/size at will and was a founding member of the original comic book Avengers team.

Source: THR

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That sucks. Edgar Wright is a brilliant director and he's already spent so much time working on this thing. I was really excited for what he would do in the Marvelverse. :(

My guess is one of two things...

1: The tie-ins to Marvel continuity were too restrictive (as Avengers 2 progresses it could effect where Phase 3 heads, and as it deals with Ultron it could directly effect Ant-Man).

2: Ant-Man's history (the original, played by Michael Douglas) is...difficult, especially if they use Ultimate as source. Maybe Marvel wanted to gloss over the wife-beating and Wright wanted to approach it.

Edgar would have been perfect for this movie. I really hope they have some one just as great lined up and they keep it in the same direction as Edgar wanted. Liked his sort trailer thing he made. :-)

Well, this is disappointing. I've been waiting for an Ant-Man movie since 2008, and was severally disappointed that they cancelled it for Iron Man 2 (doesn't help that Iron Man 2 was the weakest movie Marvel has ever made).

Nuxxy:
My guess is one of two things...

1: The tie-ins to Marvel continuity were too restrictive (as Avengers 2 progresses it could effect where Phase 3 heads, and as it deals with Ultron it could directly effect Ant-Man).

2: Ant-Man's history (the original, played by Michael Douglas) is...difficult, especially if they use Ultimate as source. Maybe Marvel wanted to gloss over the wife-beating and Wright wanted to approach it.

I'd say 1 is quite possible. 2 doesn't seem so, since Hank doesn't seem likely to be the star. I would say the MCU canon may have been it, since he did start working on it back when you could get away with it being just "our world" plus one fictional corporation. There's also the fact that he was originally supposed to be along the lines of" Ant-Man, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., and though we know how that did and will turn out, it's unlikely the organization will be rebuilt enough by the end of Phase 2 to have that work. Still sad either way though.

On a side note: and I the only one who was pissed that Ant-Man was cancelled and delayed by 5 years and 2 Avengers movies because of Iron Man 2? I can't be the only one who was upset by that. It's also too bad, Joss actually tried to write him and Wasp into The Avengers but failed to find a way to do it.

Second side note: anyone else surprised that Ant-Man is being released only 10 weeks after Age of Ultron? That's the shortest time between any MCU movies so far.

Can't really take "in a shocking turn of events..." and "Ant-Man" seriously when in the same article.

Zontar:
Second side note: anyone else surprised that Ant-Man is being released only 10 weeks after Age of Ultron? That's the shortest time between any MCU movies so far.

Not surprised at all. It's apart of the ego contest between Disney Marvel and Warner Brothers DC. When Batman v Superman vacated the July 2015 slot they slipped in Ant-Man. WB established July as their regular super hero month. Disney decided to capitalize on that open opportunity.

medv4380:

Zontar:
Second side note: anyone else surprised that Ant-Man is being released only 10 weeks after Age of Ultron? That's the shortest time between any MCU movies so far.

Not surprised at all. It's apart of the ego contest between Disney Marvel and Warner Brothers DC. When Batman v Superman vacated the July 2015 slot they slipped in Ant-Man. WB established July as their regular super hero month. Disney decided to capitalize on that open opportunity.

Well then, let's hope the rumors that they may start to increase the number of movie releases to 3 or 4 a year are true, even if on a lower budget for smaller heroes. I wouldn't mind a $100 million Guardian and Vindicator movie being released next to the $200 million big boys they do each year.

Zontar:

medv4380:

Zontar:
Second side note: anyone else surprised that Ant-Man is being released only 10 weeks after Age of Ultron? That's the shortest time between any MCU movies so far.

Not surprised at all. It's apart of the ego contest between Disney Marvel and Warner Brothers DC. When Batman v Superman vacated the July 2015 slot they slipped in Ant-Man. WB established July as their regular super hero month. Disney decided to capitalize on that open opportunity.

Well then, let's hope the rumors that they may start to increase the number of movie releases to 3 or 4 a year are true, even if on a lower budget for smaller heroes. I wouldn't mind a $100 million Guardian and Vindicator movie being released next to the $200 million big boys they do each year.

That Rumor is probably based on this years release schedule. Guardians technically isn't the last Disney Marvel movie this year. Big Hero 6 is, but it's not apart of the MCU. If it does well we might get a Marvel CG Animated Universe that they may make one CG movie every few years.

medv4380:

Zontar:

medv4380:

Not surprised at all. It's apart of the ego contest between Disney Marvel and Warner Brothers DC. When Batman v Superman vacated the July 2015 slot they slipped in Ant-Man. WB established July as their regular super hero month. Disney decided to capitalize on that open opportunity.

Well then, let's hope the rumors that they may start to increase the number of movie releases to 3 or 4 a year are true, even if on a lower budget for smaller heroes. I wouldn't mind a $100 million Guardian and Vindicator movie being released next to the $200 million big boys they do each year.

That Rumor is probably based on this years release schedule. Guardians technically isn't the last Disney Marvel movie this year. Big Hero 6 is, but it's not apart of the MCU. If it does well we might get a Marvel CG Animated Universe that they may make one CG movie every few years.

I can dream dame it, I can dream that some day Guardian and Vindicator will get their own movie which does the characters justice. Hell, they've shown in the show Roxxon exists, have them be the villains the two work for who want to steal their force field tech like in their origin and have it set in Alberta, and add a villain or two from their roster that no one has ever herd of. Movie writes itself, and hell given how production of movies goes down in Canada they could do it with decent actors and have famous Canadians show up in the same way they did in Iron Man 3 (tv clips made for the movie), make it look blockbuster quality with effects and cinematography and have it all done well under 100 million

And thus goes the most exciting thing about the Ant-Man film. This was the marvel movie I was most looking forward to because it seemed like such a personal project for Edgar Wright :(

Hmm this movie is supposed to come out next year right? How is this going to work?

Here's an idea, maybe just forget about Ant-Man?

I mean the only reason I was even interested in the first place was Edgar Wright. Now that he is gone... do we really need to go through with having such a silly Hero?

I secretly hope this is because someone has found a great new project for Edgar Wright to work on and he couldn't say no. He's probably the most joyous film maker working right now.

guess: Wright wanted to leave his style on the film and Marvel couldn't have that because then the film would be more than just another Marvel movie. This pretty much torpedoed any interest I had in the project. Guess I'll just wait for something more interesting.

LobsterFeng:
Hmm this movie is supposed to come out next year right? How is this going to work?

No, the next one is Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant Man is coming out next year two and a half months after Age of Ultron, so they're probably still in pre-production at the moment.

Frozengale:
Here's an idea, maybe just forget about Ant-Man?

I mean the only reason I was even interested in the first place was Edgar Wright. Now that he is gone... do we really need to go through with having such a silly Hero?

Do we really need to go through with having such a silly hero? The answer is a long and strong YEEESSSSSS. Ant-Man is an awesome hero, and fits right in with what Marvel has been releasing since 2008. Hell, had it not been for Iron Man's pop-culture explosion, his movie would have been releases in 2010, but because of it we got the god awful Iron Man 2. If it hadn't been for time constraints on the movie, he and Wasp would have been introduced in The Avengers, but it was not to be.

I'm all for Guardians of the Galaxy, but I'll be honest, I would have much rather see the two movies switch paces so that Ant-Man and Wasp could be in Age of Ultron, and by having his movie come our right before it we could have had it end with the teaser being Hank building Ultron.

Oh geez, this is the first dire news to come out Marvel studios. I knew a change in the whole Ultron and Hank relationship would effect the universe big time but not to the point of losing a whole director mid production. And a great one at that.

I really don't know how this will turn out now, all I know is that it may effect the film's overall quality.
Guess we're better off going to the Winchester, having a pint, and waiting for this to blow over...

Good Ant-man fucking sucks, why they chose him over every other Marvel character created I don't know. Then again these people believe Guardians of the Galaxy will be anything other than a gigantic failure so I probably should stop ascribing common sense to them

Frozengale:
Here's an idea, maybe just forget about Ant-Man?

I mean the only reason I was even interested in the first place was Edgar Wright. Now that he is gone... do we really need to go through with having such a silly Hero?

I was once like you, then I watched "The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes" cartoon that ran from 2010 to 2013, and it completely changed my perspective. Ant Man was my favorite hero in that show, even more than Iron Man.

I really can't recommend EMH enough, it's so good. I say anyone with even a passing interest with The Avengers should watch it, but especially people who are still iffy on Ant Man getting a movie.

well, damn. Why did Wright leave this project? I thought he poured his heart and soul into this, and I was hoping they'd go for how Ant-Man was portrayed in Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. That no matter what physical size he had at any given moment, he's always a giant nerd. And in Marvel, nerds are heroes.

I have been curious about how well they would do with "Ant Man", he's an interesting character for sure, but his power set makes him more of a supporting character/plot devices especially if he's acting as "Ant Man" as opposed to one of his other identities where he can grow (or do both).

My immediate thought is that to really work Ant Man has to be portrayed as a deeply flawed character, he's a genius on the level of Tony Stark or Reed Richard, but even more arrogant, and who wound up beating his wife and then seeking redemption and trying to earn back his friends for years afterwards. As odd as it sound, that's actually one of the driving forces of what turned Pym into a hero, and why he has been willing to go so far since he did things that are hard to forgive or forget that don't involve threatening the world. On some levels being more disliked that even villains like "Doctor Doom" for quite some time. Without that he's just "dude who can shrink and control bugs".

One of the big criticisms of Marvel is that they have already done away with a lot of the flaws inherent in the heroes, Tony Stark for example was never a raging alcoholic (he got drunk once for a fight scene against Rhodey). Nobody has to deal with secret identities... and yet Disney has been under fire to an extent because of how arrogant Thor and Iron Man are, I've read some stuff about "concerned parents" feeling character like Tony Stark who appeal heavily to children in their movie guises, act like jerks. Even without the wife beating, what is that going to say about Pym, when half the point of him is that he's an even bigger jerk than Iron Man.

I anticipate this might be a problem as the cinematic universe goes forward, because one of the thing that "sells" Marvel is that they tend to be a little more realistic with their characters, and as a general rule you don't have many "Paragons" among the group. The good guys have in the past been sexual perverts (even outright prostitutes like Stacy X), alcoholics, recovering dope fiends, teenage runaways (not just "Runaways" either, "Cloak & Dagger" fit this bill as well), wife beaters, racists (The Black Panther and his people have this in spades if understated, hating to ask for outside help, and if you remember the comments when Wakanda gave Falcon his battlesuit right before Civil War it wasn't exactly enlightened) and murderous deranged war veterans (The Punisher). Heck, Emma Frost used to manage a sex club that existed to subvert the upper levels of society... and she wasn't exactly portrayed as being chaste in doing it. This is counter to DC where they have more in the way of "flawless" moral paragon characters, or did pre-reboot (Superman, Captain Marvel, even Batman holds himself to a fairly high standard of moral conduct despite being a vigilante) which seems to define a lot of what people think super-heroes are supposed to be like. As a result I expect that we'll see more "sanitizing" of existing characters, and some that are really hard to do at all without their flaws might be overlooked entirely. Especially given the relative failure of doing things like "The Punisher" while trying to make him a bit more... reasonable... for the audience in the past. On some levels I'm kind of surprised they ever green lit an Ant Man movie to begin with, and I suspect half the problem is they are already getting some comments about the Avengers not being "perfect" so bringing in a really flawed character (even if the wife beating was played down) would be hard. Ant Man is a guy your supposed to be able to cheer for, and really hate, at the same time. He kind of demonstrates that "good and evil" don't always go entirely one way, and what's more he actually does have something to redeem himself for, and it's the kind of thing real people grapple with, and isn't any easier to be forgiven for as a super hero than it is in real life.

its possible he just didn't have the tools in his bag to helm such a film.

inevitably not everyone will have for every project.

"The Cornetto Trilogy" and Spaced has a lot of (nerdy) fans but they are not big budget, "phase important", effects driven superhero movies.

part of me thinks the "FX demo reel" was as much to say "i can do this" to the suits as it was to the fans...which infers there was a confidence question right at the beginning...and while that did look cool...well...maybe the rest didn't quite as much...

it could just be that sad and simple.

Damnit, I was looking forward to Ant-Man more than Avengers 2, just because of Edgar Wright. The directorial choices for all the early Marvel movies were brilliant - Jon Favreau was better known for comedies, Kenneth Branagh is a pretentious Shakespearean elitist, Joe Johnston directed freaking Jumanji, and Joss Whedon was just a geek icon and definitely NOT a blockbuster director.

Looks like Disney wants to get cheaper, less "niche" films and filmmakers for their MCU - they're probably expecting Guardians of the Galaxy to fail hard and don't want to waste too much time with Ant-Man, another potential failure.

Scrumpmonkey:
I secretly hope this is because someone has found a great new project for Edgar Wright to work on and he couldn't say no. He's probably the most joyous film maker working right now.

Of course, it might not be as bad as what I'm making it out to be, and maybe Edgar Wright stepped down so he could do the next Star Wars after J.J. Abrams.

Can you imagine, one of the biggest Star Wars nerds in the industry directing the brand new fucking Star Wars?!? He wrote this scene for crying out loud:

http://youtu.be/Q4TX6x2WLgk

Edgar Wright would have been amazing on Ant-Man, but he'd be messianic on Star Wars.

Scribblesense:
Damnit, I was looking forward to Ant-Man more than Avengers 2, just because of Edgar Wright. The directorial choices for all the early Marvel movies were brilliant - Jon Favreau was better known for comedies, Kenneth Branagh is a pretentious Shakespearean elitist, Joe Johnston directed freaking Jumanji, and Joss Whedon was just a geek icon and definitely NOT a blockbuster director.

Looks like Disney wants to get cheaper, less "niche" films and filmmakers for their MCU - they're probably expecting Guardians of the Galaxy to fail hard and don't want to waste too much time with Ant-Man, another potential failure.

Scrumpmonkey:
I secretly hope this is because someone has found a great new project for Edgar Wright to work on and he couldn't say no. He's probably the most joyous film maker working right now.

Of course, it might not be as bad as what I'm making it out to be, and maybe Edgar Wright stepped down so he could do the next Star Wars after J.J. Abrams.

Can you imagine, one of the biggest Star Wars nerds in the industry directing the brand new fucking Star Wars?!? He wrote this scene for crying out loud:

http://youtu.be/Q4TX6x2WLgk

Edgar Wright would have been amazing on Ant-Man, but he'd be messianic on Star Wars.

Edgar Wright has made a lot of well regarded, successful projects. The problem is he is not seen as the "Safe economic pair of hands" Abrams is. Most of Wright's amazing stuff was done outside of Hollywood or the US so, in their book, it doesn't count.

Joss Whedon pre-avengers actually had a poorer track record of directing than Edgar Wright does right now. Why can no one give this man a major project he is a GENIUS with a built-in fan base and a string of modern cult and not so cult classics behind him.

Meh, I don't particularly care for Marvel movies for the most part anyways. My favorite one is actually Iron Man 2, so I clearly am missing something when it comes to these films. They just seem so flat and boring sometimes.

marcooos:
Good Ant-man fucking sucks, why they chose him over every other Marvel character created I don't know. Then again these people believe Guardians of the Galaxy will be anything other than a gigantic failure so I probably should stop ascribing common sense to them

Based on what? To pretty much the whole sentence.

Anyway, this is a damn shame and things where going so well, maybe Marvel and Whedon do have someone else they considered with Edar or maybe they've filmed enough footage so another director can fill in the blanks. If the story is going where I think it is this movie is rather important to the overall structure to the Marvel Movie U as is, so they most definitely will rectify this change in events.

Fingers crossed.

Well, that sucks. =(

That's pretty much all I can say about it. I can't speculate on why they parted ways or who's at fault. All I know is that (a) it's suck to hear that two sides couldn't find a middle ground, (b) Marvel has lost some major momentum with the fans, and (c) it's gonna take something spectacular to fill in those shoes or make people forget about this come San Diego Comic Con.

I'd like to offer more insight on this, but I think Drew McWeeny (yes, that's his name so quit laughing) of HitFix.com covered it better than I could.

http://www.hitfix.com/motion-captured/edgar-wright-and-marvel-part-ways-on-ant-man-over-a-different-vision-of-the-film

Well, that's lame. I have a standing rule to watch anything Edgar Wright makes because he's a brilliant director and everything I've seen from him has been great (Spaced, the Cornetto trilogy, Scott Pilgrim), so I hope this just means he's off to do something else. Marvel's loss I suppose.

I hate to say this, but Wright may simply have not been a good choice for a big budget tentpole movie in a shared universe. Yes he has made some movies that we all love. Pretty much the 3 Simon Pegg Nick Frost movies. But Scott Pilgrim was not exactly a breakout success. Even with it's inherent quirkiness. Marvel hasn't exactly been against the concept of using directors from different mediums or styles. Kenneth Branaugh for a comic book movie? Not exactly intuitive. Or the TV directing Russo brothers for an action spy thriller? Those paid off well. but that doesn't mean every combination works. We don't know what Wrights plans were or how he was looking to bring the characters to the screen. As you say if Marvel did not think it fully lined up with their overall vision then yeah it might be perfectly legit creative differences. Marvel has been keeping their IP's on a somewhat shorter leash. But I think we can all agree that that has paid off for them. They want them to hew closely to the source materials and peoples expectations of the characters. The alternative to their overarching creative and character control is stuff like Fantastic Four or X3 and lets not forget Man of Steel and Green Lantern. If Wright was delivering a quirky comedy or character study where Marvel was wanting a SciFi action adventure then yeah. Creative Differences.

let's also not forget that Edgar Wright does not have a ton of experience playing around in the large budget world. Once again his only "A List" Hollywood project before this was Scott Pilgrim. One question we as fans rarely think about or talk about is "is the director capable of delivering the product that the studio wants within budget?" The fact that there are stories floating around about concerns regarding Wrights lack of "coverage" when shooting is a pretty good indication that the studio might be worried along these lines. For Wrights smaller quirkier films he can get buy with shooting less and working in reshoots if he doesn't like something. Heck I think his Simon Pegg stuff was shot on film? So minimizing that is budget cutting. He came up through BBC and British television where this is a common approach. But on a summer blockbuster? reshoots cost an order of magnitude more than just throwing a few extra cameras and cameramen at primary shooting.

And the simple fact is sometimes studios and good skilled directors with drooling fan bases do legitimately have creative differences. They do not always agree with what direction to take a project. Heck Joss Wheedon and Warner Brothers had such with Wonder Woman. He wanted to do a classic WW2 set Wonder Woman. They wanted a modern action adventure. He was replaced. (granted one would think in hindsight they are probably kicking themselves.)

Edgar Wright was the key reason I was mostly interested in this one. Hearing he is no longer on the project has made me very hesitant about it now.

SomebodyNowhere:
Edgar Wright was the key reason I was mostly interested in this one. Hearing he is no longer on the project has made me very hesitant about it now.

Likewise. I don't really have any interest in Ant-Man as a character right now, if anything would have made me go and see this film, it would have been the fact that it was directed by Edgar Wright. Most likely, this is another one I'll just wait and watch it later...

I didn't particularly like the two Edgar Wright movies I've seen (namely Hot Fuzz and Scott Pilgrim vs The World) so I'm not as bent out of shape over this as other people. I think Marvel will probably find a suitable replacement; but failing that I don't think one stinker is nearly enough to sink the MCU.

While I like Edgar Wright, I didn't like his last foray into comics (Scott Pilgrim...). That more or less is why I wasn't up in arms thrilled to hear he was directing. I don't know how well this will translate to film either so I was wary and still am, as much as I like Paul Rudd (and really want him to succeed as an actor beyond comedy).

It's sounds then like I've just added another movie I'm gonna watch afterwards on dvd or something. I just happen to know nothing about the character nor care about it, and now this.

I'm leaning towards Wright wanting to put more of him into the movie than Marvel wanted.

Thought just occurred: since Edgar Wright isn't doing Ant-Man...he should walk across the street to Fox and direct Deadpool. It'd be PERFECT.

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