Words like “boondoggle”, “disaster”, “complete mess” and “box office poison” come to mind.
The meandering and increasingly convoluted saga that is the still-officially in production Ant-Man has worsened today, as it’s being reported that yet another director has declined to take over for departing director Edgar Wright, who surprised everyone by quitting the production on May 23. According to This Is Infamous, Rawson Thurber, director of DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story, Easy A and We’re The Millers has turned down an offer from Marvel/Disney to take over the troubled film. For those of you keeping score, this marks the second high profile refusal, after Adam McKay’s over the weekend.
When Wright quit, McKay, Thurber and Ruben Fleischer were all rumored to be front runners for the job. Word is Fleischer doesn’t want the job either. That is… a very bad sign. Perhaps it’s just respect for Edgar Wright motivating these three not to take the gig, but it’s far likelier that the terms of the deal Disney is offering are simply unpalatable to people who consider themselves, you know, professional filmmakers.
The reasons for Wright’s decision to leave the production he’d been associated with since at least 2007 have not been made public. But a series of supportive tweets from the likes of Simon Pegg and Joss Whedon suggest strongly that it came down to serious artistic differences with, and heavy meddling by Disney, rather than a rumored inability to complete the film on time. Supposedly, Disney kiboshed the script Wright wrote with Attack the Block director Joe Cornish, brought in a hired gun for a rewrite, and tried to force that rewrite on Wright. If this is true, it says a lot about what anyone else brought on to the job can expect. No wonder Disney/Marvel can’t seem to find someone to take this movie home.
Not that the company isn’t pretending otherwise. Disney/Marvel continues to stick to a hard and fast 2015 release date, just a few months after Avengers 2, but that looks increasingly unlikely. And frankly, even if they do manage to find some hack willing to take the paycheck without any artistic input of their own, every day that goes by without principle filming under way is a day less there is to make this thing actually good. The closer we get to that release date, the more rushed this thing is going to have to be in order to meet it. Frankly, Ant-Man is beginning to look like a disaster in the making. At this point I agree with Devin Faraci on this one: let this installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe die and replace it with something that doesn’t have the stink of studio bullshit all over it.
Then again, maybe Disney/Marvel should do what they damn well should have done all along, and let Edgar Wright make the movie they hired him to make.
Source: This Is Infamous