Last week, Edgar Wright left his duties as director of Marvel’s Ant-Man. Wright released joint statement with Marvel, citing “creative differences” over the film. Whatever “creative differences” meant, many wondered if Marvel wasn’t a fan of Wright’s film-making style.
Today, The Hollywood Reporter released details about why Wright left the film:
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 [Marvel president Kevin] 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.”
The move came as a shock because Wright had been working on the project — about a scientist who can shrink to the size of an ant — since 2006. Feige told MTV in 2013 that Wright’s vision “is the only reason we’re making the movie.” But Marvel and Wright were different entities when they began their relationship. Marvel was an upstart, independent and feisty as it began building the Marvel Studios brand with the first two Iron Man films and Captain America: The First Avenger.
The report goes on to mention that Marvel was potentially worried about the tone of Ant-Man being too quirky for their comfort. The studio feels like they’re taking a risk of going too far outside of the box with the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy film (which, is understandable since one of the characters is a talking raccoon), and they’d rather stay in their comfort zone than have another out-of-the-box film.
Marvel is firmly set on finishing the film for its July 17th release date next summer despite the fact they’re still looking for a new director to talk over.
This isn’t the first time Marvel has clashed over creative differences. This particular paragraph in the same article is most intriguing:
Feige essentially is the showrunner on $150 million episodes in a Marvel universe that expands in phases. The company “Marvel-izes” its projects, as a source with ties to the company puts it. That sometimes leads to clashes with filmmakers who have strong points of view, as Kenneth Branagh found during the making of Thor. He did not return for the sequel, nor did Joe Johnston for Captain America. Patty Jenkins, who directed the 2003 Charlize Theron hit Monster, was hired for Thor 2 then fired. Edward Norton clashed with Marvel during post on The Incredible Hulk and was replaced by Mark Ruffalo for the character’s return in The Avengers. Terrence Howard similarly was replaced by Don Cheadle in the Iron Man sequels. And on May 24, Drew Goddard was replaced as showrunner by Steven S. DeKnight on Marvel’s upcoming Netflix series Daredevil (though Goddard is working on Sony’s Marvel movie Sinister Six).
Marvel seems to know what they’re doing as the sequels for Thor and Captain America were superior to their predecessors (along with Ruffalo being an upgrade as Bruce Banner/Hulk over Norton), but one still has to question them over Ant-Man and if it can even measure up to the films before it. The final product could turn out to be a good film, but the news surrounding the film should be bringing some red flags with Marvel movie fans. This has been a film in development since 2006 and Wright has been attached to the project for that long.
Marvel could have been worried with Scott Pilgrim bombing at the Box Office in 2010, however the film did find success on DVD and has gained a cult following. However, if Marvel was truly worried about this, they had the opportunity to back away from this project years ago and get the treatment of the movie they wanted rather than rushing to revise it at the last minute before the first day of production.
Considering the track record Marvel Studios has, the film could very well be another hit, but fans should be weary that this film could feel (and look) rushed along with the possibility this could be the weakest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
What do you think of this news? Should Marvel budge and change the release date for a more proper production or should they proceed as planned? Post your thoughts in the comment section below.