There was no small amount of concern from superhero movie fandom last week when it was announced that director Edgar Wright had departed Marvel’s upcoming Ant-Man movie. Now, some of the details surrounding Wright’s exit seem to be finding their way online, and the scenario paints an interesting — if not unexpected — picture of the inner workings of the cinematic universe created by Marvel Studios.
Currently scheduled to premiere July 2015, Ant-Man has been in development for almost a decade now, and Marvel insists that Wright’s departure will not push back the expected release date any further. However, The Hollywood Reporter indicates that replacing Wright won’t be the only key personnel change, as several heads of departments for the film reportedly quit the project when it became certain that production wouldn’t begin on July 28 as expected. The film’s star, Paul Rudd, is reportedly still involved and planning to portray Scott Lang as planned.
THR’s feature on Wright’s departure cites the most recent batch of rewrites on Ant-Man as the issue that finally pushed the director off the project, with many of the latest changes happening without Wright’s input. The initial script for the film was penned by Wright and his frequent collaborator Joe Cornish, but as Marvel’s cinematic universe evolved over the last few years, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and the rest of the architects of the studio’s over-arching narrative began taking a larger role in shaping the film — something Wright wasn’t entirely happy with, according to reports.
“Kevin Feige [and his top lieutenants] run Marvel with a singularity of vision, but when you take a true auteur and throw him into the mix, this is what you get,” an anonymous source told The Hollywood Reporter. “They don’t want you to speak up too much or have too much vision. People who have never worked there don’t understand how they operate, but if you trust them, they have an amazing track record.”
As for Wright’s script, many insiders — and really, just about anyone familiar with Wright’s work — suspect that the quirky tone preferred by Wright may have had something to do with Marvel’s dissatisfaction with his initial drafts. Marketing for the upcoming cosmic adventure Guardians Of The Galaxy is already being closely monitored due to the film’s divergence from the more serious tone established in the Marvel Studios movies thus far. This, combined with the long developmental cycle for Ant-Man that saw Marvel become a much different company in the time since Wright joined the project, have been cited as the primary reasons for the Shaun Of The Dead director’s departure.
As it stands now, Marvel insists that its search for a new director will not affect the July 17, 2015, release date for Ant-Man.