We may never know all of the details behind last week’s shocking news that Edgar Wright has parted ways with Marvel Studios and is handing over his baby (Ant-Man) to someone else, but we do know it’s not a very happy scenario. Wright felt the need the step way from the project at the very last minute, after more than a decade of being involved, and it’s simply because he wasn’t allowed to make the movie he wanted to make.
The situation is odd given that the only reason the film was greenlit and slotted it into the Marvel Cinematic Universe was because of his unique vision and story, but the creatives at Marvel Studios want to also ensure it fits the MCU and plays into the bigger picture plans. Somewhere between Wright telling his own story and Marvel building towards The Avengers 3 and making Ant-Man as lucrative as possible, there was a gap too big to bridge and now the once-exciting idea of Wright crafting a big budget Marvel superhero movie is now dead.
But Ant-Man lives on! Much of the principal cast has already been selected and in Marvel’s official statement on the separation with Wright, they made it clear that Ant-Man is still scheduled to hit theaters shortly after The Avengers: Age of Ultron next summer. A new director will be announced soon.
Marvel and Edgar Wright jointly announced today that the studio and director have parted ways on Marvel’s “Ant-Man” due to differences in their vision of the film. The decision to move on is amicable and does not impact the release date on July 17, 2015. A new director will be announced shortly.
We spoke in detail how Marvel has a rough history with their directors, namely Patty Jenkins who parted ways with the studio in a similar fashion on Thor: The Dark World, and Jon Favreau who stepped away from the Iron Man franchise, citing that Marvel didn’t know what they wanted to do at the time. We can go on and on about what happened before, but what’s interesting at this very moment is how the other current Marvel Studios directors are reacting to Friday’s news.
First, James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) took to Facebook Friday after the news to address fans questions and feedback to the news, comparing Wright and Marvel’s separation to a simple relationship between good people that didn’t quite make a good match.
Sometimes you have friends in a relationship. You love each of them dearly as individuals and think they’re amazing people. When they talk to you about their troubles, you do everything you can to support them, to keep them together, because if you love them both so much doesn’t it make sense they should love each other? But little by little you realize, at heart, they aren’t meant to be together – not because there’s anything wrong with either of them, but they just don’t have personalities that mesh in a comfortable way. They don’t make each other happy. Although it’s sad to see them split, when they do, you’re surprisingly relieved, and excited to see where their lives take them next.
It’s easy to try to make one party “right” and another party “wrong” when a breakup happens, but it often isn’t that simple. Or perhaps it’s even more simple than that – not everyone belongs in a relationship together. It doesn’t mean they’re not wonderful people.
And that’s true of both Edgar Wright and Marvel. One of them isn’t a person, but I think you get what I mean.
Then, on Saturday, Joss Whedon tweeted a selfie with him holding up a Cornetto ice cream cone as a salute to Wright (his original genre comedies are known as the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy).
Whedon, an overseer of Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, creator of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., is currently shooting The Avengers sequel and him holding his head down in the image is telling.
Patrick Wilson, who’s been cast in an unspecified role in Ant-Man, retweeted Whedon’s photo, expressing his uncertainty on the future of the project.
Yes yes...the big news was Edgar's departure and now not knowing the fate of the film. Big to ME anyway.— patrick wilson (@patrickwilson73) May 23, 2014
And to round out the responses, Edgar Wright broke his silence last night for the first time since Marvel made the split official, tweeting an edited photo along with the message “selfie” which speaks volumes towards his feelings and thoughts on the situation. [Update: He deleted the tweet but below is the photo]
As CBM points out, the edited photo is of actor Buster Keaton (featuring a Cornetto ice cream cone) who in 1928 made the self-described “worst mistake of [his] career” by leaving independent film to join MGM. Wright is essentially comparing this to joining Marvel, implying that forfeiting his creative freedom to join big studio Marvel could have been equally as bad for him. And so, back to more original works for Wright. Up for another Simon Pegg and Nick Frost comedy after The World’s End?
Can Marvel find a director with a unique and quirky style that will work for bringing Ant-Man to life on the big screen?
Ant-Man stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Patrick Wilson, Michael Peña, Corey Stoll and Matt Gerald.
Guardians of the Galaxy opens August 1, 2014, The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 17, 2015, Captain America 3 on May 6 2016, and unannounced films for July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie and TV news!