Rumor Patrol: Edgar Wright Left ‘Ant-Man’ Over Script Re-Writes

Published 6 months ago by , Updated June 7th, 2014 at 11:19 am,

edgar wright quits ant man explanation Rumor Patrol: Edgar Wright Left Ant Man Over Script Re Writes
After nearly a decade of development, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World director Edgar Wright’s entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ant-Man, had signed on a stellar core cast (Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Patrick Wilson) and secured a July, 2015 release date.

Then, just yesterday, the stunning news broke that Wright is no longer directing. Now, “what happened?” is the refrain across the electronic fanscape. After all, it was Marvel Studios president of production Kevin Feige who continually championed Wright’s vision, citing the fan-favorite director as the “only reason we’re making the movie.”

So why has Wright suddenly left Ant-Man? Theories abound, but Latino-Review claims to have the inside story. As always, though, take it with some salt, as none of this has been corroborated with official sources.

According to El Mayimbe, Wright’s departure was not a firing, as some were reporting, and had nothing to do with what certain sources were reporting as Wright’s inability to get the production focused or on schedule.

In fact, the entire production had reportedly been halted by Marvel for a series of script rewrites. As told by El Mayimbe:

About 3 months ago, Marvel had notes. The meat of the notes were about the core morality of the piece, must include franchise characters. etc., These notes came from the big four at Marvel. Joe Cornish and Edgar Wright did two drafts to try and answer the notes without compromising their vision.

Ant Man Marvel Comics Lineup Rumor Patrol: Edgar Wright Left Ant Man Over Script Re Writes
Six weeks ago, Marvel reportedly gave the Ant-Man script to “two very low credit writers,” one of whom was part of the studio’s in-house writing team. Earlier this week, Wright received the new script, described thusly:

Poorer, homogenized, and not Edgar’s vision. Edgar met with Marvel on Friday to formally exit and the announcement went out directly after.

As for the cast: “it is believed they don’t have the option to walk like Edgar did.” This sudden about-face from Marvel was completely at odds with Feige’s long-time support, but this “apparently felt like it came from the higher ups.” Just who are the “big four” at Marvel? Well, Bloomberg Businessweek lists the key executives of Marvel Studios:

  • Tim Conners, Chief Operating Officer
  • Geoffrey Ammer, President of Worldwide Marketing and Home Entertainment
  • Douglas Finberg, Executive Vice-President of International Marketing
  • Kevin Feige, Co-President
  • Louis D’Esposito, Co-President

Any and of all of these executives would’ve had a say in what happened with the Ant-Man script, provided that LR‘s insights turn out to be accurate. Despite Feige’s inferred support, he is the main architect of Marvel’s overall plans for the MCU, clear out to 2028. Artistic vision and integrity typically does not survive a collision with corporate mandate.

By now, it’s no secret that Marvel has a well-documented history of butting heads with their high-profile directors. Thor director Kenneth Branagh and Captain America: The First Avenger helmer Joe Johnston did not return for the sequels and while Jon Favreau reprised his role as Happy Hogan in director Shane Black’s Iron Man 3, his clashes with the studio over the Iron Man 2 script are well-known.

Henry Pym Ant Man Mighty Avengers 5 Marvel Comics Rumor Patrol: Edgar Wright Left Ant Man Over Script Re Writes

How much of LR‘s coverage is true? This report sounds fairly credible, and clearly on par with Marvel’s tendency to exact overall control over its franchise properties. The Ant-Man movie may exist mainly thanks to Wright, but it now appears to be a key part of the MCU’s Phase 3, with the effects of the now-filming The Avengers: Age of Ultron perhaps directly informing the standalone narrative as well as the lead-in to the next few films.

We may or may not learn Edgar Wright’s or Joe Cornish’s side of the story anytime soon (probably not), but the outpouring of fan support has been generous, with many across the blogosphere calling on Disney to hire Wright for a future Star Wars film, which is premature wishful thinking, even if its a good idea. 

One big show of support came from The Avengers director Joss Whedon, who tweeted this single image, which speaks volumes:

With his head down and a Cornetto ice cream cone held high (a reference to Wright’s “Cornetto trilogy” of Shaun of the DeadHot Fuzz, and At World’s End), it’s clear how Whedon feels about this development.

Marvel has promised to announce a new director for Ant-Man soon, so stay tuned for more details.

[Update: Ant-Man has a new director and writer. Find out who HERE!]

__________________________________________________

Ant-Man hits theaters on July 17, 2015.

Source: Latino-Review

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TAGS: ant-man

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  1. No more whips, wipes, or crash zooms. Wright would have really brought a unique style unlike anything seen in the MCU.

    • Don’t you mean an ANNOYING unique style? His over use of those techniques makes his movies really jarring and hard to watch. That and the fact that all his movies are about 1/3 too long and needlessly overcomplicated (World’s End and Hot Fuzz in particular). Also many scenes of dialogue run too long and stretch out the movie length and slow the pace, which is why he throws in all those wipes and whips etc to try and speed it up.

      I’m actually excited now that he isn’t doing Ant Man.

      • You felt Hot Fuzz was over complicated?!

        I guess you have troubles with Scooby-Doo as well.

        And there’s too much talking?

        Did you want more shooting and big explosions?

        Crikey, some people.

        • pls friend, i am an edgar wright fan, but trying to defend hot fuzz is a lost cause.
          Besides maybe all this indicates something way more awesome in store. At first it was like “Ant-Man, really? well Wright is awesome so it should be awesome.” Now with Marvel proving that the movie’s plot and tone are more crucial to their narrative this film could be even cooler! So many things connect with hints dropped by Kevin Feige-or K.Feig as I like to call him. Think about it, Age of Ultron(the comic book,not the movie) is basically a time travel story about ppl going back and forth trying to stop or prevent Ultron from taking over the world. Ant-Man matters a lot more to the future films(Does he mean Pym or Lang?)There’s likely another gem involved in the story line(4 down 2 and a gauntlet to go) OMG will Ultron gain power via the Mind gem? will Ant-man need the time gem?!Will Lang need to steal it? Will there be both a young and an old PYM ie Douglas and Wilson? Is E.Lily the Wasp?!Which gem is in GTOG? Holysht is Ego the living planet in that trailer?NO! Its Eon the Obi Wan of space Gods!Could that lead to a Captain Marvel movie?Yes!Didn’t Thanos rip a premature baby from Eon’s womb?!*nerdgasm* Excelsior!!

  2. I am a fan of the Cornetto trilogy and have spent my fair share of loose quid on those creamy delights but I dont feel any one of those films have correct tone direction for the MCU. Even look at Scott Pilgrim. Bold; without a doubt. SUPER successfully; not so much. They just are not right the of Marvel Studios. PERFECT FOR A DEADPOOL MOVIE!

    Wright’s movies are his projects shaped as he sees it. Marvel has a vision and even bented the MCU around Antman. Seeing his movies and knowing Antman will be a heist film. I can’t be 100% certain it will have the same strength and intrigue as The Winter Soldier. In this case bringing the flare of classic great heist films and not perdictable plots and nods to the respective genre close to the vain of parody.

    I’m sad for Edgar because not only was Antman his baby that labored over for so long. He is also a fan unlike the likes of Singer.
    I can’t blame Wright and I won’t blame Marvel.

    • What a great point. I was not alone in having reservations about a Edgar Wright directed Ant Man movie, but he would be perfect for Deadpool. Fox need to sign him up, and give us the best hard R rated, comedy CBM that ever was.

      • Take Scottt Pilgrim’s stylized fighting (not as over the top though) and video game/comic references with a respect for the source material, add that to the ultra violence, action, and comedy of The World’s End and Hot Fuzz… And it would be amazing to the least! I’m calling it now; The Deadpool movie directed by Edgar Wright, one of ,if not, the highest grossing R rated movie. I’m setting money aside just for that day!

        • Deadpool movie.. Never going to happen. Gambit? Yes more wolverine? Yes a ton more of mystique? Absolutely. Perhaps he’ll get reintroduced in x-force at some point and if he proves popular they MIGHT consider a standalone, but at the end of the day, and I stress, I love deadpool, but he just isnt “mainstream appeal” unless they seriouly tweak him and im sure sure fans would be happy with that. Put it this way, will a gambit, wolverine or mystique movie make alot of money? Yes. Would deadpool make anything on the scale of those films? Never.

          • Fans.. Would not be happy with that. Urg mobile typing.

          • Ssssssssssh… Never going to happen is you in the position to make that decision. The deadpool movie IS in the works. Fox is holding off the ol’ greenlit… Studio heads have teased an X-Force film prior. Sooooooo anyways. HEY Deadpool the movie directed by Edgar Wright I’d watch it and I don’t even like Fox CBM!

            • Not going to happen out of the curent lineup. Yeah its been in “dev hell” for years now but think theyll “retest the waters” as you allude to with an x-force movie (my money is on a mystique lead team). So well see how it develops, i do see DP as a solid supporting character to balance out mystique and wolverines “seriousness” so well see. But if he is to be marketable for a solo eventually, they will tone him down for that pg-13 demo (i know i hate it, i hate it, but meh ultra violence is not necessary is it mean he can get a movie, he can be a funny yet tragic figure so very compelling is done right).

              • See, I feel you think you’re typing something important… but what I’m reading is; “blah blah blah blahblah blah blah blahblahblah blah unimportant stuff…” Deadpool R-rated TBA. anything else is SPAM

  3. It’s been put out there that Mr Wright has already behind schedule and losing money on the project, Marvel didn’t have the confidence or patience in him to get the schedule back on track and back in budget. It would have been his first foray in to a large studio movie, compared to the Cornetto trilogy, which are small compared to anything Marvel produce.

    • Rumor within a rumor though.

      • inception….. BWAAAAAAAAAAH!

  4. You people act like you know exactly what was going on at Marvel. Wright’s script was likely crap. Judging by Wright’s recents projects, its likely true. This is a change for the better.

    • Your beloved MCU is going to be relegated to the SyFy channel before you know it because no creative and respected film maker will touch this bloated franchise with a barge pole. I don’t want to see 5 or 6 superhero films every year that conform to one vision only. I, as a general cinema-goer, want variety not same old same old. I know you’re thinking the cliched ‘well you don’t have to go and see it’ that you fanboys keep bleating and guess what…. I won’t like many other people. If I want to follow a series then I’ll watch TV. The main problem with this shared universe is that if you don’t see all the installments then you won’t have a clue what’s going on and ultimately you won’t care. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – this MCU will last a couple more offerings before people stop watching and it won’t survive on the pocket money of a few spoddy fanboys.

      • Comically far fetched prediction. A couple more offerings? That’s interesting since the last 4 movies have an average gross of over $1 billion. It seems they are staying afloat on more than the “pocket money of a few spoddy fanboys.”

        Also, I assure you, there is no shortage of directors lining up to do Marvel movies. If big name directors Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay don’t want to direct a Marvel movie, that’s totally fine with me because (in my opinion) the two best CBMs ever were directed by TV people, the Russos and Joss Whedon.

        • They may be lining up but you can bet they’ll leave just as quick if they have an opinion. Anyway, you didn’t listen to me – I said that I am fully aware that they have done well so far… so far… but it won’t last as for your general cinema goer they will get bored with the saturation of the genre. Also, I will happily admit that Cap America is very entertaining and both films have been the best in the entire MCU. But saturating the market is ultimately only going to please the hard core fanbase so the whole thing will have a limited shelf life.

          • Respectfully, I totally disagree with you. Marvel Studios has only gained momentum with each subsequent movie it has released and I’ve seen no reason to believe it will stop any time soon. “Superhero” is not a genre in and of itself. “Action” and “Adventure” and “Fantasy” and “Science Fiction” are genres. The trick with Marvel to avoid saturation, which Kevin Feige has said many many times, is to diversify their movies which they have done very well. Ant-Man is planned as a heist movie so I’ve heard, Iron Man is a science fiction, Thor is a fantasy, Cap 2 is a political thriller. Each movie is separate and compartmentalized, but still work in an overall universe with each other. There has never been anything in cinematic history like the MCU and it shows in their box office hauls. As long as they continue to deliver quality movies that are different enough from one another, there will be an audience that will make it profitable. There’s no reason they couldn’t keep this up for a long, long time.

        • Which last four made a billion? I only know 2 and one of them was a big disappointment. (IM3)

          • He said “average” a billion. When you add up the last four MCU films and divided by four, they “average” a billion. Marvel is going to do fine without Edgar.

      • 5or 6 superhero movies all conforming to a single vision?? Umm isnt that the whole point of building a SHARED UNIVERSE? Thats the trade off you get, if you play in a shared universe you gotta play with thr rules that are already established you cant come in a say to hell with it because im an “artist and i wanna spread my wings and fly”. If thats the type of writer or director you are more power to you but then dont go for these big gigs, stay on original fare and indies. Its not complicated.

        • You’re absolutely right that they DO have to conform to the single vision and that is great for the services of continuity. It’s a tough one to pull off if a new director has his own point of view on a character like Wright; hence him leaving. My problem is that because I’m not going to spend all my money on just watching superhero films I’m going to lose the thread of certain elements and therefore I’ll end up not bothering at all.

          • Alot of people are in similar position as yourself, the shared worlds and a double egded sword. One thing i am sorry for the director is that he didnt come in recently, hes been developping antman for years and years, well before marvel is what it now is. They didnt have the shared universe thing when he started, but that all changed with IM2 and on. So i understand why he didnt fit in anyone, his vision as a director is too “unique” for the now established shared mcu.

            • Bleh, the shared world approach is a double edged sword.

    • His recent projects? SPvTW and The World’s End?

      Both of which were critical successes?

      So you basically went “I don’t like his last two movies so no one should be sad that he’s gone”

      Screenrant Commenters, man.

  5. By the way I’ll give Whedon a couple more outings before he calls it a day too. His Twitter not only shows his support for Edgars decision to leave but it may as well be a middle finger to Marvel too.

    • ZZZzzzzzzzz…..

    • Middle finger to Marvel, when he’s getting to write and direct the biggest movies of all-time? He may not like the decision of Wright leaving (like most of us), but I’m pretty sure he’s not going to leave Marvel just because of this.

  6. regardless, this spit doesn’t reflect well on marvel, as they have a rep for micro managing their directors. and while marvel has made money by the boat load, its not as if all their movies are without their flaws. at some point this could come back on them.

    with edgar wright, being that he was intimately involved with marvel studios from years back, even without a directing credit as of yet with their studio, his vision for ant man could’ve been as MCU as it gets, as he had been with them when they were getting the MCU off and running. I definitely would’ve liked to have seen what he was drawing up with ant man.

  7. Well, we all know Marvel likes to hardball their directors/stars. But I didn’t care about stupid idea of making an Ant Man movie, so this doesn’t concern me.

  8. “Things tend to unfold as they should”

    It really is too bad Marvel and Wright didn’t have more time to work things out. But at the same time, this might be a more necessary move than we realize. With the fact that Wright has been on the project for so long, I’m sure he has seen and heard multiple concepts and ideas for Ant-Man all based on what has worked and hasn’t worked for the MCU. Though for a wile it seemed like everything was finally coming together from a production standpoint, clearly, perspectives were not met half way like other good relationships. I for one would like to see a director passionate and comfortable with the film he’s making then be obligated to complete something his heart is no longer invested in. It is what it is…

  9. Does anyone think it’s possible that Wright could return as a director for this film (seems impossible but still), a sequel (assuming Ant-man can or will be good) or to do something else? And do you reckon Wright’s still assisting in some way or has he left completely? In fact if they’ve rewrote the script will he still even be credited as a writer I wonder.

  10. I bet Rupert Wyatt would make a good director for this film I have a feeling marvel already has a new director they just have yet to announce it yet because they want everyone to digest the news that wright won’t direct anymore

    • I agree, I don’t think Marvel is without a new director, especially if the movie is supposed to film this Summer. They must have someone already. Rupert Wyatt would be a great choice.

  11. Geez, Josh. Learn to read, the guy was merely speculating. And I wouldn’t be surprised either if Whedon did two or three more films before calling it quits

    • It’s inevitable that he’ll only do so many – investing so much of his life to one project is a lot to ask for and he WILL want to do other things.

  12. The problem is that there’s not just one Ant-man, and Henry Pym (the original Ant-man) is highly unstable. Including associative identity disorder and bi-polar. The knockoff Ant-man was a criminal before he reformed, stealing the Ant-man suit to commit crimes. Ultimate Ant-man (giant-man) beat his wife (wasp)into a coma, and attacked her with a can of bug-spray trying to kill her. If he tried to go with one of the darker origin stories, it’s no wonder the studio pulled the plug on the script.

  13. If anyone could have made an Ant Man movie right, it was Wright. I’m pretty bummed the guy is leaving the project, but it’s probably with good reason.

  14. Well I don’t think it was bean counters kicking out Wright.
    It clearly states Wright walked out on Marvel which is probably true.

    What is likely to have happened is this…
    1. Wright has been with Marvel since day 1 prior to an established and complicated MCU.
    2. Wright took a long time to develop Ant Man… putting off the movie for his other projects.
    3. The longer he put off his movie the more he would have to tweak his script to fit in with an established MCU as other movies by Marvel kept coming out around him. After all this MCU is not pre-established but as each new movie is released it is forming an established MCU for others to fit into.
    4. By the time Wright was freed up from his trilogy and ready to go his script was in need of tweaks to fit the MCU continuity.
    5. Those tweaks were proposed by other writers per Marvel and its pressing timeline.
    6. Wright didn’t like the tweaks and saw no better way to incorporate the MCU on his own so we walked.

    If true, what I now hope is that Wright under self-imposed pressure from walking away from a 10-year project puts pencil to paper and comes up with a way to incorporate the MCU while still holding true to his own original vision. I think he wants that, I think Marvel wants that, and I believe the fans want that.
    Even if Wright co-directs I hope that happens as I look forward to his unique vision coming to screen.

  15. Damn those suits over at marvel.. Edgar Wright’s Ant man is what i was craving to see. Not Marvels Ant-man. I usually love the Marvel movies, but this is not cool and i’m not going to forget how they treat people that in a way helped them to believe in their characters, like Ant-Man. Shame on you Marvel. Who could have made this a special movie, Edgar Wright or the suits from Marvel??!!! Dic..-heads

    • I think u hit the nail on the head. This is a movie as part of a shared universe thats been consistent tonally etcetc. If you are a director u have to play by the rules already setup. U cant go in and “make it your own”. It has to be a marvel film and not a (insert director’s name here) film. Its no surprise that their best directors are those that have been in tv before, they get it, they understand that when thry step into an established world thry gotta play with whats already there when directing and episode they cant just change the formula to make it their own. Marvel film are just like a tv series in that way.

      • That’s my problem – it is like a TV series except it’s one that I can’t invest all my time and money in it. I like a variety of film genres and can’t go to see everything so ultimately I’ll end up missing a couple of ‘episodes’ and then just stop watching altogether. Plus I like to have a definitive story arc – beginning, middle and end. The Americans are terrible for this in their TV products. If something works they hammer it till nobody goes anymmore in which case it just fritters out without a conclusion (Heroes for example) or a p*ss poor ending (see Lost).

        • Lol im canadian and i agree with you for narrative “stretching” or padding the US shows tend to do. British shows are much more focused which i like, less episodes, no fluf. New shows like true detective are moving in that direction but the network tv shows are stuff in the old 20-24 episode seasons.. Gotta produce content for those commercials lol or stretch a show way beyond it intended run because money.

          Worst case for the mcu, just watch the avengrs movies and thats enough, cant say IM3 or thor dark world added anything to the growing narrative other than minor incremental stuff. Cap was more significant in pushing the universe forward. Maybe it will get better in the next phase, have to remember this whole shared world stuff has never been attempted before.

  16. Disney Atttack
    Political Correctness

  17. It seems amazing that the majority of the posts seem to be very sad at the loss of Wright (who was making a movie which seemed primarily about Pym’s replacement). Yet Pym is who everyone wanted for Ultron’s creation even if he just got a small cameo in Avengers2. Was a cameo really good enough or did we really want an Ant Man movie primarily about Pym? Don’t jump on me here I am just trying to get a feeling for what Ranters wanted in an Ant Man movie.

    • While I am glad he is gone, I wonder about your question in terms of why we even need an ant-man movie?

      I mean while he is important to the Avengers he is not really a character I think that would reach block buster status personally ( maybe I am wrong ) and since we can only get two movies a year…perhaps we should aim for a more interesting standalone character…like Black Panther or even better…a Masters of Evil movie. I mean Sony is doing it with Sinister Six..and Marvel is known for there villains….it might be more interesting to cast come actors like Hiddleston to chew up the scenery..and have minor characters like Ant-Man, Wasp, etc…be the foils.

      • My question was aimed at the proponents of an ant man movie. I am good with seeing ant man, or not, because i believe marvel will do the movie justice. I agree some other characters might be a better choice but i think the ink has dried and the wheels have already started rolling on this. Actors have signed contracts, locations have been chosen, all the various assets are in place sans one. It is too late for marvel to slip anything else into that release date that has had as much prep done on it. They must also believe in their wright alternative to say the date is still a go.

        • More to the point my question to Ranters was not whether they wanted a movie at all, it was instead about why they wanted a wright movie that was ‘not’ primarily about pym.