Marvel Studios debuted the first trailer for its upcoming film Ant-Man during the Agent Carter limited series premiere, in the process introducing the world to a buffed-up Paul Rudd as the professional thief-turned super-suit powered hero, Scott Lang. The film was directed by Peyton Reed (The Break-Up, Yes Man), who took over from co-writer/director Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, The World’s End) after he dropped out shortly before filming started last year.
One of the questions surrounding Ant-Man since Wright’s departure has involved what credit, exactly, Wright and his original co-writer Joe Cornish (Attack the Block) would be receiving for their contributions to the final movie result. A new press release issued by Marvel (to promote the Ant-Man poster and trailer release) sheds light on the matter, while also raising different, but related, questions.
Writer/director Adam McKay (Anchorman 1 & 2, The Other Guys) worked alongside Rudd to revise the Ant-Man script after Wright stepped down, and now we can confirm that the pair will be sharing the screenwriter credit for their contributions to the Marvel film. Wright and Cornish, meanwhile, will be receiving screen story credit, in addition to executive producer credit in Wright’s case. However, EP credit here doesn’t mean a whole lot, since Wright hasn’t been working on Ant-Man in any way for somewhere between 6-12 months at this stage.
This is far from the first time that there will be some doubt about who should – and who shouldn’t – have gotten screenwriting credit on a film (with past examples ranging from Bourne Ultimatum to The Hangover and even Best Picture-Oscar winner 12 Years a Slave). McKay, for his part, has said that his work on the Ant-Man script mostly involved shaping the story and characters previously written by Wright and Cornish, in order to make the whole thing “a little bigger, a little more aggressive, make it funnier in places.”
Wright and Cornish not receiving Ant-Man screenwriting credit suggests the film’s plot and thematic substance has been heavily revised, similar to what Joss Whedon did when he reworked Zak Penn’s original script draft for The Avengers; Penn, likewise, received story credit only in that case. Alternatively, for the case of Guardians of the Galaxy, James Gunn retained the vast majority of the story in Nicole Perlman’s earlier script draft, so Gunn and Perlman both got credit for the movie’s screenplay.
The short of it: this news affirms that Ant-Man – be it great, terrible, or something in-between those extremes – really shouldn’t be thought of as Edgar Wright’s film in any major way. Meaning, if the superhero movie’s terrific, then it’s Reed, McKay, and Rudd who deserve the most credit; if it’s something less, well… then you’ll still know where to point the finger of blame now.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron releases in theaters on May 1, 2015, followed by Ant-Man on July 17, 2015, Captain America: Civil War on May 6, 2016, Doctor Strange on November 4, 2016, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on May 5, 2017, Thor: Ragnarok on July 28, 2017, Black Panther on November 3, 2017, Captain Marvel on July 26, 2018, Inhumans on November 2, 2018, Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 on May 4, 2018 and Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 on May 3, 2019.
Source: Marvel Studios