Edgar Wright Has Left ‘Ant-Man’ Over Creative Differences With Marvel

By  · Published on May 23rd, 2014

Marvel Studios

In a crushing blow to fans of both Edgar Wright and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it was announced this afternoon via the Hollywood Reporter that the director has walked away from Ant-Man due to creative differences. It’s a surprise given that Wright has been attached to this movie in some form or another for the better part of a decade, and he appeared to be extremely excited and optimistic and, most importantly, creatively satisfied with how it was all going.

Apparently that wasn’t the case, at least not of late. Marvel claims its an amicable separation, which is fine for them but like any children of divorce can tell you, it’s not just about the ones going their separate ways. The studio also claims it already has a replacement in mind, which is like hearing Mom already has a step-father on tap for us. And he’s someone more accepting of the orgiastic lifestyle that Mom is accustomed to.

Oh, and the release date remains as July 17, 2015, which is like telling us that the vacation to Disney World we’d been planning on for the whole family is still happening, only now with that new guy coming with instead of Dad.

The big deal here is that the “creative differences” indicate Marvel is too deep into their own vision and plans and overarching Avengers storyline to allow for as much independence as Wright requires as an artist and entertainer. That’s nothing new for this franchise, as critics have constantly noted how even while Marvel looks to visionary filmmakers of various distinction and identity for their movies, in the end those filmmakers are clearly having to compromise themselves for a bigger picture.

In a way, I’m glad this happened, because now we can have something original from Wright instead. But at the same time I’m sad this happened, because Wright was likely to make an awesome Ant-Man movie and add something special to the MCU in doing that. And it’s not just that we’ve lost Wright. We may have lost faith in Marvel’s supposed devotion to distinct visions for their movies, in spite of their need for connectivity within the franchise universe.

Hopefully there’s still a strain of Wright’s vision to be found in Ant-Man when it’s released a year from now, as he did pen the screenplay with his friend Joe Cornish (imagine if he’s the replacement, like Mom’s new boyfriend is Dad’s best-friend!) and was involved in the casting of the actors – Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Pena, Corey Stoll and Patrick Wilson being among those friends who are so far siding with Mom by remaining with the production.

We should hear more soon, but for now it’s interesting for this to come before we lay our eyes on Guardians of the Galaxy, which still appears to be a very fresh installment for the MCU franchise. If it’s as great as it looks, we could be easily moved past this hiccup in two months.

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Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.