It's a sad weekend for Marvel Studios. Yesterday, the comic book film studio that has cranked out hit after hit for the last six years announced that acclaimed director Edgar Wright will no longer be directing Ant-Man, the superhero flick that is currently scheduled to hit theaters on July 17, 2015. The acclaimed director of The World's End, Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World reportedly split with Marvel over "differences in their vision of the film," according to a joint statement by Marvel and Wright. The statement also states that the split was "amicable" and that "a new director will be announced shortly."
For me, this is some of the most infuriating news I've heard in a long time. After I saw Wright's The World's End in theaters last year, he instantly became one of my favorite directors and The World's End and Hot Fuzz became two of my favorite films. The idea of him directing a quirky Marvel movie had infinite appeal to me and the fact that he is no longer directing the film makes me incredibly mad. However, there may be more to this story and the split might no be as "amicable" as the press statement hinted at.
The guys over at Latino Review are citing recent script rewrites as the reason for Wright's sudden exit from the film. Originally, the screenplay was written by Wright and partner Joe Cornish. According to Latino Review's El Mayimbe, Marvel had some things that they felt needed to be in the film. Franchise characters were a necessity was just one of the ideas. El Mayimbe goes on to say that Wright and Cornish attempted to make the script fit their vision and yet, at the same time, have all the things that Marvel wanted. In the end, Marvel gave the script to another writer and it ended being "poorer, homogenized, and not at all Edgar's vision." Wright left the film shortly after.
Keep in mind that all of that is only rumor, but El Mayimbe is a pretty trusted source for many people in the film industry so I wouldn't doubt his take. Honestly, if Wright was going to be forced to direct a watered-down version of the film he wanted to make, I would rather he move on to a project where he can have free reign to do whatever he wants. This is a bittersweet exit for me. I really wanted to see how Wright's version of Ant-Man would turn out, but it just didn't work out in the end. Let's hope he moves on to a better, more exciting project.