This may be the most shocking movie-related news to drop this year. Edgar Wright, who’s been working on an Ant-Man movie for eight years, and Marvel have announced that Wright is stepping down from the director’s chair on the project. I don’t think anyone could have seen this coming. Here’s the official press release from Deadline:
Marvel and Edgar Wright jointly announced today that the studio and director have parted ways on 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.
Creative differences are cited pretty regularly when talent parts ways with a project, but it’s rare to see someone hired by a studio, develop a project for eight years, film some amazing test footage, debut that at Comic-Con to a screaming crowd, and then abruptly walk away from it after the major cast has been hired and filming is close to getting underway.
I’m completely shocked by this news. Obviously there have been some serious issues going on behind the scenes, and we may not find out the true story for quite some time. This was to be Wright’s fifth directorial project, and his first for Marvel. Wright and Attack the Block helmer Joe Cornish had co-written multiple drafts of the screenplay over the past few years, and it always seemed like this was a passion project for them. To shoot that Comic-Con test footage and then walk away two years later…that conflict of vision must have been pretty dire.
This isn’t the first time Marvel Studios has parted ways with a director. Monster director Patty Jenkins was booted from Thor: The Dark World and replaced by “Game of Thrones” director Alan Taylor. But this is the first time such a high profile split has occurred, one that goes back years and seemed to be working amiably until now.
I know it’s just a superhero movie and there are far more important things in the world to be upset about, but I’m genuinely disappointed that we won’t be seeing Wright’s take on this character after all this time. The Comic-Con footage brought the house down, and his kinetic and energetic style seemed like a perfect fit for the material.
But as the press release says, the film is still set for release on July 17th, 2015, and as far as we know, Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas are still on board as well. We’ll have to wait and see who ends up being hired as Wright’s replacement (Variety says Marvel already hired someone else, but hasn’t revealed who yet), but we don’t envy that person one bit.
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