Update: Goddard will still be an executive producer on “Daredevil,” and his screenplays for the first two episodes will still be used. “Spartacus” creator Steven S. DeKnight has been hired as a replacement showrunner. Original article below.
After yesterday’s shocking announcement that Edgar Wright was leaving the Ant-Man movie after eight years developing that project, I didn’t think it could get any worse for Marvel for a while. But somehow it has: Latino Review’s sources tell them that Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods) has left the “Daredevil” TV series he was supposed to be the showrunner of for Netflix. Something is in the water at Marvel, and I don’t like it one bit.
New reports indicate that the reason for Wright’s split was because Marvel’s corporate overlords at Disney stepped in and wanted to dumb down the script, making it more “homogeneous” and likely including more references to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, when Wright and co-writer Joe Cornish had originally envisioned it as more of a standalone project. Kevin Feige reportedly went to bat for Wright and failed, which makes me feel a lot better about the sudden “creative differences” that were cited as Wright’s reason for leaving; it wasn’t creative differences with Feige, with whom he’s been developing this script for years, but with the brass at Disney, who stepped in at the last minute.
Losing Goddard on Daredevil is almost as much of a blow as losing Wright on Ant-Man. Goddard wasn’t just set to write the 13-episode series, he was going to be the showrunner and executive producer as well, making him the man with the plan when it comes to Matt Murdock. There’s no reasoning cited (yet) for Goddard’s exit, but one could assume that being hired to write and direct a Sinister Six movie (also for Marvel, but at another studio) may have something to do with it. Either way, though, this is not good news for Marvel Studios, who have been on a tear recently. Although I didn’t personally care for Thor: The Dark World, their movies have been making serious bank since The Avengers broke records. Are we going to look back on this weekend as the moment when Disney stepped in and meddled with the formula that Feige and his team had down to a science? Is Marvel Studios broken? I don’t like to be fatalistic, but seeing two of the most creative, interesting filmmakers in development at one studio leave over the course of two days does not build confidence.
I suppose there’s always a tiny chance that Latino Review’s report is inaccurate, but they’ve had sources entrenched in the Marvel camp for years, so I’d put good money on the fact that they’re right on with this story. This sucks.
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