As was to be expected, the fallout from director Edgar Wright parting ways with both Marvel and his beloved Ant-Man feature film continues unabated. When the news dropped just before the holiday weekend — never, ever a good sign — that Wright had left the superhero film he had worked on for nearly a decade, Marvel Entertainment was quick to pipe in with an official statement that seemed designed to both smooth over fan fears and make the situation sound, well, amicable. At the time, the studio said:
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.
In the few short days since the news hit, more and more sources and outlets have weighed in with various takes on what went wrong, and while “creative differences” might sound like a cop-out most of the time, it sounds like that’s definitely the case here. But what about the rest of that statement?
THR has now published an excellent story filled with lots of information from various sources with knowledge of the production that makes some pretty far-reaching and bold claims (please be sure to check it out). Its abstract alone tells us: “Wright’s quirky superhero pic made the studio’s Kevin Feige nervous as a dispute over script changes and key crew exits leave a 2015 release date in question.” Wait, what?
The report shares that while “the studio has insisted the Paul Rudd film will be finished in time to make its July 17, 2015, release date…a source close to the studio says a search for a new director is underway, some observers believe Marvel president Kevin Feige will have a hard time pulling together the risky film in such a short time frame.”
The apparent problems faced by Feige and company sound quite large, and appear to rest on two very different issues, one more creative and one far more technical. First, even with Wright gone, the pet project has been “infused with Wright’s vision for years” and it will be hard to find a director willing and able to broach that sort of project. Second, “sources say the film’s key crew — its heads of departments — departed when it became clear production would not begin as scheduled July 28.”
As of now, star Rudd’s reps say that he’s still set for the project, but it’s unclear who else will be sticking around.
But why exactly did the Wright and Marvel pairing flame out? THR reports that “Marvel had been unhappy with [Wright’s] take on Ant-Man for weeks.” Moreover, “the production had been put on hiatus while Feige ordered revisions of the script that was co-written by Wright and Joe Cornish. According to sources, Wright had been willing to make revisions earlier in the process. But the new rewrites took place without Wright’s input, and when he received Marvel’s new version early during the week of May 19, he walked.”
Why exactly Wright and his Ant-Man were, suddenly, after years of work, not quite right for Marvel and their sprawling cinematic universe is a compelling question, and THR supposes that the film’s “tone might have been too quirky for the Marvel universe. Insiders say Marvel feels it already might have gone outside its comfort zone with August’s Guardians of the Galaxy, a space adventure heavy on odd humor and featuring a talking raccoon.”
As of now, Ant-Man is still set for a July 17, 2015 release date — now let’s see if they can set a director to deliver it.
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