Now that Peyton Reed has officially signed on as Marvel’s new Ant-Man director, we expected the news and speculation circling the film to die down a little bit. However, Edgar Wright’s departure from the project, which he had been working on since 2006, came so suddenly and as such a shock that we’re still frantically trying to find out exactly what caused him to walk away from the film.
We’ve already heard that some Disney-mandated script changes factored heavily into the director’s decision, but new rumors have surfaced that suggest product placement may also have played a role.
Now, before we jump into this rumor, it’s worth noting that Edgar Wright is a very smart man, and has made enough films to know that ads and marketing are just part of the job. However, with his unique vision for the film slowly slipping away with each studio-given rewrite, rampant and ridiculous product placement may have simply been the straw that broke the camel’s back.
According to FilmDrunk, they were contacted by former WWTDD.com writer Brenden, who had a few bits of information to add to the Wright/Marvel/Disney situation:
“so, i was talking to a guy i know at marvel, and even though that’s a fascinating story all by itself it’s not why I’m writing it down. ant-man came up, and edgar wright, and the real reason he walked away, and it annoyed me so now I’m gonna complain about it. the latino review post about this last week was excellent but there were a couple additional details. they said marvel had notes about the script and it was given to a couple of in-house writers to revise at the last minute. that part is true but it wasn’t tone or peripheral characters or anything like that. it was… product placement.”
“thats right. ads. they were finding little spots to work in ads. because disney is in charge of all this and disney is f*cking awful. it’s not marvel, they hate this too, but disney doesn’t give a shit, they don’t care who directs the movie, they only care about finding enough 5-year-old midgets to run around the park in ant-man costumes and who to bribe after they die. this is purely about money. ant-man is as small of a movie as marvel can make (i swear to christ you better not make an ‘ant’ pun); it’s an obscure character with a weird power, it’s not gonna make a billion dollars. they think it’ll top out around 400 million. that would still be about 150 million in pure profit but that’s not enough for disney so they’re working in ads. and they are not subtle.”
“edgar wright is not some doe-eyed ingenue, he’s a professional, he understands how these things work and he knew this was coming; all he asked for is control, which seems reasonable since he’s the one who is gonna look like an asshole when paul rudd stops in the middle of the movie to talk about cheerios for 10 minutes.”
“wright lost control, so he walked. he simply doesn’t trust them, which is understandable…”
Brenden’s story should definitely be taken with a grain of salt, especially since his source is “A guy I know at Marvel,” but it’s still an intriguing piece of this puzzle and worth considering. Ant-Man is a character that will need an aggressive marketing campaign, and we’ve seen before that both Disney and Marvel are more interested in an all-encompassing Marvel universe than they are with creating the best films possible.
Of course, we may never fully know what happened behind the scenes that forced Edgar Wright out. In fact, his exit was likely caused by a number of factors and at this point doesn’t really matter. Wright’s gone, Peyton Reed is in, Adam McKay will re-work the script, and Ant-Man will arrive in theaters on July 17th, 2015.
Tell us, what do you think of Film Drunk’s report? Do you believe it’s possible that product placement factored into Edgar Wright’s departure? Let us know in the comments below.