One of the biggest missed opportunities of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that we could have had an Ant-Man movie directed by Edgar Wright. To be clear, Peyton Reed did a great job behind the camera, and managed to pull off a very solid addition to the franchise, but we can’t help but wonder what the Shaun of the Dead director would have done with the film.
As you no doubt know, Wright came incredibly close to helming the movie, as he’d worked for nearly a decade on the project, before eventually bowing out due to – here it comes – “creative differences.” Even though the script (written by Wright and Joe Cornish) came with a glowing review from Joss Whedon, who called it the best MCU script he’d read, the director and Marvel couldn’t see eye-to-eye on their visions for Ant-Man.
In a new interview with Variety, Wright has now elaborated on his reasons for exiting the movie, giving us some insight into why he decided to depart.
“The most diplomatic answer is I wanted to make a Marvel movie but I don’t think they really wanted to make an Edgar Wright movie. It was a really heartbreaking decision, to have to walk away from it after working on it for so long. Some people say, ‘Oh he worked on it for eight years,’ and that’s somewhat true, but in between that, I also made three movies, it wasn’t like I was working on it full time.
But after The World’s End, I did work on it for about a year. I was the writer-director on it and then they wanted to do a draft without me, and having written all my other movies, that’s a tough thing to move forward. It’s like, if I do one of these movies, I would like to be the writer-director. Suddenly becoming a director for hire on it, you’re sort of less emotionally invested and you start to wonder why you’re there, really.”
It’s interesting that Wright’s comments should come out now as there’s a similarity between this situation and the recent firing of Phil Lord and Chris Miller from the Han Solo movie. From what we can gather, that was also a case of the studio not wanting the director to imprint their unique tone and style onto the film to the extent that they wanted to. Understandably, then, Wright has also spoken about how he stands with Lord and Miller on the issue, and it’s no surprise that he’s on their side.
Regardless of Wright’s exit, 2015’s Ant-Man proved to be warmly received with a decent box office haul to boot. It’s also spawned a sequel titled Ant-Man and the Wasp, which is due out in theatres on July 6th, 2018.