In what comes as somewhat expected news, it appears that virtuoso filmmaker Edgar Wright did in fact leave Ant-Man because of extensive rewrites that butchered his original vision beyond recognition. I know you’re probably sick of hearing Wright fanboys like myself polluting social media with our cries for justice, but at least we can now find closure after the “amicable” split between camp Wright and team Marvel – closure that still leaves a nerdy, gaping hole in my heart.
While Wright’s almost decade long work on Ant-Man has been reiterated to the point of redundancy, many pointed to rewrites as the final straw that broke the camel’s back. It all made sense, as Wright was the main reason this lesser-known superhero was even getting an origin story – what other reason would his Geekness have for abandoning a project soaked in years of blood, sweat, and tears?
According to The Hollywood Reporter, “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.” Apparently folks are claiming Guardians of the Galaxy may have already rustled Marvel’s feathers a bit, creatively floating a bit too far from their universal tone, and Wright’s vision “might have been too quirky for the Marvel universe.”
Seeing how I think James Gunn’s Guardians Of The Galaxy looks like the funniest, most unique, and possibly the most enjoyable Marvel movie yet, it’s these types of claims that absolutely infuriate me. Oh, I’m sorry Marvel, you didn’t want a creative team who had their own concept, distinctive voice, and one-of-a-kind delivery? Then why even bother tapping a creative pioneer like Edgar Write, who went on to create one of the all-time best comic book movies (Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World) after starting his collaboration with Marvel? To save a little face, I don’t believe Ant-Man is doomed – I just believe Wright’s personal Ant-Man film would appeal more to fans like me who are becoming a little tired of Marvel’s homogeneous style.
In any case, it’s said that “Marvel had been unhappy with [Wright’s] take on Ant-Man for weeks,” Kevin Feige decided to order rewrites to a script already with an announced cast and release date, and what was left didn’t resemble the film Wright and co-writer Joe Cornish ultimately dreamed up. Furthermore, Marvel will have to fill a few key crew positions as numerous heads of departments left when production start dates became threatened. That shouldn’t be much of a bother though, as no cast members have dropped out, and Marvel is saying that most crew positions (including director) will be filled shortly.
This whole Ant-Man debacle is just an unfortunate situation, as Wright seemed to have figured out a way to make one of Marvel’s more obscure properties a viable cinematic blockbuster. For those who love Wright’s style, you surely know the film that could have been – but such a success will just come in a different form now (possibly The Night Stalker?). As for Marvel? We’ll see who they bring in to make sense of what Wright walked away from, but you can assume a wholly different experience from here on out. Don’t expect someone to waltz in and replicate Wright’s signature style – although it looks like Marvel did a pretty damn good job removing any traces of Edgar Wright with these last rewrites.