Edgar Wright Finally Explains Why He Stopped Directing 'Ant-Man'

Saturday, 24 June 2017 - 11:35AM
Marvel
Ant-Man
Saturday, 24 June 2017 - 11:35AM
Edgar Wright Finally Explains Why He Stopped Directing 'Ant-Man'
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Marvel/Disney
Filmmaker Edgar Wright has another action-comedy coming out this week, Baby Driver, and just like all his other action-comedies (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), the early reviews have been glowing.

But at one of his many recent Baby Driver interviews, he reflected on the superhero movie he never made - Ant-Man, or at least the version he'd worked on for several years before Marvel kicked him off the film, and hired Peyton Reed to finish the movie instead. It's always been understood that the old "creative differences" between Wright and Marvel was the problem (the same problem just got the Han Solo directors fired), but speaking to Variety's Playback podcast, Wright elaborated some more:

Opening quote
"I think 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 after having worked on it for so long, because me and Joe Cornish in some form-it's funny some people say, 'Oh they've been working on it for eight years' and that was somewhat true, but in that time I had made three movies so it wasn't like I was working on it full time."
Closing quote


Short interruption: when he says he was "working on it for eight years," he's not exaggerating. Ant-Man was in progress long before the Marvel Cinematic Universe began, starting in 2006 when Wright first came onboard the project. He wrote several versions of the script, eventually retooling it to fit into the MCU, but the basic plot of "ex-con Scott Lang acquires a shrinking suit from rich scientist Hank Pym" was always in place. 

He only worked on the movie on-and-off, because like he said, he made Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim, and The World's End during that time. Wright continues that eventually, Marvel started getting in-house writers to put together new drafts of the script, something that didn't mesh well with Wright:

Opening quote
"But after The World's End I did work on it for like a year, I was gonna make the movie. But then 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 thinking 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."
Closing quote


Peyton Reed replaced Wright in 2014, just a year before Ant-Man finally came out in June 2015. The movie ended up doing just fine, of course, with Marvel Studios' decent quality control making sure stars Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas had plenty to work with. Still, it certainly wasn't an Edgar Wright movie, even if he'd left some fingerprints on it - jokes like Michael Pena's voiceovers and The Cure's "Disintegration" playing were easily the sort of thing you'd find in Wright's movies. 

Ah well, even if Wright doesn't make Marvel movies anymore, both Wright and Ant-Man came out OK in the end. Baby Driver comes out next week, and Peyton Reed is also directing the Ant-Man sequel, Ant-Man and the Wasp, which comes out July 6, 2018.
 
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