Before Ant-Man: 4 Messy And Memorable Marvel Studios Conflicts

By Eric Eisenberg 2014-05-25 18:22:41discussion comments
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Marvel Studios has been on a rather unprecedented run over the last few years, not only creating four $200 million-plus box office hits in the last two and a half years, but receiving consistent critical acclaim doing so. Itís the kind of success thatís actually good for both fans and the industry alike. In Hollywood, however, it always seems that incredible success is eternally paired with controversy.

This past Friday, the comic book movie studio made headlines when it was announced that director Edgar Wright and the company were parting ways after eight years of developing the upcoming blockbuster Ant-Man. An official statement blamed the departure on "creative differences," and while the split was said to be amicable, rumors have emerged saying that Wright decided to leave after Marvel completely rewrote the script that the director had been co-authoring with his writing partner Joe Cornish. The situation has not only opened questions regarding the future of Ant-Man (which needs to go into production soon in order to make its release date next summer), but also Marvelís relationships with its filmmakers. After all, this isnít the first time weíve heard about dramatic conflict between the creatives and the executives, be it about creative control or compensation.

Jon Favreau Iron Man 2
Jon Favreau And Iron Man 2
In the legacy of Marvel Studios film, Iron Man 2 is considered to be one of the weaker links in the chain, and pretty much anyone who has seen it has the same complaint: it simply tries to do too much. The film has many different plot threads to move through and wind up getting shortchanged as a result, from the revenge plot of Whiplash to Tony Starkís arc reactor-caused palladium poisoning. What many really didnít like, however, was all the extraneous work being done to set up the franchise to lead into The Avengers. This element not only irked critics and movie-goers, but also director Jon Favreau himself.

A few months prior to the official announcement that Favreau wouldnít be returning to make Iron Man 3 and a few months after the release of Iron Man 2, we learned from an inside source that the filmmaker was pretty consistently unhappy during the production of the Robert Downey Jr.-starring sequel. Feeling that the movie was rushed into production, Favreau was reportedly upset about moving forward without a fully-realized script and with the amount of studio interference trying to get him to world-build towards The Avengers. Only making matters worse was that Favreau wanted to direct The Avengers himself, but Marvel wasnít up for paying for him Ė especially because of the raise he received for directing Iron Man 2.

Ugly as this situation was, it did seem to have a rather amicable resolution. Joss Whedon and Shane Black were hired to make The Avengers and Iron Man 3, respectively, but Favreau stuck around as an executive producer on both and even reprised his supporting role as Happy Hogan in the latter. At San Diego Comic-Con 2012 he was even quoted saying that he "feels like a proud grandfather who doesnít have to change the diapers."
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