Did Massive Ant-Man Rewrites Force Edgar Wright Off The Marvel Movie?

We know for certain that Edgar Wright is off Ant-Man. We even went so far as to guess which filmmaker (or directing team) might replace him at the helm of the Marvel standalone film. But the big question still on everyone’s minds as we wait to hear from either Edgar Wright or Marvel is, "Why?"

Edgar Wright had been working on Ant-Man for years – dating as far back as 2006, when the Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead helmer started opening up to press about his nascent plans for an Ant-Man movie. So why now, after YEARS of pre-production and planning, would Wright bolt from a movie that he had been shaping for so long?

Latino-Review, a site that pays very close attention to the behind-the-scenes maneuvers of Marvel’s top movies, reports this morning that extensive script notes and deep rewrites on the part of Marvel’s higher-ups chased Wright and his writing partner, Joe Cornish, off of Ant-Man, and that it all went down on Friday. Says the site:

[Six] weeks ago Marvel took the script off them and gave the writing assignment to two very low credit writers. One of the writers was from Marvel's in-house writing team. Edgar stayed cool, agreed to stay on the project, and read the draft. The script came in this week and was completely undone. Poorer, homogenized, and not Edgar's vision. Edgar met with Marvel on Friday to formally exit and the announcement went out directly after.Edgar & Joe were upset by the sudden, out of nowhere lack of faith in them as filmmakers. [Kevin] Feige had always batted for them but this felt like it came from the higher ups."

Possible? Sure, but for now, it’s all rumor. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of other possible scenarios as to why Edgar Wright would exit Ant-Man this late in the game. And Latino-Review pokes holes in theories that we had been hearing from our sources – the loudest being that Wright was way behind schedule on Ant-Man, and Marvel didn’t believe that he could deliver the movie on time and (most important to Marvel) on budget.

LR elaborates that notes being handed to Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish regarding their screenplay had to do with "the core morality of the piece," and that they needed to "include franchise characters" in the finished script. A compromise couldn’t be reached, and so Ant-Man is in need of a new director.

My guess is that Marvel knows exactly who they want to plug into Ant-Man, and we will hear the studio’s replacement choice very soon. Marvel made it clear that they will NOT back off of the July 2015 release date for the movie, and so they’ll want to keep the ball rolling. But if Marvel was willing to let Edgar Wright walk over script revisions, how much faith do you still have in Ant-Man as an entertaining project?

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.