Edgar Wright Abandons Marvel's Ant-Man Over Creative Differences

Marvel Studios and Edgar Wright revealed this afternoon that the Shaun of the Dead director will be leaving the superhero property Ant-Man over creative differences.

The full statement reads:

Marvel and Edgar Wright jointly announced today that the studio and director have parted ways on Ant-Man due to differences in their vision of the film. The decision to move on is amicable and does not impact the release date on July 17, 2015. A new director will be announced shortly.

This is shocking news, as Edgar Wright has been involved with the Ant-Man property for years. We have stories on CinemaBlend dating all the way back to 2006 with Wright talking about the vision he had for the superhero property. Wright appeared in San Diego Comic-Con alongside Marvel President Kevin Feige to show test footage of Ant-Man back in 2012. And it was amazing. We have to assume that Wright had a strong hand in casting Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas and Corey Stoll, among others.

What could possibly have come between Edgar Wright and Marvel? Haven’t they been talking about this project for years? Haven’t they taken the time to shepherd this project through a lengthy pre-production process? And now, on the verge of full production, Wright walks away from Ant-Man? It doesn’t add up.

More than anything, it’s just depressing. Edgar Wright is a visually stimulating filmmaker with his own vocabulary, and I was very interested to see how he’d make his own personal style fit in the evolving Marvel Cinematic Universe. Maybe that’s the problem? Thor: The Dark World director Alan Taylor didn’t walk away from his Marvel experience raving about the conditions. However, Joss Whedon happily returned to the Avengers franchise to continue what he started. Such a strange story, with plenty more shoes to drop.

It’s interesting that, in this short statement, Marvel confirmed that the director change will NOT affect the 2015 release date. And now they need to hire a new storyteller to fit the Ant-Man mold. If I had to hazard a guess, I’d peg Attack the Block director Joe Cornish, who co-wrote the Ant-Man script with Wright, and has been attached to such sequels as Star Trek 3. Cornish reportedly was going to move on to the spy thriller Section 6. Could Marvel lure him away to keep Ant-Man on track?

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean 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.