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Yesterday, Edgar Wright suddenly, to the shock of damn near everyone, left Ant-Man. Exactly why he departed his long-time passion project is unclear, but rumors have been raging all day, mostly pointing to either the director leaving over script rewrites or the studio pushing him for being behind schedule. We probably won’t know the whole story until someone gives a candid interview in a decade or so, but regardless, now everyone involved is trying to figure out where to go from here, or in some cases, who to support. That choice extends to nerd icon and longtime Marvel company man Joss Whedon, and as you can see in the above picture, he didn’t exactly release a statement defending his bosses. In fact, he seems to have done the opposite here.
The Cornetto in the above picture, is, of course, a reference to Edgar Wright’s Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy, and it is, without question, a show of support and a beautiful little nod. Exactly what that support means, however, is unclear. Joss Whedon could be saying he still believes in Edgar Wright, loves his movies and will continue to see them moving forward. Then again, he could also be saying he doesn’t think Marvel should have fired Edgar Wright, and he’s taking the director’s side over the studio. That’s the thing about subtle gestures like this. They can mean a whole lot of things to a whole lot of different people.
If nothing else, this tweet is a great reminder of how clever and sneaky intelligent Joss Whedon is. He’s a great writer, a great director and a man who instinctively understands what certain types of people look for in a television show or movie. He’s also a world builder, a visionary and most importantly, a man who can still be his best self even while working within the studio system/ for a large corporation. There are many brilliant people who are never able to properly maximize the resources Hollywood has at its disposal because they can’t figure out what to fight about, what to accept and how to get along with money men. Whedon is, by all accounts, a master of doing that and not compromising quality, and this picture is the perfect example of that.
His bosses at Marvel might not be happy this went out, but it’s not clear enough or divisive enough for him to actually get any pushback, which is what we should all want. If he stomped his feet and publicly quit, all of us would just lose out on seeing not only Wright's take on Ant-Man but also all of the superhero greatness Whedon will offer us in the future. That's lose-lose.
We’ll keep you updated if Whedon makes a more public comment, but it’s likely this will be his one statement on the matter, at least for awhile.