The Real Reason Edgar Wright May Have Left Ant-Man

There has been a big shakeup at Marvel Studios, the folks behind the mega-popular universe of superhero movies that seem bent on world domination. Parent company Disney restructured things and reportedly did away with the so-called Creative Committee. While it sounds like a good idea in theory, the Committee has reportedly been frustrating to work with, and a new report indicates that their interference is why director Edgar Wright left Ant-Man, at least in part.

After the story of the reorganization first broke, Birth.Movies.Death. followed up with their own sources, and in their investigation uncovered a tidbit about the issues the Shaun of the Dead director had with the Committee. The story reads:

Over the years I've heard many stories of the Creative Committee giving notes that are pedestrian, motivated by 'save the cat' story logic and sometimes a drag on creativity. One Marvel creative talked to me about battles with the Creative Committee where they focused on details of nit-picky science that ignored the general tone of the script itself. The notes that drove Edgar Wright off Ant-Man came from the Creative Committee.

The Creative Committee was led by Ike Perlmutter, with Alan Fine, Marvel writer Brian Michael Bendis (who has penned everything from Daredevil to Spider-Man and many more high-profile titles), Marvel publisher Dan Buckley, and Joe Quesada, the former editor-in-chief of the comic book giant. While having a brain trust overseeing things might seem like a grand idea, in practice, apparently, it was something of a headache, especially for filmmakers.

These are obviously people with other big jobs to do that keep them busy, so when it came to giving feedback, their notes were often very late, which only served to slow down the movie making process. As someone pouring everything you have into making a film, to have your momentum dragged down waiting for other people has to be incredibly frustrating. Beyond that, the report also indicates that there were conflicts and "political divisions" inside of the Committee, which I’m sure didn’t do much to smooth out and streamline the process.

Edgar Wright was on board developing Ant-Man for Marvel for a couple of years. After leaving, citing the ubiquitous "creative differences," Peyton Reed came on board to fill the director’s chair, and star Paul Rudd and Adam McKay were brought on to give the script a makeover. Wright was still give a "story by" credit on the film, and after it was released, Reed revealed what ideas from the finished film were Wright’s and which came later.

Moving forward—though probably not with Captain America: Civil War, which is currently filming, or Doctor Strange, which is getting ready to film—the big creative choices will be made by Kevin Feige and a few others instead of a consortium like this. As we start to get deeper and deeper into Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it will be interesting see how this move impacts the overall creative landscape.

Brent McKnight