We’re only a few months away from Ant-Man hitting theaters, but nearly a year ago, the film’s fate was much more uncertain. After eight years of working on the project, director Edgar Wright departed Ant-Man due to creative differences. Weeks later he was replaced by Bring It On director Peyton Reed, and his script was reworked by star Paul Rudd and comedy writer Adam McKay. Judging by interviews and trailers, the film looks like it got back on track easily enough, but for Avengers: Age of Ultron director Joss Whedon, he’s still sad about Wright’s exit, having enjoyed reading the original Ant-Man story.
In an interview with Buzzfeed, Whedon talked about how Wright’s Ant-Man script was one of the best Marvel scripts he had ever read, and admitted that he was disappointed that things didn’t work out between the Shaun of the Dead director and the House of Ideas. Said Whedon:
I thought the script was not only the best script that Marvel had ever had, but the most Marvel script I’d read. I had no interest in Ant-Man. [Then] I read the script, and was like, 'Of course! This is so good!' It reminded me of the books, when I read them. Irreverent and funny and could make what was small large, and vice versa. I don’t know where things went wrong. But I was very sad. Because I thought, 'This is a no-brainer. This is Marvel getting it exactly right.'
This isn’t the first time that Joss Whedon has shown support for the former Ant-Man director. Soon after Wright left, Whedon posted an image of him holding a Cornetto, a reference to Wright’s Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, which was seen by many as a sign of solidarity. However, it sounds like Whedon isn’t putting all the blame on one side or the other. It was just a matter of differences in vision over how to handle this particular hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Whatever dissonance that came, whatever it was, I don’t understand why it was bigger than a marriage that seemed so right. But I’m not going to say it was definitely all Marvel, or Edgar’s gone mad! I felt like they would complement each other by the ways that they were different. And, uh, somethin’ happened.
It was never officially disclosed what caused the rift between Wright and Marvel, although it was rumored it had something to do with rewrites. Wright will still be credited as an executive producer on the film, and will also receive a "Story By" credit, although his name will not be listed next to Rudd and McKay’s. Unless you were fortunate enough to read the Wright script, it will be hard to determine how much of the final product will still have his fingerprints on it, although Rudd and McKay have stated that much of what Wright originally included will remain intact.
You can catch Ant-Man in theaters on July 17, while Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron can be seen on May 1.