Ant-Man Writer Explains Why Edgar Wright’s Version Of The First Movie Didn’t Work In The MCU

Though the history of Marvel movies in order is a massive machine at this point in time, the humble beginnings that built it were sometimes a bit rough. Coincidentally, one such scenario was the making of Ant-Man, which was originally set to be directed and co-written by Edgar Wright. Some massive creative differences came to pass, and ultimately the project moved in another direction, which has led co-writer Joe Cornish to discuss just why Wright’s take on the hero didn’t work in the MCU.

Related: Marvel Movies In Order: How To Watch The MCU By Release Date And Chronologically

As The Playlist spoke with the Attack the Block director for its in-house podcast, this oft-visited subject of discussion came up once more. Offering a fresh viewpoint on what exactly prompted the shift to Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man variant, which still credited him and Wright as story writers, Joe Cornish provided the following explanation: 

That kind of overtook us in the sense that Marvel didn't necessarily want the authored movie that Edgar and I wanted to make because, at that point, they had this behemoth on their hands. They had this universe where the movies had to integrate. Edgar is an auteur. Edgar Wright makes Edgar Wright movies. In the end, that's why it didn't happen, I guess. Having said that, a lot of our stuff is still in there, and I really like that movie. We're as excited as anybody to see where it goes next. We feel connected to that cast as well because Edgar cast it. The designs are still in it. There are still a couple of little Edgar Wright ants scuttling around invisibly in those movies.

In his remarks, Cornish brought up the fact that Ant-Man kicked off its development before Iron Man had really hammered in the start of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s meteoric beginnings. What “overtook” the Joe Cornish/Edgar Wright script was the fact that by time it was getting closer to production, a pre-Phase 1 Scott Lang just wasn’t going to cut it for Marvel Studios. 

The road maps had started taking form, and the machinery was in place to continue building to The Avengers and beyond. So Adam McKay and Paul Rudd changed the script through some punch-up work that turned the film into what you can currently revisit, should you have a Disney+ subscription. This was something that may or may not have added additional injury to the situation overall.

Joe Cornish’s sentiments track what Edgar Wright said about Ant-Man, as his collaborator/director stated that while he was all in on Marvel, they weren’t all in on his style. Over the years, we’ve seen the wake of this massive “what if” scenario lead to revelations like that of Wright admitting he’ll never watch Ant-Man. Ultimately, the story does have a happy ending, as Last Night in Soho’s mastermind is on quite good terms with Kevin Feige after letting the dust settle over several years. 

Years after Ant-Man almost fell apart, Edgar Wright has continued to make “Edgar Wright movies,” and the Marvel Studios lineup has, for better or worse, continued as planned with only some alterations. The franchise in question is in a pretty good place too, as Paul Rudd’s MCU hero is about to jump into the fray again with next month’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is set to crawl into the Quantum Realm on February 17th. For all other movies arriving at a theater near you in the coming year, Marvel or otherwise, the 2023 new movie releases schedule has all the information you could need... at least, for this specific part of the multiverse. 

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.