In what many are considering to be the worst news for comic book movie fans this week, Edgar Wright (known for the fantastic Cornetto Trilogy) and Marvel have jointly announced that Wright will be stepping down from directing Marvel’s Phase 3 debut; Ant-Man.
Wright has been attached to the project since 2006, back before Marvel began their cinematic universe. The statement that was released is as follows:
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.
There are no hints as to who will take over for Wright, but some people believe co-writer Joe Cornish may take the gig, while others suspect he wouldn’t consider it because his vision coincides closely with Wright’s. However, some information has come to light on what drove the decision from Latino Review. The site claims the dispute happened at a script level, and not because Wright was behind schedule as some outlets have been claiming.
About 3 months ago, Marvel had notes. The meat of the notes were about the core morality of the piece, must include franchise characters. etc., These notes came from the big four at Marvel. Joe Cornish and Edgar Wright did two drafts to try and answer the notes without compromising their vision.
6 weeks ago Marvel took the script off them and gave the writing assignment to two very low credit writers. One of the writers were from Marvel’s in house writing team. Edgar stayed cool, agreed to stay on the project, and read the draft.
The script came in this week and was completely undone. Poorer, homogenized, and not Edgar’s vision. Edgar met with Marvel on Friday to formally exit and the announcement went out directly after.
Edgar & Joe were upset by the sudden, out of nowhere lack of faith in them as filmmakers. Fiege had always batted for them but this felt like it came from the higher ups.
No word on where this leaves the cast, but it looks like everyone will still be in place when production begins as the studio still looks to keep the July 17, 2015 release date.
While fans of both Marvel and Wright are both justifiably upset, two of Marvel’s directors have shown support for both sides of the spectrum.
Marvel newcomer James Gunn, director of this August’s Guardians of the Galaxy, made his thoughts about the split known eloquently on his Facebook page:
Sometimes you have friends in a relationship. You love each of them dearly as individuals and think they’re amazing people. When they talk to you about their troubles, you do everything you can to support them, to keep them together, because if you love them both so much doesn’t it make sense they should love each other? But little by little you realize, at heart, they aren’t meant to be together – not because there’s anything wrong with either of them, but they just don’t have personalities that mesh in a comfortable way. They don’t make each other happy. Although it’s sad to see them split, when they do, you’re surprisingly relieved, and excited to see where their lives take them next.
It’s easy to try to make one party “right” and another party “wrong” when a breakup happens, but it often isn’t that simple. Or perhaps it’s even more simple than that – not everyone belongs in a relationship together. It doesn’t mean they’re not wonderful people.
And that’s true of both Edgar Wright and Marvel. One of them isn’t a person, but I think you get what I mean.
Meanwhile, Avengers director Joss Whedon took to twitter and gave a lighthearted salute to the filmmaker using the iconic Cornetto.
What do you think? Did Marvel make a bad choice here? Was Wright justified in leaving? Is either side being to harsh? Let us know what you think on twitter or in the comments below.