WHOOPS here’s the bad news to get you off on the weekend — Edgar Wright has left Ant-Man the film he’s been working on for…like…EIGHT YEARS. Marvel released a short statement and Latino Review had a short mysterious addendum

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,” a statement read. “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.

Stay tuned as more develops! Will update the story as I find out more. I been hearing things but coughed it up to gossip. Unfortunately, it was true. I’m just shocked that production being this close that Wright bails.

Okay will you all go back and read this post by moi again? Marvel movies are good but homogenous and Edgar Wright—Scott PIlgrim, Shaun of the Dead, The World’s End—was an autuer. Not a Spielberg-esque auteur, but a guy who makes movies that are his OWN.

And MArvel had no room to do that. I’m guessing here but…is there any other way it could have played out?

Wright has been attached to Ant-Man since 2006 and even showed footage at Comic-Con a few years ago. On paper this looked like a weird, quirky film. Maybe that’s not what Marvel was looking for.

Ant-Man is still slated to come out in 2015, starring Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Michael Pena and Patrick Wilson.


  1. Marvel films aren’t homogenous. Thor 2 looks nothing like Iron Man. Avengers doesn’t look like either Captain America film. There’s humour in all of them by they all have their own style. Each director has brought their own flavour to things. Wright being off the film is a huge drag, he did one of the best comic book adaptations ever with Scott Pilgrim.

  2. I’m thinking that back in 2006, people thought Ant Man was a silly concept that would benefit from a quirky directorial perspective, but by 2014, Disney folks realized that Henry Pym is kind of a strategic character in the Avengers universe. Once we started hearing Ultron being thrown around as the villain of the next movie, it was hard to imagine they’d introduce Ultron’s creator in a film that promised to be subversive of the whole superhero genre.

  3. They have usually been surprisingly good so I guess one can say they are rather “homogeneous.”

  4. Yep, Thor: The Dark World, starring the relatively stoic Chris Hemsworth is TOTALLY the same movie as Iron Man 3, starring the uber-sarcastic attention-challenged Robert Downey, Jr. (shakes head)

    And, like, they’d TOTALLY market the next Thor movie with the left-field song choice of “Hooked on a Feeling” as underscoring for the trailer.

    I mean, “homogenous.” Really?

  5. And furthermore — a raccoon! A talking raccoon that likes to shoot things! EVERY Marvel movie has one of those! (Well, they don’t, but they *should.*)

    I mean, “homogenous.” Really? “Anti-Auteur.” Really? Did somebody not tell Marvel that Shane Black and James Gunn are both idiosyncratic directors with their own personal visions of pop culture?

  6. They’re typically fairly homogenous in their plotting and pacing, and while the films each work with the tropes of a variety of genres on a surface level (which isn’t a criticism, mind; it’s one of my favorite things about the Marvel Studios films), the lighting is typically exactly the same, the way they’re shot, etc…

    I like the Marvel Studios filmmaking system, which typically combines relatively strong, simple blockbuster film writing with excellent casting, but it’s also a system tailor-made to make the movies FEEL similar. You’ll never get a THE DARK KNIGHT or even a PUNISHER: WAR ZONE – but you also won’t get a GREEN LANTERN now that they’ve got their system down pat.

    Again, I’m a big fan of the films, but they’re definitely homogenous, and that’s very much on purpose.

    As for this news… well, it’s definitely sad tidings, as Wright is one of the most fascinating filmmakers working today on a stylistic level, and this seemed like a passion project for him that could have resulted in something genuinely great. I’m not shocked, exactly – the more successful Marvel’s formula got, the less likely they would be to deviate from it, I suppose – but I am disappointed. This was their chance to begin to innovate again.

  7. Do you guys even watch movies other than blockbusters? Marvel films have a “house style” that’s pretty apparent to anyone outside of Beat commenters, I guess.

    Think “homogenous” not in the sense of story elements or characters, but in the way their films are scripted, shot, and edited. This isn’t rocket science. It’s film 101.

  8. I’m not really a cinema person, so I can’t address the issue of homogeneity on that level. I’m just a guy who goes to the movies, and … I’m finding myself kinda starting to get bored with them. Sure, they’re mostly well-done, but they’re well-done in pretty much the same way. Going to this month’s opening weekend is less like a special event, and more like watching another episode of CSI: I know what to expect, and I’ll probably get it. Heck, Guardians of the Galaxy is the only Marvel Movie on this year’s slate that I’ve actually been excited about seeing, because it’s finally one that isn’t about the Xpidengers.

    At the risk of stereotyping, I can’t help wondering if those who think that each of these superhero FX films is uniquely fresh and different, are the same people who’ve been eagerly reading the same superhero comics every month since the 1980s. So, maybe not the best judges of originality and variety?

  9. I always thought one of the strengths of the Marvel movies was they let the directors get their fingerprints on the films. Favreau’s Iron Man has a different look and feel than Black’s. Johnston brought his over the top classic Rocketeer look to the first Captain America which was traded for a more grounded modern action film approach in the Russos’ sequel. One of the almost impossible things Whedon had to do was to bring characters from different genres of film together in The Avengers and make them all seem like they fit into the same world. He did it so well that it made it seem easy in retrospect. Wright would have brought his own style to Ant Man and I’m sorry we won’t get to see that. Looking forward to whatever he does in the future.

  10. This “house style” claim is some of the biggest bullshit. But then again there are apparently film auteurs and people who have taken “film 101” who feel different.

  11. For the commenters who don’t see the homogeneity in Marvel’s films that the rest of us do, think of it more as a recipe. If you have a favorite cookie recipe, sometimes you make them plain, sometimes you add chocolate chips, and sometimes you add peanut butter chips. Each one has a marginally different flavor because of the different chips that are used, yet each one is still, at its base, essentially the same cookie at that most basic level.

    That’s pretty much how a lot of us view the Marvel films. This isn’t necessarily meant to be a pejorative comment. The reason people use recipes is because it allows them to predictably recreate things that they like (while allowing for variation around the margins). And as much as I may like cookies (and in this case I do like Marvel’s films), sometimes I want a dessert that has a different, more complex, less sweet flavor. The Marvel system doesn’t allow for that.

    Does it need to allow for that variety? Especially as DC/Warner seems to be establishing their own specific recipe/house style for super-hero films (the darker, more melancholy tone of the Dark Knight Trilogy and Man of Steel that seems to be very much a deliberate counter-point to Marvel’s brighter tone)? That’s for the marketplace to decide.

  12. ““Joss said, ‘I wish there was more James Gunn in this script,’ ” recalls Gunn, speaking from the set of the upcoming Marvel space opera, in theatres Aug. 1.

    Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige agreed with Whedon’s assessment: the script needed more of Gunn’s uniquely weird perspective.

    “And I was like, ‘It’s your funeral, let’s do it,’ ” says Gunn.”

    But I guess they’re lying, because Marvel really really really really doesn’t want any unique input from its directors.
    (From http://jam.canoe.ca/Movies/2014/05/19/21681371.html )

  13. I’m with Heidi on this one and frankly the sheer defensiveness of a lot of these comments suggests the psychology of folks who are comforted by safety and consistency and threatened by people who say that very consistency is kinda lame.

    Every Marvel Movie: The entire world is doomed and only ONE MAN can save us.
    (unless it’s the Avengers, then it’s several people, but mainly The Hulk)

    Ironically, the only film that doesn’t follow that script is the one that kicked off the Marvel era of filmmaking: IRON MAN.

    I bet Heidi is right on this. It’s a real bummer that Edgar Wright is off ANT-MAN and the only way an ANT-MAN flick could work would be if it were totally quirky. Kinda sucks.

  14. ON Marvel’s films they have the director work on the acting scenes but the action and cgi are all by the same second unit, hence the homogeneity/consistency, choose your noun. They have the same hysical trainers, the same art dept., etc etc etc. And you know, I don’t fault those who like the consistency and neither does the box office, obviously.

    Looks like Wright wanted to go farther, and that didn’t fit with the consistency.

    You know a good way to compare this is the James Bond franchise, the longest running in film history. I feel like the Mendes/Deakins Skyfall was the best one I’d seen in a loooong time and by far the best AS A MOVIE because it clearly had a higher grade of filmmaking than that provided by marvelous workmen like Guy Hamilton or Martin Campbell. But yeah they are formulaic and it’s a formula that the public has NEVER GOTTEN TIRED OF. Same for Marvel Disney.

    GotG definitely has a more humorous slant, but the latest trailer is very consistent with past Marvel movies.

    One way to look at this is like the old MArvel bullpen. When Stan and Jack (and later Roy the BOy) were turning out the comics they were incredibly consistent. And then came the 70s and relevance and Engelhart and Gerber and things changed.

    it’s a little harder to trust Steve Gerber with a $100 million movie, and that’s fair.

    And also, to state Marvel’s case, the Marvel movies have been a lot more successful at the box office than The World’s End or Scott Pilgrim. It’s easy to see why a distinctive filmmaker like Wright would not be trusted given his track record. Sad but true,

  15. El Mayimbe at Latino Review has the scoop on what happened, and says it came from ABOVE Fiege.

    >blockquote>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.

  16. Marvel’s films definitely have a house style with a similar tone and look. Iron Man telling a few more jokes than Thor doesn’t negate this fact.

  17. I certainly agree that there is a homogeneity to Marvel’s films, but in my mind it is something that actually began quite organically and is now becoming stultifying for director’s like Wright.

    One of the things that I originally enjoyed about the first wave of Marvel films was how thoughtfully they were assigning the directors to the properties. Favreau, Branagh, and Johnston were eclectic but suitable fits for three essentially different kinds of genre pieces. The results for those first movies were, I think, nicely varied, while the Marvel post-production managed to keep them cohesive enough for Whedon to draw them altogether into a single package (another canny choice for a director). It’s worth noting that the original challenge of drawing four separate franchises together into one single movie was a daunting task that many were skeptical about. I think a certain level of homogeneity in the tone and palette of the movies probably helped them create what was essentially a techno-thriller/fantasy/historical pulp drama/monster movie crossover, and kudos to them.

    But the success of Avengers also completely changed the focus of their studio. It’s gone from ‘can we do this?’ to ‘how long we keep this going?’ Their not so much interested in creating something that’s never been done before as they are interested in repeating success. And so those elements that helped make the original works cohesive (the signature style of the studio itself) when they were exploring a range of characters/directors has become the dominating force. So, yeah, agreeing with Heidi, I get the feeling that as good as these upcoming phase 2 & 3 movies are going to be, they are going to begin to suffer from a sense of repetition.

    That being said, Winter Soldier felt pretty fresh to me.

  18. Directors and studios that don’t have successful superhero universes part ways all the time. The “homogeneous” nature of Marvel’s films may have nothing to do with the split. What the director wanted and what the studio wanted may have both been able to live within the established Marvel Cinematic Universe. The issues at hand may have been an entirely separate affair. Of course, everybody here is just speculating.

  19. Daniel,

    That’s an excellent analogy.

    I was just thinking for people who don’t see the homogeniality/consistency/whatever, they should mix in a Jodorowsky or a Harmony Korine movie in. Films are all very, very different and if you like that sort of thing, there are lots of options. On the other hand, if you just enjoy superhero movies, cool, you’re living in a good time for that, too.


    I would have watched the Hell out of a Steve Gerber movie. That guy was waaay ahead of his time.

  20. “Of course, everybody here is just speculating.”

    @Johnathan Black:
    That can’t be as (while they know nothing about the money in their pockets) most American’s (obviously) have some sort of (mutant?) abilities that allow them the see anything and everything about anything and everything that goes on in Hollywood.

    I don’t have any idea why this director left Ant Man … I feel so alone.

Comments are closed.