Why Edgar Wright Left Ant-Man Explained By Original Writer
Original screenwriter Joe Cornish reveals the events that led to Edgar Wright’s decision to depart the MCU’s first Ant-Man movie back in 2014.
Original Ant-Man screenwriter Joe Cornish explains why director Edgar Wright left the project during development in 2014. Released in 2015, Ant-Man would end up being directed by Peyton Reed, introducing Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang into the MCU. The film, which came as part of Phase 2, earned mostly positive reviews from critics and performed well enough at the box office to warrant a sequel, Ant-Man and the Wasp, which was released in 2018. Although Reed’s vision for the character has undoubtedly proven popular, Wright had worked for years developing the first film before then leaving due to creative differences. Both Wright and Cornish are still credited on Ant-Man‘s screenplay, in addition to Reed, Rudd, and Adam McKay.
In a recent interview with The Playlist, Cornish breaks down the events that led to Wright’s departure from the original Ant-Man, revealing that it was, in fact, the MCU’s massive success that is partly to blame. The writer explains that he and Wright had been developing the film for years before even the first Iron Man was released in 2008 and that the franchise’s subsequent success changed the way Marvel approached storytelling in its movies. Marvel’s new desire to create an interconnected universe ultimately didn’t gel with Wright and Cornish’s more unique vision. Check out Cornish’s full explanation below:
“When Edgar and I first met Marvel, they were in offices above a BMW showroom in Beverly Hills. It was around the time of Ang Lee’s ‘Hulk,’ and [Jon] Favreau hadn’t even started working on the first ‘Iron Man.’ Superhero movies were not a thing… I guess because VFX hadn’t evolved to the point where they could put what was on page on the screen. So, they always felt like they were reaching for something they couldn’t achieve.
“We worked on [‘Ant-Man’] for something like eight years, on and off. And in that time, the landscape changed completely. The technology changed completely. Audiences fell in love with superhero movies. All the stuff that people loved in the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s in comic books were suddenly translated on screen in a really direct way that had never happened before.
“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.”
Would Ant-Man Have Been Better If It Was Directed By Edgar Wright?
Around the time he would have been developing Ant-Man with Cornish, Wright had become well-known for films like Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs The World, and The World’s End. With these films, Wright honed his unique filmmaking voice, utilizing snappy edits and kinetic camera work to create humor and a sense of momentum. Some of Wright’s initial vision remains in Ant-Man, but, since Reed directed the film, it lacks that unmistakable “Edgar Wright” quality. Considering Ant-Man’s unique abilities as a hero and the lighter tone of the films, Wright’s filmmaking style may actually have helped to elevate the movie beyond what was ultimately released.
Despite the draw of a Wright-directed Ant-Man, it might be for the best that things ended up falling through. The film would have undoubtedly felt more “authored,” as Cornish puts it, likely boasting a certain flair and idiosyncrasy, but it may have come at the expense of the larger stories being told across the MCU. At the time, the overarching narratives and the interconnectedness of MCU movies across Phases 1 through 3 was a relatively novel thing, and it’s something that has paid off in a huge way for the franchise. Due to this interconnectedness and consistent visual language, however, the MCU has also come under fire for a “sameness” quality to all of its movies, a trend that Wright probably would have easily bucked.
Could Edgar Wright Direct A Future MCU Movie?
It’s certainly possible that, despite his Ant-Man falling through, Wright could direct a different MCU movie down the line. Due to the reasons why his first Marvel endeavor didn’t work out, however, it might be for the best that he doesn’t. Due to the massive scale of Marvel storytelling, it’s possible that Wright once again wouldn’t be given total creative control over a prospective future project. If Wright is creatively reined in, the movie may end up lacking some of the distinct filmmaking style that made his earlier movies so popular.
More: Theory: Ant-Man Is ALREADY Dying When Quantumania Begins
Source: The Playlist
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