On Friday it was announced that Edgar Wright, the main reason why I was interested in the Ant-Man solo film, has left the project due to creative differences. Many know Wright from his fantastic work with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost on the ‘Cornetto Trilogy’ (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End); but by far his best movie has to be wildly underrated Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Wright’s quirky humor mixed with stylized visuals has given the general public some of the best comedies of the 21st century: and though the century is young, I truly believe his films will be remembered decades from now.
Now as anyone can see, I am staunch supporter of Edgar Wright’s vision, so it pains me to see that him and Marvel have parted ways: especially since the director has been unofficially working on the project since around 2006. And my biggest issue with his departure is that Ant-Man is ‘sort of’ a silly character: I know Ant-Man fans are going to come to my house with pitchforks, but lets face it, he is not Captain America, Spider-Man or even the Hulk.
And even the weirdly hidden test footage alluded to the fact that though the action looks cool, the character’s shrinking ability and look is somewhat ludicrous. However, in the capable, yet quirky hands of Wright, this could work; but with his departure will they be changing his intended tone because there are very few filmmakers that could make this character work. Furthermore, since they want to keep the July 17, 2015 release date, which means they are pulling a DC and rushing the product, how much of Wright and Cornish’s script will remain in the final film? Of course, there are a whole lot of questions and very little answers.
And now reports from the Latino Review claims that Wright’s departure has nothing to do with Kevin Feige, but the heads of the studio. According to their sources, the higher ups had a problem with the ‘core morality’ of the picture (probably the fact that Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang is a thief) and as a result they had in studio writers pen a re-write. Wright agreed to stay on until he saw the next draft: which was delivered “completely undone…[and compromised] Edgar’s vision.” Due to the lack of faith, Wright met with the studio heads and formally exited the picture a few days later, which leaves the whole production in limbo.
What does this mean for the stars that signed contracts? Well they will probably have to wait until a replacement director is shoehorned into the project to meet that July 17 release date: hopefully, this date will be pushed back, but for now it remains the same. Again this report claims that this had nothing to do with Feige, who went to bat for Wright and Cornish; but it seems so weird that the studio heads have trusted Kevin Feige thus far, yet went over his head with Ant-Man. Obviously, you must take all of this with a grain of salt; but unless someone blatantly tells the truth, the general public will never know what happened behind closed doors.
This alone is obviously huge news because Ant-Man was supposed to be the obscure platform to launch other ‘alleged solo affairs’ like Black Panther or Doctor Strange in Marvel Phase III. But yesterday, it was announced that Drew Goddard has departed the Netflix Daredevil series. This Superhero has been in the news the last few months because after the rights for the famous character reverted back to Marvel Studios, the company quickly made a deal with Netflix to make four series, with Daredevil being one of them. And for a while it has been smooth sailing.
Soon after, the company hired ‘Whedon-alum’ Drew Goddard to both direct the pilot and serve as head writer on the show. Drew Goddard recently directed the amazing The Cabin in the Woods and has been a longtime writer in Hollywood. On top of this, fans were delighted to hear that Goddard was actually a longtime Daredevil fan who was ecstatic to bring the blind vigilante to the small screen.
Yet a few weeks ago, he was signed to pen and direct The Amazing Spider-Man spinoff The Sinister Six, which means that most of his time will be devoted to the huge blockbuster. Therefore, it appears that his departure was not over a disagreement with the studio, but the fact that he needs to focus on Sony’s attempt at developing a franchise. Deadline also reports that Goddard’s departure was known back in March, but he was still able to write the first two episodes of the series. However, with his busy schedule it is unsure if he will still direct the pilot.
But for now, he will be replaced by another ‘Whedon-alum,’ Steven S. DeKnight: his last project was the Spartacus series on Starz. This is not that surprising of a replacement, but the main question is how will DeKnight work with the already written material? I assume he will still use the already penned episodes, but how will this replacement affect the story arch of the 13-episode season? Yes, Drew will still remain on board as an Executive Producer, but how involved could he be with his ‘plate full’ working on Sinister Six.
So all in all, Marvel’s plans has been ‘sort of’ thrown into an upheaval by all these departures; again, it will not hurt the company because they are so far ahead of their competition, but the recent news has left humongous question marks with two future franchises. We shall see the resulting products in the coming year, but for now the public will have to wait and see what Marvel does to pick up the pieces (particularly with Ant-Man).
What do you think of these departures? Are you nervous about Ant-Man or Daredevil? Let us know in the comment section below and for all updates continue to read Film Class Junkies.