Was Product Placement A Factor In Edgar Wright Leaving Ant-Man?

If you’re a regular reader of this site, you know that breaking hot scoopz isn’t normally my bag, nor is posting the latest rumor from reader TJ’s brother’s cousin who knows a guy who empties Steven Spielberg’s cat litter and what he heard about the plot of Jurassic Shart 7. That being said, now that Edgar Wright is officially out of Ant-Man and Peyton Reed is in, we all still want to know how it went down. And this latest story comes from Brendon, formerly of WWTDD, who’s probably familiar enough to you that you can make your own decisions about the story. Also, let’s be honest, this is a story about a superhero movie, not the polio vaccine.

Here’s the word from Brendon. The gist of it is that Latino Review‘s account of Wright leaving after being taken off the script is correct, but that there was also a product placement angle:

hey, dude, so, i was talking to a guy i know at marvel, and even though that’s a fascinating story all by itself it’s not why I’m writing it down. ant-man came up, and edgar wright, and the real reason he walked away, and it annoyed me so now I’m gonna complain about it. the latino review post about this last week was excellent but there were a couple additional details. they said marvel had notes about the script and it was given to a couple of in-house writers to revise at the last minute. that part is true but it wasn’t tone or peripheral characters or anything like that. it was… product placement.

thats right. ads. they were finding little spots to work in ads. because disney is in charge of all this and disney is f*cking awful. it’s not marvel, they hate this too, but disney doesn’t give a shit, they don’t care who directs the movie, they only care about finding enough 5-year-old midgets to run around the park in ant-man costumes and who to bribe after they die. this is purely about money. ant-man is as small of a movie as marvel can make (i swear to christ you better not make an ‘ant’ pun);  it’s an obscure character with a weird power, it’s not gonna make a billion dollars. they think it’ll top out around 400 million. that would still be about 150 million in pure profit but that’s not enough for disney so they’re working in ads. and they are not subtle.

edgar wright is not some doe-eyed ingenue, he’s a professional, he understands how these things work and he knew this was coming; all he asked for is control, which seems reasonable since he’s the one who is gonna look like an asshole when paul rudd stops in the middle of the movie to talk about cheerios for 10 minutes.

wright lost control, so he walked. he simply doesn’t trust them, which is understandable considering how badly they f*cked up ‘john carter’ and ‘lone ranger’. they’re inept beyond belief. i bet if harvey weinstein had a movie to sell, and you gave him the choice between the marketing team at disney or joseph goebbels, even he would choose goebbels 100 times out of 100. and he’d be right. that dude packed theaters with nothing but war movies DURING the f*cking war. disney couldn’t even get people to go see johnny depp as a funny indian. [Brendon via email]

I doubt Wright would leave solely over product placement, but it does seem like it may have played its part. Here’s what AICN wrote about the non-Wright/Cornish, re-written script:

For instance, a high premium was placed on current cultural references. Think it’d be funny if Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) were a Lyft driver and had to, at one point, reluctantly turn in his mustache? If so, this just might be the ANT-MAN for you! [AICN]

Obviously, it’s hard to get a straightforward story about this, because everyone involved is terrified of pissing off Disney, which in the movie business is more potentially hazardous to your career than diming out the NSA. But enough of these accounts are starting to agree in certain ways that you can build a picture (sort of). Now, if you need me, I’ll be spending the rest of the day blogging from inside my couch fort hoping Disney’s goons don’t murder my cat.