Baby Driver auteur Edgar Wright and Marvel Studios parting ways over Ant-Man certainly raised many an eyebrow a couple years back. After all, Wright’s the sort of director with a stellar resume of imaginative and ambitious works that seems like a lovely fit for a superhero motion picture. (Even considering that Scott Pilgrim vs. The World wasn’t exactly box office juggernaut.) Speculation naturally reigned after the exit over why the this partnership might have happened and a very “diplomatic” answer from Wright is speaking volumes in 2017.
Appearing on Variety‘s Playback Podcast, the Cornetto Trilogy director shared his take on the matter.
“I think the most diplomatic answer is I wanted to make a Marvel movie but I don’t think they really wanted to make an Edgar Wright movie,” said Wright. “It was a really heartbreaking decision to have to walk away after having worked on it for so long, because me and Joe Cornish in some form — it’s funny some people say, ‘Oh they’ve been working on it for eight years’ and that was somewhat true, but in that time I had made three movies so it wasn’t like I was working on it full time.”
This account of things isn’t particularly far off from the report Latino Review published in 2014.
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
Creative differences when it comes to crafting blockbuster franchises has been a hurdle that’s faced a number of big movies over the last few years. Heck, as Wright’s acknowledged there were issues with Marvel, we’re currently in the fall out stage of Star Wars breaking with its Han Solo spin-off directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller over creative direction issues. The upside seems to be that the Ant-Man movie still worked out for Marvel and Baby Driver‘s earned critical raves, so there’s a silver lining for everybody.