Writer nad director Edgar Wright’s nearly eight-year attachment to Marvel’s Ant-Man feature film was unexpectedly and swiftly severed today in a surprise announcement just ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.
In a statement issued by Marvel and Wright on Friday afternoon, the studio announced that the two parties have decided to part ways due to “differences in their vision of the film.” The statement adds that a new director will be revealed shortly, and Variety suggests that this new director has already been hired.
This surprising parting of ways less than 14 months before the film’s summer 2015 release calls back memories of Fox’s X-Men: The Last Stand. In that scenario, director Bryan Singer left the film just ahead of production to direct Superman Returns for Warner Bros. instead. Brett Ratner was brought in by the studio at the last minute and the finished product fell well short of lofty expectations. Ironically X-Men: The Last Stand arrived in theaters today and effectively washes away the bad taste left by The Last Stand.
Wright had been working on Ant-Man with Marvel since 2006 and only within the past year did it finally earn its July 17, 2015 release date. Production was scheduled to begin within the next month or so, and the entire principle cast including Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Michael Douglas and Michael Pena is already in place.
Whoever takes over for Wright on Ant-Man will likely inherit Marvel’s vision, already constructed pre-visualization sequences, costumes and more. This late-game director change will end up leaving a black cloud hanging over the Ant-Man film until its released. That is, unless Marvel pulls a rabbit out of their hat and appeases their disgruntled fans with a unanimously favorable replacement.
Here is the official joint statement announcing Edgar Wright’s departure from Ant-Man in its entirety:
“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. 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.”
Expect the new Ant-Man director to be named within the next week. As for Wright, he’s free to pursue his own projects once again or try to latch onto another genre studio film.