Edgar Wright Explains Why He Left Marvel’s ‘Ant-Man’
This is kind of the necessary evil of the film criticism industry: now that Edgar Wright has a new movie about to hit theaters — Baby Driver is really fun! You should go see it! — it was only a matter of time before someone asked the director for clarification on his decision to leave Marvel’s Ant-Man. In hindsight, Wright was something of an odd choice for a Marvel movie. A visionary and idiosyncratic filmmaker, Wright was probably always a bad meeting away from the fabled “creative differences” dissolution, and when he left the project in 2014, fans were upset but not exactly surprised. Therefore, someone was always going to ask Wright during a Baby Driver interview to explain his decision to leave the film.
And as it turns out, that someone was Variety (via Vulture). In a recent podcast episode, Kristopher Tapley asked Wright about Ant-Man, and the director gave a very measured and polite answer about his relationship with Marvel. Here’s what Wright had to say:
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. It was a really heartbreaking decision to have to walk away after having worked on it for so long.
OOOOH, BURN, MARVEL! Oh, wait, no, that’s probably the least inflammatory comment we’ve seen in the history of Hollywood. Listen, sometimes things just don’t work out — we’ve all been treated to that on a grand scale with the recent tumult on Lucasfilm’s Han Solo movie — but credit to Wright and Marvel for realizing early in the process that they weren’t going to be able to see eye-to-eye. One of the reasons that cinephiles love Wright is his emphasis on original works; it’s one thing to say that a filmmaker would walk away from a film rather than compromise his own vision, quite another to see a director like Edgar Wright quietly and politely step down from a Marvel movie to pursue his own projects. I can’t think of a single breakup from my youth that went this smoothly, and best as I can remember, there weren’t hundreds of millions of dollars on the line. Kudos all around.