Edgar Wright, fan-favorite director of movies like "Shaun of the Dead" and "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," has dropped out of directing Marvel superhero movie "Ant-Man."
This comes after Wright started developing the project in 2006, with the official announcement by Marvel of Wright directing coming in 2012.
Wright and Marvel released a joint statement:
"Marvel and Edgar Wright jointly announced today that the studio and director have parted ways on Marvel's '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."
Paul Rudd's already been announced as the star, playing the miniaturized hero. It seemed like a match made in Heaven, with Wright having a geek comic sensibility that would pair well with Rudd, but now it's not to be.
One peek at Wright's vision of the action was shown at San Diego Comic-Con in 2012; no official version of the footage has been released, but you can see this video taken by a member of the audience:
Wright later tweeted a preview from one of the test shoots:
It remains an open question whether the screenplay, written by Wright and Joe Cornish, will remain largely intact or if the studio is going in a vastly different direction. The nature of the creative differences weren't disclosed, and both sides are remaining tight-lipped thus far.
With the film already being in pre-production and the studio announcing that they're holding to a release date of July of next year, there's seems to be little time for major restructuring, particularly with the post-production special effects requirements of a big superhero film.
Wright described his vision for the film back in 2006 in an interview with Superhero Hype:
"Well, the thing is that what we want to do, the idea that we have for the adaptation is to actually involve both [versions of the character]. Is to have a film that basically is about Henry Pym and Scott Lang, so you actually do a prologue where you see Pym as Ant-Man in action in the '60s ... and then the contemporary, sort of flash-forward, is Scott Lang’s story, and how he comes to acquire the suit, how he crosses paths with Henry Pym, and then, in an interesting sort of Machiavellian way, teams up with him."
The character itself has a complex history — moreso than you'd expect from someone whose powers are predominantly getting small, getting big and mind-controlling ants. His original identity, that of Hank Pym, became infamous in comics for hitting his wife. It shaped all future incarnations of the character, hanging heavy over any attempts to portray Pym as heroic. Pym went from goofy scientist to tortured over his great error.
Several other characters have worn the tiny mask, including the character of thief Eric O'Grady and someone right in the middle on the moral scale, Scott Lang. Rudd is sent to play the Lang version of the character, with Michael Douglas announced as playing an older Pym.
The film is set to begin production shortly in Georgia.