Much has been written about Marvel Studios’ recent struggles with Ant-Man, and while the intricacies regarding director and co-writer Edgar Wright’s departure may not be made entirely clear for some time, we do know this: fans were excited for an Edgar Wright Ant-Man movie, and we will not be getting an Edgar Wright Ant-Man movie. As every minute detail of the subsequent replacement director search was reported on, the studio even appeared to be foundering in finding a new filmmaker to take the reins of a movie that’s set for release next summer. Finally, Marvel settled on Bring It On and Down with Love director Peyton Reed to bring Ant-Man to fruition, and the studio has an uphill battle in winning back the fans that were so enthused to see Wright’s take.
The studio itself has been very quiet with regards to Ant-Man recently, but Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has now spoken at length about why they chose to hire Reed and touched on Wright leaving the project. Moreover, Feige revealed that Reed had previously met with the studio about directing a different Marvel project entirely. Hit the jump to read on.
While speaking with IGN, Feige revealed that he and Reed have known each other for some time:
“Peyton is someone that I’ve been a fan of for a long time. People may not remember, though probably your readers remember, that he was attached to Fantastic Four more than 10 years ago. We spent a lot of time together… and I got along with Peyton very, very well and he had awesome ideas and an awesome vision for the movie, and for various reasons he ended up leaving that movie…”
In speaking to why Reed is the right fit for Ant-Man, Feige revealed that the filmmaker was actually a contender for the Guardians of the Galaxy gig:
“He’s come in to meet on a lot of our movies over the years, in particular Guardians. He had a lot of awesome things to say on Guardians. But James [Gunn] had a slightly more solid take that was of interest to us. But Peyton was always on our lists, and so when this happened and Edgar [Wright] said ‘Not for me’ we met with a handful of people, but Peyton was always one that I thought would be great.
It was not a slam-dunk that he would just step into it and do it. He wanted to be sure that he wasn’t just inheriting something or following someone else’s lead. Or wasn’t inheriting something that the evil studio had watered down to be something bad. I kept saying, ‘You can either read what’s online, or come in and talk to us and look at all this stuff.’ He looked at everything, he talked with us, and he said ‘Number one, I agree with the direction you’re going in. And number two, I can add to it.’ And he has – the movie is in as good a shape as it’s ever been right now.”
We know that star Paul Rudd’s frequent collaborator Adam McKay contributed to the script after Wright was dropped, and we recently learned that writers Gabriel Ferrari and Andrew Barrer have been hired to do one last pass and remain on set for last-minute rewrite work. With so many screenwriters being brought on after the fact, one imagines this new Ant-Man will be significantly different from the script that Wright and Joe Cornish initially developed over an eight-year period. However, Feige maintains that the pic is still in step with Wright’s take on the character:
“It’s still very much in the spirit of what Edgar’s original pitch was and the entire template of the movie is what Edgar set out and originally came and pitched us maybe eight years ago now. But it’s on its way to being the absolute best version of what that movie could have been.”
I’d counter that Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man is probably the best version of Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man, but the cast assembled is certainly impressive and hopefully Reed has a strong hold on his ideas for the film. Feige likened the filmmaker to Captain America: The Winter Soldier helmers Joe and Anthony Russo, saying audiences might not be familiar with him now, but they’ll be big fans when the movie opens.
We may get our first idea of what to expect from this retooled Ant-Man at Comic-Con next weekend, as Michael Douglas told us he’ll be attending the convention. Be sure to stay tuned for our full recap of what goes down during the big Marvel panel on Saturday night.