The fallout from Edgar Wright’s departure from Marvel’s Ant-Man is still being measured, especially since a recent rumor suggests that the reason was less the innocuous “creative differences” and more due to extensive script rewrites from the studio with top-down pressure from Disney/Marvel. Caught in the middle is director James Gunn, who is friends with Wright but also the writer/director of Marvel’s next big effort, Guardians of the Galaxy. As such, he recently posted a carefully worded response to the news on his own personal Facebook page. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
Sometimes you have friends in a relationship. You love each of them dearly as individuals and think they’re amazing people. When they talk to you about their troubles, you do everything you can to support them, to keep them together, because if you love them both so much doesn’t it make sense they should love each other? But little by little you realize, at heart, they aren’t meant to be together – not because there’s anything wrong with either of them, but they just don’t have personalities that mesh in a comfortable way. They don’t make each other happy. Although it’s sad to see them split, when they do, you’re surprisingly relieved, and excited to see where their lives take them next.
It’s easy to try to make one party “right” and another party “wrong” when a breakup happens, but it often isn’t that simple. Or perhaps it’s even more simple than that – not everyone belongs in a relationship together. It doesn’t mean they’re not wonderful people.
And that’s true of both Edgar Wright and Marvel. One of them isn’t a person, but I think you get what I mean.
Let’s be honest, Gunn is in a tight spot here. Say nothing and he risks damaging his friendship with Wright (and the less important street credit among fans); say the wrong thing or come on too strong in support of Wright and he takes the chance of running afoul of the egos at Disney/Marvel and ruining his business relationship. It really is a no-win situation, but Gunn’s response is an attempt to assuage both parties and keep his ass out of the fryer.
What’s strange about the whole thing is that Gunn, as a director, is more of an unknown to general audiences than Wright, yet Disney/Marvel seems just fine with letting him write/direct as he sees fit on Guardians. Is Gunn just better at playing along with studio demands? Or has the top-down pressure from Disney to Marvel increased of late, only to land squarely on Wright’s shoulders? It’s a very strange turn of events considering Marvel’s recent successes over the last decade, and yet it’s an all-too-common occurrence in the world of big studio productions.