However, it appears as if we may finally have an answer courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter. Delays in production reportedly led to the movie’s key crew members and heads of department all leaving for other projects when it became clear to them that production would not begin as scheduled.
While lead star Paul Rudd is still attached and those positions are set to be filled shortly, the reason for these problems are indeed script based. Marvel has been unhappy with the Hot Fuzz helmer’s take on Ant-Man for weeks, and production had been put on hiatus while Feige ordered revisions of the script.
However, while Wright had been willing to make revisions earlier in the process, Kevin Feige commissioned new rewrites which too place without the filmmaker’s approval. He wasn’t happy with the new version and promptly left, and what exactly those changes are unknown at this point.
Marvel know how to build successful franchises, but there have been casualties along the way. Many directors haven’t returned for second or third instalments of the respective movies they’ve helmed, and some have even quickly been fired when their vision didn’t match with that of Marvel’s.
It perhaps seems like a ruthless way to do business, but the success both critically and commercially of their releases says it all in many respects. Wright’s first attempt at a commercial film was Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, and that bombed. Can anyone blame Marvel if they believed the same would happen to Ant-Man?
“Kevin Feige [and his top lieutenants] run Marvel with a singularity of vision, but when you take a true auteur and throw him into the mix, this is what you get,” one source told the site. “They don’t want you to speak up too much or have too much vision. People who have never worked there don’t understand how they operate, but if you trust them, they have an amazing track record.”
Some even believe that Marvel are concerned about Ant-Man and that James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy is already considered a major risk for them due to the quirky tone. Ant-Man is still set for release next July, but a director has yet to be found, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
However, the Tweeted and deleted photo below from Wright may tell us all we need to know as it features Buster Keaton, someone who famously regretted their decision to go from being an independent to getting in bed with MGM. That’s an interesting parallel for the particular situation…