You'd think the sky was falling, if we accurately gaged the response of Twitter today. News broke this afternoon that Edgar Wright will no longer be directing Ant-Man. A project he had been writing for Marvel since 2006, and would eventually see Joe Cornish join to co-write on the script. Wright was eyed for the directing gig, but Marvel allowed him to go off to make Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim and The World's End before locking him down as the official director. The studio obviously wanted Wright's vision for the film, even though it's being reported his departure is over "creative differences"
We just learned about this news, but people are already choosing sides, and making Marvel out to be the villain. The full story hasn't been revealed and Wright hasn't even weighed-in on the departure. It's basically the worst we've come to expect from fandom, reactionists just spouting conspiracies and misplacing their anger over what-ifs. If only half of these people actually supported Edgar Wright's film when they were released in theatres, he wouldn't have such a poor record at the box office.
I'm not overly shocked, as Marvel has moved up the date twice and Wright already seemed a bit overwhelmed by the amount of special effects needed for the movie. It's possible that Wright actually got cold-feet about the looming release date and couldn't meet that deadline. This doesn't make Edgar a terrible director, just someone who obviously wasn't ready for something of this scale. Of course, this is just one of many theories that are circling the internet at the moment. Let's not forget that Wright has a bunch of other films in development and could have been offered a bigger project as well.
A majority of this will be Edgar's movie no matter who end's up directing it. Wright blocked a bunch of film's shots, helped with storyboards, hired most of the cast and even co-wrote the script. It's safe to say the film will be 70% Edgar's even with a new director taking over for him. He's done basically all the prep-work, so it's not the case of Marvel removing all of Wright's fingerprints from the project. The new director will simply help finish casting and will just aggressively shoot the production extremely fast.
I have a few names I'd like to put out there for consideration. Variety has pointed out while Marvel is zeroing-in on someone, a deal hasn't been made. So they could end-up looking at other people for the gig.
RICHARD AYOADE: Richard has very similar sensibilities to Edgar Wright, both have a love of topical pulp culture and dry British humor. Ayoade comes from the indie world of filmmaking which should appease the film nerds. His films Submarine and The Double, wouldn't give the impression he'd make an excellent superhero film. However, neither did the Russo Brothers with their work on the show Community. He's sort of a diamond-in-the-rough director you'd want Marvel to search for.
BEN WHEATLEY: Another friend of Edgar Wright, Ben has walked the line of insane and brilliant. His films The Kill-List and A Field In England are projects you'd expect Stanley Kubrick to make, but then makes a black-comedy like The Sightseers (produced by Wright). He's the kind of unpredictable director that I believe Marvel would be attracted to. Ben recently agreed to direct an episode of Doctor Who, something you wouldn't expect him to be into. The only problem is that Ben is about to start shooting his next film High Rise starring Tom Hiddleston.
JOE CORNISH: A lot of people are dismissing Cornish getting involved because he's lined-up another feature, which will focus on the origins of MI6. Joe is the co-writer of the script and could easily direct the hell out of an Ant-Man movie. The people at Marvel must have seen Attack The Block, and the star of that film John Boyega landed a role in Star Wars. I could see Cornish dropping that other project if given the deal from Marvel.
Some honorary mentions include Eran Creevy (Welcome To The Punch, Autobauhn) Sam Miller (Luther), J Blakeson (The Disappearance of Alice Creed) and Paddy Constantine (Tyrannosaur).