There was a time when Ant-Man was going to be helmed by Edgar Wright, but the filmmaker - who was attached to the project for nearly a decade - ultimately chose to walk away the year before it arrived in theaters.
We've previously heard that the expansion of the MCU prompted Marvel Studios to push for a number of changes, and when Wright received those notes, he no longer felt it was possible to make the Ant-Man he wanted. With that, Peyton Reed was enlisted, but many of the set pieces in the finished product were dreamed up by Wright and writer Joe Cornish.
The Playlist recently caught up with the latter and got some new insights into what led to Wright's departure from the movie.
"When Edgar and I first met Marvel, they were in offices above a BMW showroom in Beverly Hills," Cornish recalls. "It was around the time of Ang Lee’s 'Hulk,' and [Jon] Favreau hadn’t even started working on the first 'Iron Man.' Superhero movies were not a thing. They were not perceived as a cool thing to do. They were kind of a cruddy genre."
"We worked on [“Ant-Man”] for something like eight years, on and off. And in that time, the landscape changed completely. The technology changed completely. Audiences fell in love with superhero movies. All the stuff that people loved in the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s in comic books were suddenly translated on screen in a really direct way that had never happened before."
"That kind of overtook us in the sense that Marvel didn’t necessarily want the authored movie that Edgar and I wanted to make because, at that point, they had this behemoth on their hands," Cornish added. "They had this universe where the movies had to integrate. Edgar is an auteur. Edgar Wright makes Edgar Wright movies. In the end, that’s why it didn’t happen, I guess."
Despite the fact they left Ant-Man due to "creative differences," the writer was quick to point out that neither he nor Wright have any hard feelings towards Marvel Studios. He'd explain that "a lot of our stuff is still in there" and noted, "We feel connected to that cast as well because Edgar cast it. The designs are still in it."
While the Ant-Man franchise has very much become Reed's, it's easy to forget there were once rumblings about Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly considering leaving the movie after Wright's shock departure. Ultimately, the series managed to find great success, with Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania now set to kick off what looks to be an epic Phase 5.
That movie arrives in theaters on February 17.