For those following the news Edgar Wright is no longer on Ant-Man and now Drew Goddard has walked away from the Dardevil Netflix show. This is causing a lot of speculation to fly around on the future of Marvel and on them committing acts atrocity with their creative talent.
I think I read Drew Goddard was given an opportunity to work on a Spider-Man spin off. That seems like a legit reason to walk away from a show runner job. I am unsure, but for right now I want to concentrate on the story with Wright.
A lot of people are blaming Marvel and making them out to be the bad guys on this one. And some people are even saying it’s the beginning of the end for Marvel. Really? What’s the real story here? Was he fired? Did he walk away? Was it mutual?
Well I’d like to explore this by stating off the top it was most likely mutual and use our good friend Kevin Smith as an example.
For those who don’t know Kevin Smith was slated to write/direct the ill-fated Superman Lives. As he has pointed out many times it was a project he wasn’t a 100% comfortable wit when they asked him. Stating he felt that the stable of comic book writers at DC were far more qualified to write the movie then he. To which WB replied, they are the comic book guys and this is a movie. Which speaks volumes about movie company’s attitudes toward these large properties. They wanted a hot up and comer attached to a movie they were unsure about to help assure it was a hit. The straw that broke the camel’s back for Mr. Smith was when he was in a production meeting and a toy was placed in front of him. When he asked what it was they said it was a toy for the movie and he had to work it into his script. It was then he realized this was bigger then him and he had to step away. Now this is all ancient history at this point, but it speaks to what could be going on at Marvel.
Edgar Wright’s largest budget comic book movie he has been involved with was Scott Pilgrim. A movie that cost 90 million to make and made 47 million the box office. So it was a box office failure. All of the other major projects he has been in charge of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and At World’s End were low budget movies. 20 million max. So you cannot blame Marvel if they are a little cautious with Edgar Wright helming one of their properties. Also Marvel has been pretty straight forward about wanting a unified universe, which means a unified vision for their films.
With that in mind one of the rumors on why he left the project was due to Marvel handing the script over to a couple of other writers for a rewrite. This to me makes the most sense. Again you can love the property as much as you want, but if the people that own feel you are not following their vision for the character they have a right to change it. It’s not your original property. And I can see someone like Wright being upset enough on a project like this to walk away.
Unfortunately I feel this boils down to an issue with Wright and not Marvel. And the issue being creative ego. He has had minor success with his Shaun of the dead type films, but he isn’t a superstar just yet. This was his opportunity to propel his career to the next level. Instead of taking this a learning opportunity he took as an insult, that Marvel had no confidence in him as a film maker.
And for those that are going to jump on the defending Edgar band wagon ask yourself this: we first heard about Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man in 2006. In 7 years we only saw a short test footage shot. Something he had to put together to prove he could do the job. We just recently began to hear about casting. Why did it take so long for this movie to get to this phase of development? In the time since it was first announce he has worked on 7 films. What was going on behind the scenes? If the project was this important to him wouldn't he have spent more time pushing to get the movies made then working on 7 other pictures?
I think the passion went of the project for him when he realized he didn't have the amount of control he wanted. It’s sad, but understandable. I think he drug his feet on moving forward on his own with it and that hurt him in Marvel’s eyes in the long run. I've had doubts for a while this movie was even going to get made. And when it began to happen he walks away. There is a lot more to this story then we know and I for one think it’s pretty lousy to vilify Marvel on this one.
See Also - Ant-Man, Phase 3 and the CRISIS at Marvel!
Is this end for Marvel? Not by a long shot. One director does not an empire make.
Dave Markowski is one of the hosts of the weekly podcast Super Hero Speak where they review and discuss comic books/comic book movies and TV shows. Learn more about Super Hero Speak here: http://superherospeak.com/wp/