The root of Edgar Wright and Marvel Studios parting ways was creative differences. Long before the MCU launched into the successful franchise that it is today, Wright was hard at work on his Ant-Man script. But once Marvel figured out where it would fit in their cinematic universe, Wright felt that his hard work would be undone. Of course the idea of Wright directing a film like Ant-Man excited fans, and once he left, it upset them. Most wanted to point the blame at Marvel.
The truth of it all probably won’t come out until after the film’s release, or maybe when someone writes an in-depth piece on the matter, but Evangeline Lilly is shedding some light on the matter. In an interview with Buzzfeed, she explains how she nearly left the project after Wright’s departure, but also what made her stay, and how the rewrites from Adam McKay actually made the film fit into the universe more than the original written by Wright and Joe Cornish. More after the jump.
News of Wright’s departure shook the geek world. But when Lilly caught wind of the news, she nearly walked off Ant-Man:
“[I was] shocked. And mortified, at first. Actually, I wouldn’t say mortified. You know, a creative project is a moving target. You never end up where you start. But we all, I think, signed on very enthusiastically with Edgar. We were excited to work with Edgar. We were fans of Edgar. So when the split happened, I was in the fortunate position where I had not signed my contract yet. So I had the choice to walk away, and I almost did. Because I thought, ‘Well, if it’s because Marvel are big bullies, and they just want a puppet and not someone with a vision, I’m not interested in being in this movie.’ Which is what I was afraid of.”
Ultimately, Lilly stayed on, even making an appearance at last year’s SDCC to help promote the film. During that time, the script was going through an overhaul, with McKay leading the charge on the rewrites. Obviously that meant there would be some changes to Wright’s original script, which Lilly address:
“I thought Edgar’s idea to blend the [Hank and Scott] stories was brilliant. You’re going to have fans up there who insist that you tell the story of Hank Pym, and fans up there who will be more on the Scott Lang side of it. … I think we are going to come close to pleasing them all. And what’s cool is that, you know, Janet Van Dyne is my mom. Hank Pym is my father. I was raised by two superheroes. I’m no schlump. I’m a pretty smart, competent, capable, kick-ass female. She’s very cool.”
While Lilly says she nearly left the project after the split between Wright and Marvel, she says Wright’s script would not have fit into the universe, and it wasn’t until she met with director Peyton Reed that she had a full understanding of what Marvel was trying to accomplish:
I saw with my own eyes that Marvel had just pulled the script into their world. I mean, they’ve established a universe, and everyone has come to expect a certain aesthetic [and] a certain feel for Marvel films. And what Edgar was creating was much more in the Edgar Wright camp of films. They were very different. And I feel like, if [Marvel] had created Edgar’s incredible vision — which would have been, like, classic comic book — it would have been such a riot to film [and] it would have been so much fun to watch. [But] it wouldn’t have fit in the Marvel Universe. It would have stuck out like a sore thumb, no matter how good it was. It just would have taken you away from this cohesive universe they’re trying to create. And therefore it ruins the suspended disbelief that they’ve built.
Could this be the franchise material that Wright is so tired of? Possibly. It’s disappointing to know that we will never see Wright’s true vision of the film, but Marvel knows what they are doing, and if that means they have to part ways with someone as exciting as Edgar Wright, then so be it. Because at the end of the day, Marvel will still give us Ant-Man, and Wright will still be making fresh and unique films.