Anchorman director Andrew McKay is set to replace Edgar Wright as the new director of Marvel’s Ant-Man. Variety reported last night that McKay is in advanced talks to replace Wright after the Cornetto Trilogy director reportedly walked off the project on May 23 citing differences with Marvel after almost 8 years working to bring Ant-Man to the screen.
The replacement of Edgar Wright comes after Wright reportedly walked away from the project on May 23 after being attached to the project since 2006. According to trade magazine Variety, the creative differences between Wright and Marvel came to a head when Marvel changed the script he and script writer Joe Cornish had written without informing the duo.
Wright’s unique humor had many fans excited for the director’s take on one of Marvel’s lesser known super heroes in the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe. Edgar Wright’s work on Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End represented the red, blue, and green aspects of the Cornetto ice cream and starred Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in each of the three movies.
Edgar Wright tweeted a photo of silent film star Buster Keaton holding a Cornetto ice cream cone which has since been deleted after Wright’s departure was announced. The imagery is symbolic to Keaton’s loss of creative vision after being forced to sign with MGM following a financially disastrous film called The General which led to the decline of his career.
While the imagery Wright probably meant to infer is the loss of creativity due to the influence of the studios, the history of Keaton is ironic in that his creative risk ended up starting his professional and personal decline. Joss Whedon, director of the Avengers also tweeted a Cornetto of his own in response.
— Joss Whedon (@josswhedon) May 24, 2014
Disney owned Marvel released a statement saying:
“Marvel and Edgar Wright jointly announced today that the studio and director have parted ways on ANT-MAN due to differences in their vision of the film,” a statement read. “The decision to move on is amicable and does not impact the release date on July 17, 2015. A new director will be announced shortly.”
Adam McKay is best known for working with Will Ferrel on the Anchorman films and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby Ant-Man will be McKay’s first superhero endeavor. Ant-Man star Paul Rudd has also worked with Adam McKay in both the Anchorman movies, giving the pair a previous working relationship which is likely to be more appealing to studio executives.
Ant-Man is part of the rapidly expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe which began with Iron Man in 2008. The studio is in the midst of Phase Two with Guardians of the Galaxy, the next entry in the series before Avengers: Age of Ultron finishes up Phase Two. Phase Three starts with Ant-Man to be released on July 17, 2015, followed by Captain America 3 in 2016. The change in directors should not effect the release date of the film according to Marvel.