In a surprise move, Edgar Wright has exited Marvel’s Ant-Man, the studio announced today, with Wright leaving a project that he’s spent years developing and championing—and that many had already been anticipating, solely on the basis of Wright’s involvement. The statement announcing Wright’s departure calls it an amicable parting between the filmmaker and the studio, blaming it on “differences in their vision of the film.” Wright leaving won’t impact the movie’s July 17, 2015 release date, of course, because in these situations, preserving a release date is always what is most important.
That the decision would come this late in the game, after Wright had spent so long laying out his vision in sizzle reels and interviews, is certainly strange. Less strange is that the bad news is being announced on the Friday before a holiday weekend, when Marvel is counting on the Internet being too absorbed in its impending vacation to spend too much time dwelling on it.
Anyway, Marvel has said it will formally announce a new director “shortly,” and it’s possible their choice could help clarify what it is they want that Wright somehow wasn’t giving. But even with Wright’s script (co-written with Joe Cornish) still in play, and all the many Ant-Men and Ant-Women he cast still on board, it’s safe to say that, no matter how the movie turns out now, we will always wonder what Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man might have been.