In 2006, Marvel Studios named Edgar Wright as the director of their forthcoming film Ant-Man, but now after the long-delayed project seemed on the fast track to fruition Variety reports that Wright has left the film.
In a joint statement by Marvel and Wright released Friday, the two parties split apart “due to differences in their vision of the film.”
Both parties called the decision amicable, and Marvel said an unnamed replacement director has been hired and the film would maintain its July 17, 2015 release date
This wouldn’t be the first time a director has exited a Marvel film in recent years. In 2008 Matthew Vaughn left the director’s chair of Thor and was replaced by Kenneth Branagh, and that film’s sequel, Thor: The Dark World, found itself without a director when Monster helmer Patty Jenkins left over creative differences to eventually be replaced by Alan Taylor.
Despite what's being described as an amicable split, the announcement still comes as a major surprise. Since the film's earliest days of development, Wright was often referred by Marvel Studios as an integral part of the Ant-Man formula. In an interview earlier this month with Empire magazine, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige said that Wright’s ideas for Ant-Man changed larger plans for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including the Avengers franchise.
“We changed, frankly some of the MCU to accommodate this version of Ant-Man. Knowing what we wanted to do with Edgar and with Ant-Man, going years and years back, helped to dictate what we did with the roster for Avengers the first time,” Feige told Empire. “It was a bit of both in terms of his idea for the Ant-Man story influencing the birth of the MCU in the early films leading up to Avengers.”
Feige went on to state that the “two things” which prompted Marvel to make an Ant-Man movie in the first place was Wright’s story and the casting of Michael Douglas and Paul Rudd.