I love Edgar Wright. Honestly. He’s like a younger, better, more “with it” version of Kevin Smith. Wright crafts really terrific looking, solidly written, genre comedies for the wide world of fandom to consume. His flicks are geeky and funny. What more can a fat, bearded fanboy want out of a trip to the local theater?
Well, except our traditional big budget fare that we cherish so much. Star Wars. Batman. Marvel. Whatever value a small time (and in comparison to these big franchises, Edgar Wright is most definitely small time) auteur hides in his pockets can never replace the sheer awe-inspiring spectacle of our favorite characters duking it out on the big screen.
And that’s why I favor Marvel Studios, and not Edgar Wright, in this recent debacle. For those of you unaware few, Edgar Wright recently left the Ant-Man production after 8 years of hard work on the property. An unfortunate event, indeed, but one that’s sparked a few waves of anti-Marvel rhetoric. “Marvel ruins another movie!” “Marvel only cares about the dollar!” “Marvel never takes risk!” “Marvel completely changed and ruined Wright’s script!”
Without debating whether or not these points are true… Marvel has every right to let Edgar Wright go. They have every right to create the Ant-Man film as they see fit. Sure, Edgar Wright had a pretty good idea: a heist movie disguised as a superhero flick. Cool. That’s not exactly ground breaking, though, is it? Marvel’s already experimented with its marquis level superhero flicks and their respective genres. Captain America: The Winter Soldier was as much Political Thriller as it was Superhero. Thor was, in every sense, a Romantic Comedy. Hell, even Iron Man 3 experimented with the “techno thriller” Extremis plot.
Edgar Wright’s genre-flipping tactics aren’t news in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Not only that, but his visual comedy, for which he’s so praised, is already found in Joss Whedon’s projects (even though I prefer Wright to Whedon any day of the week).
So… no. Just, no. Marvel’s taken risks before. They’ve experimented with every film making tactic Wright cherishes so much, and perhaps that’s why the two were a perfect marriage. At least, for the 8 years leading into production.
As we parse these rumors, choosing the most credible bits from here or there, it seems that Marvel demanded a few rewrites to the script.
They have every right to do so.
Marvel Studios is creating a massive overarching universe, and in order to achieve that feat, they have to enforce their editorial mandates. Every comic writers KNOWS this fact. Every Marvel Studios creative executive KNOWS this fact. Edgar Wright’s immutable stance on his script, which caused a 1 month delay in Ant-Man’s production (a massive no-no in the world of superhero movies), excuses Marvel Studios’ actions as the “Big Bad Corporation”.
“I don’t care about one boat, I care about the fleet.”, as Alexander Pierce once said. Sure, he might not be the perfect dude to quote right now, but he’s apt.