I’m still a tad bit bummed that we’ll never get to see Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man movie. But at the same time, I want to give director Peyton Reed a chance to make his own film, which will incorporate elements from the pre-production work that Wright put together. We’ll never know exactly what went on behind closed doors that saw Wright depart Marvel and hand the film over to Reed. But we do know that whatever Wright made, it would have been very different from the usual crop of Marvel movies.
Speaking to Buzzfeed, Evangeline Lilly, who was cast by Wright as Hank Pym’s daughter Hope Van Dyne, explained that while Wright had a very exciting vision for the film, she believed that it would have stuck out from the other franchise films:
[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.
Lilly stuck with new director Peyton Reed however, once she read the new script that pulled Ant Man back into the Marvel cinematic universe:
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.
It’s a double-edged sword when you think about it. Had Wright acquiesced to Marvel, we’d have had a film that could have been an odd mix of ideas and established styles. And while I truly do dig Wright’s movies, they aren’t always winners at the box office. Then again, Marvel runs the risk of recycling ideas and tropes in their films if they stick to one template all the time.
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