Sources close to The Hollywood Reporter have provided some explanation for why Edgar Wright will not direct Ant-Man for Marvel despite working on the film since 2006. A lot has changed in comic book movies and at Marvel in particular within the past eight years. It seems that Wright could not handle increased control and pressure from the top that comes with working in a franchise worth billions of dollars.
While Edgar Wright has an established base of devoted fans thanks to, among other credits, his comdies Shawn of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End, he has yet to establish himself as director with mainstream appeal. His first attempt at blockbuster success was 2010’s Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, an adaptation of the Scott Pilgrim graphic novels by Bryan Lee O’Malley. The film won critical praise and Wright’s signature brand of humor was well on display. Unfortunately it was a dud at the box office, it failed to break $50 million worldwide on a $60 million budget.
It is understandable that producer Kevin Feige at Marvel would take a greater interest in Ant-Man once it became clear that Marvel’s Cinematic Universe had the attention of mainstream audiences. What may have once been a standalone adaptation for Wright to have full control over soon became another chapter the Avengers series. According to THR, Marvel began demanding changes to the script that made Wright uncomfortable. After yet another round of revisions that Wright had no input on, he left the project on May 23 along with several department heads. Marvel seems confident that it will soon have replacements for all key positions but the studio has a tight schedule if it hopes to begin production on July 28.
Ant-Man is still scheduled for release on July 17, 2015.