We’re hearing that the relationship between Marvel and Edgar Wright has been going south for about the past two weeks, though the parties said in a statement today that their Ant-Man split was “amicable.” Either way, the director of The World’s End and Shaun Of The Dead won’t be telling the tale of the superhero who can shrink and communicate with insects after all. The studio and the helmer said today in a joint announcement that — after three years including an unexpected postponement — they have parted ways “due to differences in their vision of the film.” Marvel said the move won’t affect the planned July 17, 2015, release date for the pic and that it will announce a replacement helmer soon. But no one is talking about today’s news on holiday getaway Friday.
Related: The History Of Marvel’s ‘Ant-Man’
Wright, known for his collaborations with actor-writers Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, wowed the 2012 Comic-Con crowd with some early Ant-Man footage. But he then pushed the film — starring Paul Rudd as the diminutive title character along with Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Patrick Wilson, Corey Stoll and Michael Pena — to work on the pub-crawl pic World’s End, which grossed $46 million worldwide for Focus Features last summer. He explained the move during a Q&A with Deadline at Comic-Con last year:
“I had a chance to do Ant-Man in 2011,” Wright said. “Simon was busy with three franchises, if you count Tin-Tin along with Star Trek and Mission: Impossible. We had the story down, and it was in the back of my mind that if we didn’t do this film soon it might never happen, and we owed it to the fans. But then something else happened. [Working Title partner] Eric Fellner was diagnosed with cancer. When I found out about that, I’d literally just finished another screenplay for him, and it was on delivery that he told me. He has given me permission to tell this [World’s End] story. That changed everything.” He added later, “To Marvel’s credit, when I went to see them to tell them to their face I wanted to do Ant-Man but that I wasn’t doing it next, Kevin Feige and Louis D’Esposito said they understood. ‘We’ll see you in a couple years,’ they said. … When people ask what’s the hold-up on Ant-Man, my stock line is I’d rather do it with 2015 visual effects than 2005 visual effects.”