With last week's announcement that Edgar Wright will no longer be directing Marvel's Ant-Man, any interest anyone had in the film vanished like an out-of-phase Pym particle*. Hey, I like Paul Rudd as much as anybody (and, let's be honest, probably more than my spot on the Kinsey scale would suggest), but the only reason anybody was stoked for Ant-Man was because of a very simple concept: A superhero movie directed by the guy who did Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World's End, Scott Pilgrim, and Spaced. Marvel movies, after years of interlocking stories and post-credit teasers and finales crammed with blurry CG destruction, are, finally, starting to feel like they're nearing their expiration date. If anybody could inject some adrenalin back into them, it would've been Wright.
Because Wright is a national hero in England (I assume, just as I am 99 percent cetain he is a knight), The Guardian has a story about Wright's departure, including reactions from the likes of Joss Whedon and James Gunn. But the real heart of the story focuses on one of Wright's deleted tweets:
Over the weekend, [Wright] posted a picture of [Buster] Keaton looking downcast and holding a Cornetto ice cream. The shot is a nod to Wright's triptych of comedies and was accompanied by the single word "selfie". The quickly deleted picture suggests a sharp commentary on the filmmaker's experience with Marvel on a movie he had been developing since 2006. Keaton famously said that leaving his own independent studio to work for MGM in 1928 was the "worst mistake of my career" because he lost creative control. (Via.)
Man. On the upside for us, and for Wright: Whatever he does next, hopefully, won't be something that constrains him in the bigger mega-franchise that is the increasingly generic Marvel cinematic universe. That's a great thing, especially considering Wright's last movie, The World's End, was his best yet. On the downside: Ant-Man now takes its part in that weird clump of films that switched directors, leaving cinephiles to always wonder what might have been—like Alejandro Jodorowsky's Dune, David Lynch's Return of the Jedi, James Cameron's Spider-Man, or David Cronenberg's Total Recall. Godspeed, whoever directs Marvel's Ant-Man: For the rest of your life, you'll be hearing nerds whine that it would've been better if Edgar Wright had made it.
*That was a joke for Ant-Man fans!**
**JK! There are no Ant-Man fans!