Shaun of the Dead director Edgar Wright recently talked about his films during the 100th episode the Reel Feedback Podcast, which was held at The Prince Charles Cinema on November 22. The writer and director sourced a number of questions from his personal Instagram account, and it didn’t take long for questions about Marvel Studio’s Ant-Man to materialize.
Though Edgar Wright had to choose his words carefully due to an NDA he signed while working on the 2015 movie, he gave fans a high-level breakdown on how his version of Ant-Man would have been radically different than the one that we’re familiar with.
A Hardened Criminal
Citing creative differences as the catalyst for his departure from the project, Edgar Wright suggested that his version of Ant-Man would have functioned as a self-contained story that was more faithful to the source material. In his version of the film, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) would have started out as a full-fledged criminal rather than a man who was already working toward his redemption. He also mentioned that his version of Ant-Man would have centered on a number of interlocking heists, making it more of a crime movie at heart than a superhero movie.
In Wright’s mind, his version would have given audiences a more satisfying story arc because it would have made for a more complex character.
Upset He Didn’t Get To Write The Screenplay
Another reason for Edgar Wright’s decision to drop out of the Ant-Man production as a writer and director was that Marvel wanted to rewrite the script. Wright felt as if he was a hired gun who was tasked with helming a project he didn’t write the screenplay for. In his own words, Wright didn’t want to simply be a director for hire, as he was used to writing all of his other movies. Though Edgar Wright was ultimately given a writing credit for Ant-Man, and still functioned as an executive producer, the screenplay that we’re familiar with was penned by Adam McKay and Paul Rudd after all was said and done.
Would The Edgar Wright Move Have Worked?
After his exit from Ant-Man, Edgar Wright went on to work on 2017’s Baby Driver, which was both a critical and commercial success.
Though we would have loved to see Edgar Wright’s version of Ant-Man be fully realized, it sounds like his overall vision for the film didn’t fall in line with the overarching narrative of the MCU. Wright once expressed this sentiment by stating that just because he wanted to make a Marvel movie, it didn’t necessarily mean that Marvel wanted to make an Edgar Wright movie.
Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man Wins Over MCU Fans
Despite Edgar Wright’s exit from the project, Ant-Man went on to be a highly successful film. The screenplay that was written by Rudd and McKay garnered an 83 percent critical score against an 85 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. On the commercial front, the movie went on to earn $519.3 million against its reported budget of nearly $170 million. Ant-Man‘s success resulted in two sequels: 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp, and 2023’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
An Ant-Man Variant?
Due to the nature of Edgar Wright’s NDA, we’ll probably never fully know what his version of Ant-Man would have been like. But by the sounds of it, it’s definitely a version we would have loved to see on an alternate timeline.