Some Marvel associates like director Josh Whedon and actor Michael Douglas have commented about Edgar Wright's exit from "Ant-Man", but the studio itself was quiet about the issue until now. Marvel's head Kevin Feige talks at length about the director change in an interview with IGN.
Feige explained that, before coming to replace Wright, the new director Peyton Reed had previously come in contact with Marvel about other projects although the negotiations had eventually fallen apart. "Peyton is someone that I've been a fan of for a long time," the producer said.
"People may not remember, though probably your readers remember, that he was attached to 'Fantastic Four' more than 10 years ago. We spent a lot of time together ... and I got along with Peyton very, very well and he had awesome ideas and an awesome vision for the movie, and for various reasons he ended up leaving that movie..."
Feige added, "He's come in to meet on a lot of our movies over the years, in particular 'Guardians' [of the Galaxy]. He had a lot of awesome things to say on 'Guardians'. But James [Gunn] had a slightly more solid take that was of interest to us. But Peyton was always on our lists, and so when this happened and Edgar [Wright] said 'Not for me,' we met with a handful of people, but Peyton was always one that I thought would be great."
The producer went on, "It was not a slam-dunk that he would just step into it and do it. He wanted to be sure that he wasn't just inheriting something or following someone else's lead. Or wasn't inheriting something that the evil studio had watered down to be something bad."
"I kept saying, 'You can either read what's online, or come in and talk to us and look at all this stuff.' He looked at everything, he talked with us, and he said 'Number one, I agree with the direction you're going in. And number two, I can add to it.' And he has - the movie is in as good a shape as it's ever been right now."
Although the script has undergone rewrite, Feige assured it's in line with the draft first written by Wright and Joe Cornish. "It's still very much in the spirit of what Edgar's original pitch was and the entire template of the movie is what Edgar set out and originally came and pitched us maybe eight years ago now. But it's on its way to being the absolute best version of what that movie could have been," the producer said.
"Ant-Man" is slated to make its way out across the United States starting July 17, 2015. Paul Rudd, Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Patrick Wilson, Michael Pena, Corey Stoll, Matt Gerald, and David Dastmalchian are among the cast members. The film will be brought to San Diego Comic-Con next week.