When Marvel announced Edgar Wright‘s departure from Ant-Man last weekend, they made a point of emphasizing that the long-gestating superhero adventure would not budge from its July 17, 2015 release date.
But as much as Marvel would like for that to happen — and as much as Marvel would like fans to believe that it will happen — that summer 2015 bow is looking less and less realistic as more details emerge about the split.
There’s no official story on an Ant-Man delay because officially, there is no Ant-Man delay. As of now, Marvel still has the movie slotted for next summer. However, sources close to the situation have cast doubt on the timeline while speaking to THR.
For one thing, Marvel has yet to lock in a new director. For another, when Wright left, so did a bunch of key crew members — so Marvel needs to find replacements for all of them as well. And on top of all that, the production was already running behind schedule to begin with thanks to the rewrite process.
Shooting on Ant-Man was originally supposed to begin June 2, but got pushed back to July 28 when Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige ordered revisions to Wright and Joe Cornish‘s script. Those revisions, as we now know, are what led Wright to walk.
Even with that production delay, Ant-Man is in a tight squeeze. Whoever takes over Wright’s slot will have just 8-10 weeks to prep a movie that another filmmaker had been working on for nearly a decade.
Marvel’s determination to stick with Ant-Man‘s original release date isn’t surprising at a time when studios are locking in release dates 4 or 5 years in advance. And Marvel particularly loves to plan ahead; Feige recently said that they already have the movies mapped out through 2028.
On the other hand, Ant-Man might benefit from a delay. While it’d lose that plum July spot, the filmmakers would have more time to get their act together. Ant-Man has enough problems as it is without adding a rushed schedule into the mix.
But Marvel is a finely tuned machine, and Wright isn’t the first filmmaker to be chewed up and spit out. A source explains:
Kevin Feige [and his top lieutenants] run Marvel with a singularity of vision, but when you take a true auteur and throw him into the mix, this is what you get. They don’t want you to speak up too much or have too much vision. People who have never worked there don’t understand how they operate, but if you trust them, they have an amazing track record.
In the case of Ant-Man, another insider says, the quirky tone was making the studio uncomfortable. Marvel was already feeling skittish about venturing out of its wheelhouse with Guardians of the Galaxy — because Sony’s Green Hornet, another superhero movie with a sense of humor, had bombed.