Avengers Age of Ultron - Joss Whedon

Nothing against Peyton Reed‘s Ant-Man, but there are always going to be some fans wondering what Edgar Wright‘s Ant-Man could have been. His abrupt last-minute departure after years of development signaled irreconcilable creative differences, with many speculating that Wright’s unique sensibility just didn’t fit into the Marvel mold.

But Avengers director Joss Whedon suggests Wright’s Ant-Man (which he co-wrote with Joe Cornish) actually would have been perfect for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. According to him, it was the best and the “most Marvel” script the studio ever had. Read the Joss Whedon Edgar Wright Ant-Man comments after the jump. 

Whedon reflected upon Wright’s exit from Ant-Man in a chat with Buzzfeed:

[…] I don’t get it. I thought the script was not only the best script that Marvel had ever had, but the most Marvel script I’d read. I had no interest in Ant-Man. [Then] I read the script, and was like, Of course! This is so good! It reminded me of the books when I read them. Irreverent and funny and could make what was small large, and vice versa.

I don’t know where things went wrong. But I was very sad. Because I thought, This is a no-brainer. This is Marvel getting it exactly right. Whatever dissonance that came, whatever it was, I don’t understand why it was bigger than a marriage that seemed so right.

But I’m not going to say it was definitely all Marvel, or Edgar’s gone mad! I felt like they would complement each other by the ways that they were different. And, uh, somethin’ happened.

Whedon sounds unhappy to be caught between Wright and Marvel. He has a longstanding relationship with the studio that continues next month with Avengers: Age of Ultron, but he also tweeted his support of Wright following the latter’s exit.

Whedon’s disappointed yet diplomatic comments echo ones made by others, like director James Gunn. “[N]ot everyone belongs in a relationship together,” he said of the split last year. “It doesn’t mean they’re not wonderful people.”

So if Wright’s movie wasn’t just “the best,” but “the most Marvel,” what went wrong? As of now, we still don’t know for sure — and going by the comments above, Whedon doesn’t either. Also unclear is how much of Wright’s script Marvel ultimately wound up using. He and Joe Cornish are only credited for the story, while Paul Rudd and Adam McKay are credited for the actual screenplay.

One pervasive rumor about Wright’s departure is that Marvel was pressuring him for changes that would allow Ant-Man to fit more neatly into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Whedon doesn’t address that particular theory, but he does admit to his own struggles with the franchise’s increasingly serialized nature:

Somebody said, ‘Well, that was a great setup for the next thing!’ in one of the test screenings, and I died inside. [Marvel executives] were like, ‘No! They say that all the time, it’s fine.’ I was like, ‘No, that’s the worst thing I could have heard.’ I want people to come out feeling done.

Avengers: Age of Ultron, he insists, is “designed to be a complete experience.” He continues:

And if I don’t do that, if I haven’t brought you on that journey and closed it out, fuck me. That’s the danger of this sort of serialized storytelling, turning the motion picture experience into episodic TV. Because we have episodic TV, and now you don’t even have to wait to watch it, you can binge it. So that’s to me a dreadful mistake.

Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron opens May 1. Reed’s Ant-Man arrives July 17.

 

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