ant-man photos

Replacing Edgar Wright on Ant-Man was never going to be an easy task. As director Peyton Reed recalls it, even he found himself wondering, “Who is the poor sap who is going to take over that movie?” — not realizing, of course, that he himself would get the job a few weeks later.

Fortunately, early word on Reed’s Ant-Man has been strong. Among other things, critics have noted approvingly that Wright’s influence can still be felt in the finished product. Now Reed has gotten more specific about which parts of Ant-Man came from him and Adam McKay, and which parts originated with Wright and Joe Cornish. Read the Peyton Reed Edgar Wright Ant-Man comments after the jump. 

Before we start, a spoiler warning: While the comments below don’t give away any major twists, there is discussion of the overall plot including the third act. If you’d rather be surprised, please come back after you’ve seen the movie.

Speaking with Uproxx, Reed got specific about Wright’s lasting contributions to the script:

I read all of the existing drafts that Edgar and Joe wrote. It was clearly Edgar and Joe’s idea to make this a heist movie and to sort of loosely base it on Marvel Premiere “To Steal an Ant-Man” that introduced Scott Lang. It was also their idea to create this Hank Pym/Scott Lang, mentor/mentee relationship. And, also, their idea to kind of do a Marvel movie where the third act battle take place in a little girl’s bedroom. Genius. It was great.

But Reed was also able to put his own mark on the story:

Well, I came on about the same time that Adam McKay and Rudd were doing rewrites. And I’ve known McKay for some time and we talked on the phone and we were both really jazzed about the idea of, in the third act, in a movie in which we will have seen shrinking a bunch, let’s take it even further in the third act and introduce what, in the comics, was the microverse, in what we call the quantum realm. Creating this moment of self-sacrifice where he has to go into the quantum realm to save his daughter, that was something that was never in those drafts that Adam and I brought to it.

McKay’s contributions didn’t stop there, as Reed explained:

And Adam came up with the idea that in every heist movie, there’s a trial by fire and they’ve got everything in line for the heist, but we need this one thing. Adam pitched that idea of sending Scott on a mission for which he’s not quite prepared and he comes up against another Marvel character. That blew my mind, and particularity with that specific character.

One of the more pervasive theories surrounding Wright’s departure is that he was reluctant to make changes that would make Ant-Man fit more neatly into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so it’s interesting to hear that McKay was the one who came up with the connection to another Marvel character.

In truth, there’ll never be a way to draw a clear line between Wright and Cornish’s contributions, and Reed and McKay’s. (At least from an artistic standpoint, that is — legally, the powers that be have already made the distinction.) Reed and McKay built on what came before, and we can’t know exactly how Wright’s version of the movie would have turned out.

But now there’s a pretty clear basis for the “Edgar Wright feel” in the finished film. Considering Wright and Cornish’s script has been called by some as “not only the best script that Marvel had ever had, but the most Marvel script,” that’s a good thing.

Ant-Man is in theaters July 17.

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