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The news that Edgar Wright has left Marvel’s Ant-Man due to “differences in their vision of the film” was something that, perhaps unsurprisingly, caused a huge amount of upset on social media Friday afternoon.
Reaction to the news seemed split into one of three responses. Firstly, there were those who couldn’t quite believe that it had happened —
— Brian Troy (@BrianTroyFilms) May 23, 2014
Amazed that Edgar Wright dropped out of Ant-Man, considering he’s the reason it is being made.
— Adam Roth (@arothwdwc) May 23, 2014
Edgar Wright had been developing Ant-Man since at least 2006, it’s quite a shock he’s decided to abandon the project completely.
— Rob Trench (@robtrench) May 23, 2014
Edgar Wright leaving Ant-Man has instantly sapped all my enthusiasm for Ant-Man. Why would Marvel let a talent like that go? They’re crazy.
— Jonathan Lack (@JonathanLack) May 23, 2014
— closely followed by those who felt that a Wright-less Ant-Man held far less appeal than what they had originally been anticipating —
Edgar Wright isn’t directing Ant-Man anymore? There goes my interest on the movie.
— Morgan Chan (@morganchan) May 23, 2014
Thoroughly disappointed @edgarwright isn’t directing Ant-Man. Was the main draw for me.
— John Howard (@amathyst87) May 23, 2014
Much less excited about/interested in #AntMan now that Edgar Wright’s dropped out directing.
— Steven Sloss (@StevenScrivello) May 23, 2014
Stunned and deeply, deeply disappointed in Marvel with the news of Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man. Here’s hoping for a Donner-cut style DVD release.
— Miles (@TheMilesJackson) May 23, 2014
But NO ONE was planning on seeing Ant Man because it’s Ant Man. They would see it because it’s a new Edgar Wright (and because it’s Marvel.)
— Martin R. Schneider (@SchneidRemarks) May 23, 2014
— and finally, those who believed that Wright’s departure could be read as commentary on some larger topic, even if the nature of that larger topic shifted somewhat depending on whom you asked:
Dunno how you let Edgar Wright walk like that, @Marvel, but that rock-solid confidence you guys are enjoying? Just wobbled it a lil bit.
— Bobby (@BobbyRobertsPDX) May 23, 2014
The Edgar Wright news is another data point supporting the idea that the role of the director in big studio features is changing fast.
— Zack Stentz (@MuseZack) May 23, 2014
Not even a little bit surprised that Wright couldn’t make ANT-MAN work at Marvel. Their whole series has been increasingly anti-director.
— Scott Nye (@railoftomorrow) May 23, 2014
Overall, the social media response has been overwhelmingly negative, with the rare exceptions being fans of Wright happy that he’ll be able to concentrate on one of his own projects instead of the creation and property of a third party. To say this is a rarity for Marvel Studios is an understatement; although the studio has had trouble with talent before, it has rarely been of this level or this timeframe, with Ant-Man still scheduled for release 14 months from now. More traditionally — as in the case of this week’s Guardians of the Galaxy teaser — the studio is the center of excitement and well wishes, and firmly in control of the narrative as it unfolds.
Whether Ant-Man will prove to be the first serious stumble for Marvel in terms of fan goodwill remains to be seen. It will depend on who takes Wright’s place in the director’s chair and whether anyone else follows him in leaving the project. But one thing seems to be true, judging from reactions online: Whatever the final Ant-Man movie turns out to be, there will always be a section of the fanbase who will remain convinced that it could have been better if only Marvel had allowed Wright to make the movie he had originally wanted to.
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