Edgar Wright Won’t Direct Marvel’s Ant-Man Movie

Edgar Wright Ant-Man Costume

After eight long years developing Marvel Studios' Ant-Man, Edgar Wright has finally decided to leave the project over creative differences. The news comes as something of a shock, since Ant-Man had finally fought his way out of development hell and was gearing up for a July 17, 2015 release date with a cast that included Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Patrick Wilson and Michael Douglas.

In a public statement (via Coming Soon), Marvel Studios and Edgar Wright declared that the departure is an amicable one, and that the film will be released on schedule with a new director, who is probably going to be announced extremely soon if production is going to begin in time to finish the movie in just over one year.

Edgar Wright is a beloved director to audiences the world over, having directed the acclaimed genre benders Shaun of the Dead, Hot FuzzScott Pilgrim vs. The World and The World's End. But the development of Ant-Man, one of the first films Marvel Studios even announced they were making in the first place, took so very, very long that Wright was able to make three whole feature films while he was waiting for the green light. He even showed off a short screen test at Comic-Con 2012, to the cheers of the audience in Hall H, proving that he was still committed to the project.

With the director's chair vacant and very little time to replace Edgar Wright, Marvel finds itself in the same quandary it did when Patty Jenkins departed Thor: The Dark World in 2011, making room for "Game of Thrones" director Alan Taylor to take over instead. But whomever Marvel Studios gets to replace Edgar Wright will have very little time to make the project their own, and will probably be forced to use whichever script Wright himself had become unhappy with, and subject to the scrutiny and scorn of movie lovers who had been looking forward to Wright's superhero movie for almost an entire decade.

To whomever Marvel Studios gets to direct Ant-Man, we wish them luck… they may just need it.

William Bibbiani is the editor of CraveOnline's Film Channel and the host of The B-Movies Podcast and The Blue Movies Podcast. Follow him on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.