Friday, June 6, 2014


The comic book Ant-Man
What's going on at Marvel Studios? Sure, the Disney-owned company has a reputation for churning out hit after hit based on their near-inexhaustible supply of superhero comic books: the Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers franchises have grossed billions of dollars.   
    But it is also becoming known for being one of the most difficult studios to work for.
    The recent departure of easy-going and irreverent British filmmaker Edgar Wright from its long-in-the-works Ant-Man movie has highlighted the studio's reputation for regularly clashing with its creative filmmakers.
   According to sources Marvel had become unhappy with Wright's quirky tone for the movie and, without telling him, ordered rewrites of his script. When Wright, director of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World's End, received the revised script he left the project, prompting a joint statement announcing his exit "due to differences in their visions of the film."
   He is by no means the only one. The company's desire to "Marvelise" its projects has led to differences of opinion with several of its stars and directors who have strong points of view of their own. Kenneth Branagh discovered that during the making of Thor and he did not return for the sequel, nor did Joe Johnston for Captain America. Patty Jenkins was hired to direct Thor 2 then fired, while Edward Norton clashed with Marvel during post-production on The Incredible Hulk and was replaced by Mark Ruffalo for the character's return in The Avengers. Terrence Howard similarly was replaced by Don Cheadle in the Iron Man sequels.
   But Edgar Wright's departure came as a particular shock because he had been working on Ant-Man---about a scientist who can shrink to the size of an ant---since 2006.
   He has declined to talk about it but James Gunn, director of Marvel's space adventure Guardians of the Galaxy, might have said it best.
   He wrote on Facebook that Wright and Marvel "just don't have personalities that mesh in a comfortable way."

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