Friday, the 23rd of May, brought the news that director Edgar Wright would be parting ways with Marvel and will no longer be directing Ant Man. The next day, Latino Review reported and the Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Drew Goddard would no longer be the showrunner of the Daredevil series. Both of these announcements (but the Wright one in particular) caused outrage across the internet. People were furious. Well, I’m here to tell you that there is no need to worry… at least not until the movie actually comes out.
The changing of directors is nothing new at Marvel. Patty Jenkins was set to direct Thor: The Dark World before being replace by Alan Taylor, and that film turned out fine. However, Jenkins’ one month of involvement is nothing compared to Wright’s years of working on Ant Man. Many have compared the MCU to a television show, with Feige being the showrunner and the Avengers films being season finales. If that is the case, you have to play by his rules. Yes, each installment has it’s own style and tone, but it can’t go outside what is planned. If, and this is an extreme example, Wright wanted Ant Man to end with Earth exploding, he couldn’t do it. He doesn’t have that kind of free reign. Normally in film, the director is king, but here Feige and Marvel are in charge.
Wright had been on Ant Man for years. It was his passion project. When you have a passion project, it’s your baby. You don’t want to compromise on anything. If Edgar Wright feels that the best ending to his film is for earth to blow up, then any other ending is out of the question. Unfortunately, this obviously won’t fly at Marvel. Neither Wright or Feige is right or wrong, they just have different ideas on how the story should work. I think if the two couldn’t reach a compromise, then Wright leaving is a good thing. I don’t think anyone wants to see Edgar Wright directing a movie that he doesn’t want to.
People have started to use this event as an example that Marvel has given up on the outside-the-box thinking that has gotten them where they are. I’m sorry, did you see Winter Solider? Last time I checked, a 1970s style political espionage thriller is not playing it safe. Marvel’s next film is Guardians of the Galaxy, directed by James Gunn, who is a far “riskier” choice than Edgar Wright. I’m not saying one is better than the other, I’m just saying that it’s more outside the box. One director leaving for creative differences could be the beginning of the end, but it could also be business as usual. Wait until the movie comes out or at least until the creative teams for the rest of Phase 3 have been announced.
As for Drew Goddard, can you blame the guy for wanting to direct a multimillion-dollar blockbuster instead of showrunning a Netflix original series? I’m sure that artistically, the Netflix show would be more rewarding, but it’s not very often you get offered the option to direct a tent pole film for Sony. The Daredevil show, and television in general, will always be there. We have no reason to believe Goddard’s decision to leave Marvel was over a falling out between the two. It’s possible that Goddard left just because Sinister Six is a better gig. If he actually makes Sinister Six into a watchable and — dare I say, good movie — he’ll be hailed as a nicolas cage. On the flip side, if it is horrible and flops, I’m sure Marvel television will be glad to have him back in some capacity.
In summation, two people parting ways with Marvel is not the end of the world. This is not suggestive of a bigger problem at Marvel because, as most people are overlooking, the television and the film division of Marvel are separate from each other. Yes, they report to the same people and deal in the same universe, but from what we know, they operate pretty independently of each other. These two announcements are most likely a coincidence of timing that has unfortunately given fans the opportunity to find something to be unnecessarily angry over.