Marvel's Kevin Feige finally talks Edgar Wright's shocking Ant-Man exit

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Jul 18, 2014, 4:46 PM EDT

The mastermind of Marvel Studios is finally opening up a bit about Edgar Wright's shocking departure after nearly a decade of Ant-Man development.

Before Iron Man became a runaway hit for Marvel Studios, before Thor, before Captain America: The First Avenger, before The Avengers became one of the highest-grossing movies ever, there was Edgar Wright and Ant-Man. The Shaun of the Dead director's vision for one of Marvel's longest-serving heroes had been around for pretty much as long as Marvel Studios had. So when it was announced in May that Wright would be leaving Ant-Man after eight years of developing the script, casting the film and preparing to shoot, many people were shocked, to say the least. 

In the days and weeks that followed, the Ant-Man shakeup easily became the biggest Marvel Studios controversy to date, and it was made worse by repeated rumors of a new director that resulted in no concrete news. Finally, in early June, Marvel tapped Peyton Reed to helm the flick, and the furor died down, but plenty of questions remained. Why did Wright leave after so much development work? What finally made Marvel think he wasn't the right man for the job? Was Wright's vision just too much for the corporate-driven Marvel machine? There were plenty of rumors about the split, and there still are, but both Marvel and Wright have kept largely quiet about the decision, until now.

While promoting the next Marvel Studios flick, Guardians of the Galaxy, this week, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige finally spoke out a little on Wright's Ant-Man departure. Though there have been plenty of rumors that what Wright wanted in the film was just too bold for the studio, Feige insists that wasn't the case:

"The Marvel movies are very collaborative, and I think they are more collaborative than what he had been used to. And I totally respect that," Feige said.

"[But] the notion that Marvel was scared, the vision was too good, too far out for Marvel is not true. And I don't want to talk too much about that because I think our movies speak to that. Go look at Iron Man 3; go look at The Winter Soldier; go see Guardians of the Galaxy later this month. It would have to be really out there to be too out there for us."

In the end, according to Feige, Wright left the film because his vision and the one Marvel Studios had simply didn't work, not because one was bolder than the other, but because things simply didn't line up in the end, and the studio decided it would rather cut ties than try to force the film.

"We sat round a table and we realised it was not working," he said. "A part of me wishes we could have figured that out in the eight years we were working on it. But better for us and for Edgar that we figure it out then, and not move it through production," Feige said.

"We said let's do this together and put out a statement. What do we say? 'Creative differences'. I said: 'That's what they always say and no-one ever believes it.' Edgar said: 'But in this case it's true … '"

So, while some fans will continue to believe what they want to believe, Feige seems to be doing his best to set the Ant-Man record straight, and noted that he's still disappointed that his creative relationship with Wright won't continue.

"The biggest disappointment for me is just the relationship, because I like Edgar very, very much and we were very close for many many years," he said. "But the perception that the big evil studio was too scared at the outside-the-box creative vision is just not the case."

It's nice to see Feige trying to heal the wounds of the Ant-Man debacle, but for many fans, this won't be over until Reed turns in a satisfactory movie. Whether he will has yet to be seen. 

Ant-Man hits theaters July 17, 2015.

(Via The Guardian)