It was a good run.
Yesterday Edgar Wright left Ant-Man when Marvel took him and Joe Cornish off the script and handed it to Eric Pearson, who had written the Marvel One Shots. Latino Review has the story here, and it's an ugly one of Marvel backing off their filmmaker at the last moment. The new script is apparently a disaster, and rumor has it that the problem is coming from higher up than Kevin Feige - Disney execs are sticking their fingers into the Marvel pie, I'm hearing.
This morning Latino Review got a new Marvel scoop - Drew Goddard is leaving the Netflix Daredevil show, they say. No reason is given yet.
On Twitter Joss Whedon, the big creative name behind Marvel these days, posted this:
a clear display of solidarity with Edgar Wright, who wasn't fired from Ant-Man but forced off the project when given a shitty script just weeks before shooting. Whedon, by the way, has hinted that The Avengers: Age of Ultron is the finale of his time with Marvel.
This follows on the heels of Marvel taking Thor: The Dark World away from Alan Taylor in post and having another director come on and shoot additional material. Marvel's always been autocratic - this is the house that Feige built, and he's been leading it with an iron fist - but things have been getting uglier over there for some time, especially now that Disney is getting involved. Why would the studio fuck with the division that's making money and having a huge cultural impact right when they're at their best? Because of dumb egos. Hollywood is dumb, run by dumb, venal people, and the executives who aren't creative resent the people who are, and want to get their stink on the movies. And you have to understand that Disney doesn't care about the movies - they want the Marvel IP so they can sell diapers and shirts and bedsheets. The movies are just commercials for the IP.
It's only going to get worse. Disney's notes on Ant-Man made the movie homogenized and flat. They're not going to stop there. How long will Marvel resist before they just give up? Kevin Feige's contract is up in 2018 - I would be surprised if he re-ups. I'm betting on the press tour for Avengers 3 being his big victory lap as he says it's time for someone else to lead Marvel into the next phase.
As for what's up with Ant-Man... does Marvel even want to make this movie? Everything I've heard about this new script indicates they really aren't behind the concept. And what's the point of making Ant-Man without Edgar Wright anyway? Could they simply scrap the whole project? What if they killed Ant-Man, abandoned that release date and announced Captain/Ms. Marvel for November 2015? They have the script. I think they have the role cast. They know that there's a lot of impact to be had with the first female-led superhero movie of this particular cycle.
LIke I said, it was a good run. There will be more good Marvel movies, but you can see the expiration date now.