In a surprise announcement via Variety, Edgar Wright (The World's End) has stepped down as director of Marvel Studios' Ant-Man.
Quoting a statement from the company and Wright himself, all we know so far is that Wright and Marvel parted ways due to differences in their vision for the film. It was apparently an amicable situation and the studio has already found a new director. We'll have to wait and see whom that ends up being, as the statement doesn't specify.
This is something of a shock, as Wright has been involved with the project since 2006, writing the script with Joe Cornish (Attack The Block) and long planning to make the film. He's also been through numberous drafts, adapting the concept for the movie as the Marvel Cinematic Universe took off and became a sprawling, interconnected series of films.
He was deep in pre-production on the film, preparing to shoot with a cast that includes Michael Douglas (Haywire), Paul Rudd (Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues), Patrick Wilson (The Conjuring), Corey Stoll (The Bourne Legacy) and Evangeline Lily (The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug). We're also told that the planned 17 July 2015 release date is unaffected.
It's hard not to feel disappointed at this development – after all, we've waited to see Edgar's take on the character for years – but hopefully Marvel has found the right person to take over.