Marvel’s Kevin Feige has finally spoken up about the controversy surrounding Edgar Wright’s departure from Ant-Man, hoping to quell fans—spurred by supporters like Joss Whedon and Simon Pegg—who believe that Wright’s ideas were simply too much for Marvel, leading to his being replaced by Peyton Reed. In a new interview with The Guardian, Feige explains, “The perception that the big evil studio was too scared at the outside-the-box creative vision is just not the case.”
Speaking after a screening of footage from the upcoming Guardians Of The Galaxy, Feige said that, while the term “creative differences” is an oft-used cover story, in this case it was the truth. “We sat round a table and we realized 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 also broadly speculated about the source of those creative differences, adding, “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.” Still, he denies the idea that Marvel was limiting Wright’s vision.
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.
Unsurprisingly, Feige only had good things to say about Wright’s replacement.
Peyton is going to do a tremendous job and the cast is tremendously dedicated and the script is getting into amazing shape. You wouldn’t expect a producer to say anything different, but when that movie comes out it will be the absolute best version of Ant-Man that could have existed.
And while these could play like soundbites from a studio looking for positive publicity, Feige has certainly built up a lot of goodwill in his years with Marvel Studios. In particular, his episode of the Nerdist podcast displayed a genuine love for the Marvel franchise and a frank willingness to discuss the studio’s failures. Feige added a personal note to his Guardian interview as well, saying, “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.”