Joss Whedon: Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man Script Was “The Best Marvel Ever Had”

Joss Whedon has spoken of his sadness over Edgar Wright and Marvel parting ways on ‘Ant-Man,’ whilst piling praise on Wright and Joe Cornish’s original script.

The ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ writer-director tells Indiewire, “I thought the script was not only the best script that Marvel had ever had, but the most Marvel script I’d read.

“I had no interest in Ant-Man. [Then] I read the script, and was like, Of course! This is so good! It reminded me of the books when I read them. Irreverent and funny and could make what was small large, and vice versa.“

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Wright shocked fans everywhere by dropping out of ‘Ant-Man’ last summer shortly before the film starring Paul Rudd and Micheal Douglas was due to begin production, over the studio’s demands for changes to the original screenplay.

Adam McKay and star Paul Rudd have subsequently rewritten the script, with Wright and Cornish receiving story credit. Peyton Reed took over as director.

Famously, Whedon showed his support for Wright by posting a selfie on Twitter holding a Cornetto - a nod to the ice cream’s recurring appearance in Wright’s ‘Shaun of the Dead,’ ‘Hot Fuzz’ and ‘The World’s End’ (informally known as the ‘Three Flavours Cornetto’ trilogy).

Even so, Whedon is careful not to assign blame in the split between Marvel and Wright and Cornish (pictured below).

"I don’t know where things went wrong. But I was very sad. Because I thought, This is a no-brainer. This is Marvel getting it exactly right. Whatever dissonance that came, whatever it was, I don’t understand why it was bigger than a marriage that seemed so right.

“But I’m not going to say it was definitely all Marvel, or Edgar’s gone mad! I felt like they would complement each other by the ways that they were different. And, uh, somethin’ happened.”

Whedon also spoke of his concern over the ‘episodic filmmaking’ which Marvel has pioneered, insisting he was always focused on making ‘Age of Ultron’ work as a self-contained film, rather than filling it with nods to films yet to come in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“No matter how much they may talk about, ‘Well, this is going to lead to some terrible stuff down the line,’ in my movie, it’s designed to be a complete experience. And if I don’t do that, if I haven’t brought you on that journey and closed it out, f*** me.

“That’s the danger of this sort of serialized storytelling, turning the motion picture experience into episodic TV. Because we have episodic TV, and now you don’t even have to wait to watch it, you can binge it. So that’s to me a dreadful mistake.”

It is at least partly for this reason, Whedon says, that “there aren’t a ton of Easter eggs [in ‘Age of Ultron’]. It’s so hard for me to make a movie, especially this movie, I don’t spend a lot of time going, ‘You know what else would be hilarious?!’ I’m more like, 'Was the gun in the frame? Oh my God, I’m so tired.'

“I mean I would leave set every day and go home and write because it wasn’t quite right; it wasn’t quite finished. It needed to be better. So not a ton.”

It is also stressed that Andy Serkis’s casting as presumed future ‘Black Panther’ bad guy Ulysses Klaw (above) was not intentional foreshadowing, as Whedon states he didn’t know Marvel intended to make ‘Black Panther’ at that point.

Still, despite the fact that he is handing over the directorial reins on ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ to Joe and Anthony Russo, and despite the exhaustion that he has expressed in most recent interviews, Whedon has still stressed that he is open to working with Marvel again somewhere down the line.

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ opens in the UK this Thurday, 23 April, whilst ‘Ant-Man’ follows on 17 July.

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Picture Credit: Marvel, WENN, Twitter/Joss Whedon