'Ant-Man' Paul Rudd Was "Devastated" When Edgar Wright Left the Film, Just Like the Rest Of Us
Marvel had a little bit of a shake-up in their golden year of 2014 when news broke that cult-beloved director Edgar Wright had left the Ant-Man director's chair after creative disagreements with the superhero movie behemoth. It caused a lot of "!!!!!!" and also a lot of "????" and questions over what Marvel's brand could continue to be if it couldn't mesh with geeky auteurs such as Wright. Ant-Man rebounded a bit — although it can't get back all its Wright cred — but you can bet that it's a moment in the film's history which will hang over all of the movie's press engagement. No one's escaping this movie without having to reveal their capital-F Feelings over the director switch-a-roo — including Paul Rudd, who reminisced about Wright's departure in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
Rudd's Ant-Man co-star Evangeline Lilly previously discussed Wright's departure, admitting that she almost left the project before the script revisions changed her mind:
[I was] shocked. And mortified, at first. Actually, I wouldn’t say mortified. You know, a creative project is a moving target. You never end up where you start. But we all, I think, signed on very enthusiastically with Edgar. We were excited to work with Edgar. We were fans of Edgar.
And Rudd himself has discussed the switch in the past, at 2014's San Diego Comic-Con:
Well, it’s been…it was pretty bumpy for sure. I’m really sad about it. Edgar’s brilliant, and Edgar brought me on. Edgar’s my friend. I mean, I still talk to Edgar just about every day, almost.
He also depended Ant-Man's eventual director Peyton Reed:
[The film has] opened up and grown in such a new and exciting way. And I also know Peyton [Reed], and Peyton is a really smart, really passionate visionary when it comes to this kind of stuff. He’s a comic book fan, he knows the world, this was his 20th Comic-Con. So while it wasn’t terra firma there for awhile, my enthusiasm and excitement and passion is certainly there for where we’re at now, and what Peyton’s gonna do.
This time around Rudd said something not dissimilar, noting that it's "It’s been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster," but that he's come out of it excited and impressed with Marvel.
It all happened pretty quickly. Edgar called me, and then it was just out in all the trades. It was a bit of a whirlwind, to say the least.
And on if he thought about leaving alongside Wright:
Well, I mean, there are lots of things that go through your mind. There are certain things I can and can’t do, and then there also certain things I will and won’t say. But I was devastated, you know.
He also talked about the edits he and Anchorman director Adam McKay made on the script:
It somewhat happened organically,” says the actor, who previously cowrote the 2008 comedy Role Models. “When Edgar left, they were talking about directors and I knew Adam and Adam’s brilliant. So he came in to meet with them. He and I had some ideas and so we spent some time rewriting it and wound up doing a rewrite on the whole thing. All of a sudden, this took on a whole new life and was much more intensive that I had maybe anticipated. I’ve actually found myself in these kinds of situations before—maybe not quite on this level, but not far off—where all of a sudden you’re writing scenes and taking on writing responsibilities. And that’s okay. But it’s a little strange writing something that’s really, truly out of my comfort zone. I wouldn’t know how to begin to write [something like this], but sometimes you just hit the ground running, I guess. Thankfully Adam was there.
All the drama and change-ups certainly have me curious about what Ant-Man will actually deliver.