The Torchwood Problem.

Film You will have seen the Latino Review piece about why Edgar Wright left Ant-Man. Go read it now, if you haven't.

Here's my random speculation. It's the Torchwood problem.

Edgar Wright & Joe Cornish are working on the film within the MARVEL Universe and with the aid of Kevin Feige, who's said that he's only still making the thing because of Wright.

The film is tonally of a piece with Wright's other work and because of the vision Feige has for the MARVEL Universe, that it should be able to encompass all kinds of genres and tones it's continued to be a go project.

Anomalous in relation to everything else because it began development before Iron Man, but like Guardians of the Galaxy, a way for MARVEL to say that they're willing to experiment happy that it'll attract a smaller audience.

Except, this is Disney. Disney who for all their experiments with Miramax and Touchstone, have their own particular vision for the kinds of films they want to make and they're at most PG-13.  Is Ant Man R-rated?

Plus Captain America: The Winter Soldier happens in the meantime and now Disney expect all of MARVEL's films to have massive blockbuster openings.

In other words, Disney expect MARVEL to produce films which attract something in the region of Doctor Who's wide demographic, Wright was offering them Torchwood and while the BBC are quite happy to be in that business, Disney isn't.

So essentially some higher-up, a Disney exec, overrules Feige (though it's also possible there's a contractual mandate), says they want something called Ant Man to be skew younger than Wright and Cornish's script and be more connected to the other MARVEL universe films and with greater scale.

A rewrite is ordered.

Wright keeps faith because he's been on the thing for over a decade and perhaps there's the promise that if it doesn't work out, they'll revert to the script which was the reason for the given cast and start dates and everything that's already been announced.

Script comes back and it's terrible, or at least it's not what Wright had signed up on to make which is something of mature quality, whereas this is family friendly. But if he wants to stay on the project, he's stuck with it.

So he can either walk or spend the next two years working on something in which he's essentially become a director for hire on a project he initiated.

He walks and probably good for him.

Two things. At least.

(1) The general sense until now has been that like Who in the Davies era, the MCU was being designed to encompass a range of different types of programmes and films for different audiences.  Could we indeed be seeing the first signs of Disney now wanting to increase the homogeneity?  That might explain why the Black Widow film suddenly seems like a shaky proposition.  To be done properly it has to be R-rated.

(2) Joss's still perplexing tweet and now James Gunn's obviscating statement. If, as it seems, he's showing solidarity for Wright, what are the implications?  That the directors within this verse are starting to feel even less in control of their own projects?

In other news, Drew Goddard's walked from the Netflix Daredevil. Again, this could be a Torchwood problem, but it could equally just be his commitment to the Sinister Six. Whedon alumni Steven S. DeKnight has taken over and the transition seems pretty clean. As Jeffrey Stepakoff's memoir, Billion Dollar Kiss: The Kiss That Saved Dawson’s Creek and Other Adventures in TV Writing describes, shows change showrunners all the time for different reasons but if this is also due to some Disney exec muscling in on MARVEL's model and like the WB way back when attempting to micro-manage go projects so they fit a particular tone then battlelines are going to be drawn and there will be casualties.

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