Exclusive: Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man & Scott Pilgrim

Director Edgar Wright is doing a mini-tour of the United States along with Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson in support of their new DVD Spaced: The Complete Series, released Tuesday on DVD in the United States for the first time. ComingSoon.net had a chance to sit down and talk with him, an interview which you can read here, but they also had a chance to talk with him a bit about Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, both of which Wright is adapting as movies.

CS: What’s been going on since you finished promoting “Hot Fuzz” last year? I know you’ve been always juggling a couple different projects including “Ant-Man” and “Scott Pilgrim.”

Wright: We’re in between two different strikes. I don’t think anybody really knows what’s happening with the (actors strike). Yeah, I’ve just been writing. I wrote the first draft of “Ant-Man.” I wrote two drafts of “Scott Pilgrim.” I started to work on a solo project and also me and Simon are… (starts to pause as not to reveal too much.)

CS: It already leaked what you two were doing together.

Wright: Oh, no, there’s two. There’s one that’s me and there’s one that’s me and Simon. Yeah, that one there was a trade announcement about it and that’s sort of the third in this trilogy but we need to start writing that in between everything else that’s going on .

CS: The interesting thing about “Ant-Man” is that after “Iron Man” opened so big, there was this huge Marvel Studios bells and whistles announcement of their movies for the next three years and “Ant-Man” wasn’t mentioned.

Wright: I think having spoken to Kevin Feige, the “Ant-Man” film I have in mind is a bit more stand-alone, and that’s kind of what I wanted to do in a way. I think my take on it is something that may or may not fit into what “The Avengers” would eventually do, but they’re very keen on it and they’ve even talked a release date with me in very vague terms. It looks likely that I will do “Scott Pilgrim” next and then “Ant-Man” straight afterwards.

CS: You have a great cast that’s been announced for “Scott Pilgrim” so far.

Wright: There’s some more interesting people buzzing around as well. It’s going to be a big ensemble, that film, and there’s a lot of fun people we’ve already been talking to, so there’s more to come with that.

CS: Brian O’Malley still has a couple more issues of the story to finish, so have you talked to him about where the story is going to go so you can include some of that in the movie?

Wright: The only book that isn’t written is the sixth, but our film takes on a slightly different trajectory after the second book and it includes elements from books three, four and five. In some cases, Brian has used lines in his books from our first draft of the screenplay (chuckles) which is like strange performance-style transference, and it’s been brilliant being able to pick his brains throughout this. On one hand, it’s a very very faithful adaptation and on the other hand, it definitely molds events from those books into a three-act movie structure, so that’s been interesting.

CS: And you know that Mike Cera has this insane fanbase of women, which you might have seen at Comic-Con last year, but it’s gotten even bigger since “Superbad” came out. Essentially, every single woman wants him.

Wright: Michael Cera? Yeah. I know he’s got a lot of growing up he can do if he wanted to.

CS: Once you figure out if the strike is happening, do you know where you’ll shoot the movie? Would you go back to the U.K. for it or do it here?

Wright: No, it wouldn’t be in the U.K. It’ll either be here or Toronto. It would be really crucial to kind of shoot in Toronto, so that’s what I’m aiming to do.

CS: I want to ask some more “Ant-Man” stuff because besides the release date, there’s been a lot of chatter and speculation about what that movie might be like, whether it’s a straight comedy or not. Did you look at any specific issues or stories to based the movie on?

Wright: It doesn’t really have elements of an entire strand or series, because Ant-Man is a character that over forty years, he’s kind of cropped up in various different guises, and it’s always interesting to me what elements of the character people latch onto. Everyone seems to latch onto the wife-beater elements. I’m not even sure if I read that particular story. I maybe read parts of it. You know, the only thing is that parts of it touch upon is the whole mythos, and basically, it’s the story about Hank Pym and Scott Lang. Our big spin on it is an origin tale for one of them and kind of like a swan song for the other.

CS: Are you going to be able to get the Wasp in there at all?

Wright: In a very roundabout way. We want to sort of leave some things for some future visions or spin-off things as well. It’s difficult to tell forty years of Avengers history in one film, and I’d rather concentrate on two or three great characters.

CS: Ant-Man also had the worst villains in the Marvel Universe.

Wright: Living Eraser…

CS: Egghead…

Wright: Like The Protractor… it always seemed like for the first 12 issues of “Ant-Man,” it was just the contents of a pencil case.

CS: You could probably make up a villain and it would be better than any of the villains in the comic books.

Wright: I don’t think there’s any villains from the original comics, I mean Ant-Man standalone, that are like famous enough to… I mean, in a way, one of the things that was sort of a high concept of characters so much is that you don’t need to have a Marvel super-villain in the film. Ant-Man is enough in an otherwise kind of real world.

CS: The good thing is that the character doesn’t have that many diehard fans, at least not that I know of, although maybe they’ll come out of the woodwork when you’re at Comic-Con talking about the movie.

Wright: “Hey, you didn’t beat his wife enough!”

CS: (laughs) No, no, he really didn’t beat his wife at all when he was Ant-Man. That was like later when he had five different personalities.

Wright: I think you got the sense with the original. I had lunch with Stan Lee and it was very interesting talking to him about Ant-Man because he said to me that he always felt like Ant-Man was a character that should have been bigger, and like they made mistakes, even just in the artwork, that sort of prevented him from doing that. It’s kind of interesting. He said that he always felt that Ant-Man was a character that had more potential than it ever really delivered on. I like that Cold War stuff, it’s great. Ant-Man taking on the Russkies single-handedly, it’s funny.

Spaced: The Complete Series is out now on DVD which you can get in all the finer stores that sell cool cult TV show DVD collections, including Amazon. If you’ll be in San Diego for Comic-Con International, try to stop by Room 6A on Friday at 12:30pm where Edgar, Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson will be doing a Q ‘n’ A panel about the show. (Yes, we know it’s opposite the Watchmen panel, but you probably won’t be able to get into it, so why bother even trying?) Then on Friday night at 10:15, same time, they’ll screen three episodes of the show as chosen by you, the fans.

Source: Edward Douglas, ComingSoon.net