Edgar Wright explains why Ultron won't be in Ant-Man
One person who I think echoes what comic fans are thinking when it comes to movie adaptations is Edgar Wright. The director/writer has one comic adaptation under his belt, SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD but ANT-MAN is a taller (shorter?) order.
A major complaint of most comic flicks is the overload of information and characters that seem to drown out the plot. When introducing a character, and even a good practice for sequels is to keep it simple. Use big ideas for other details that won't draw attention away from what we need to be paying attention to. Though Ultron will be the next villain for THE AVENGERS to face, Hank Pym's creation will likely not take part in his solo film.
In an interview with Huffington Post, Wright explains why Ultron was not included in his script, and shares his ideas on what makes a superhero film work. There's also some bits here about what the studio wanted from SCOTT PILGRIM:
Huffington Post: But "Ant-Man" is coming up, which people will have a personal idea of.
Edgar Wright: Yeah. Yes, absolutely. And people had a very strong opinions about "Scott Pilgrim" because it was an adaptation. And there's not much that you can really do about that. I'm sure there are people who didn't like the "Scott Pilgrim" film because it wasn't the books verbatim. And that's impossible. It's like, this is as close as it's going to get. In a weird way, you could never say this, but even at the time i was thinking, If you knew the changes that they wanted me to make, believe me...
HP: What's an example?
EW: I think the biggest thing that wasn't in the books at all -- and, listen, the film is pretty un-compromised and I have to give huge credit to Universal for letting me make the movie the way I made it. But I'd get things like, "You have to explain how they fight. You have to explain how they fight." And I'm like, "I really don't think we need to do that. It's not in the books and I don't think we need to explain." So, stuff like that, you know. So, I think people take this personally when -- it's usually when it's something that is much older.
HP: Is that a nice thing about "Ant-Man"? In that people know who he is, but not really.
EW: I think there's something in that it's a lesser known character, there's hopefully more license. For the one percent of people who are like, "Wait, Hank Pym would never do that!" there's 99 percent going, "Who's Hank Pym?" So, to me, the source material is great but it also frees you up to be like: I'm going to make a movie. The movie is not going to represent 50 years of Marvel comics because that's impossible. But I'm going to make a 100 minute movie -- or 110 minutes [laughs].
HP: Ultron is going to the the villain in the next Avengers movie, which is coming out before "Ant-Man." In the comics, Ant-Man invented Ultron. Ant-Man is a strange enough character on his own for a movie, would it have just too much to say, "Here's Ant-Man and, by the way, he also invented this robot named Ultron"? Would that have been too much for the first "Ant-Man" movie?
EW: It was never in my script. Because even just to sort of set up what Ant-Man does is enough for one movie. It's why I think "Iron Man" is extremely successful because it keeps it really simple. You have one sort of -- the villain comes from the hero's technology. It's simple. So I think why that film really works and why, sometimes, superhero films fail -- or they have mixed results -- because they have to set up a hero and a villain at the same time. And that's really tough. And sometimes it's unbalanced.
You know, when I was younger I used to love Tim Burton's "Batman." I was like 15 and even then I was aware, "This is really the Joker's film." It's like, the Joker just takes over and Batman, you really don't learn too much about him. Comics have years to explain this stuff and in a movie you have to focus on one thing. So it's about kind of streamlining, I think. Some of the most successful origin films actually have a narrower focus. You cannot put 50 years of the Marvel universe into a movie. It's impossible.