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Creative Control: Good or Bad?

As you've probably heard if you follow such things, British director Edgar Wright is out as helmer of next year's Marvel movie Antman. If rumors are to be believed, Marvel had a problem with some aspect of the script and Wright wouldn't change it. Supposedly the production is still on schedule. We'll see. 

This production was doomed from the start but not for reasons you'll probably catch around the 'net. First Wright wanted to go with Antman #2 Scott Lang instead of Hank Pym. Say what? To me, and I know I'm probably in the minority, he's way more interesting than Lang. (At least for the first movie...) Lang stole Pym's suit to save his daughter from criminals. (Did I mention she's also dying?) To me, it's like going with Guy Gardiner instead of Hal Jordan for Green Lantern... Anyway, Pym is an arrogant scientist (basically an alcoholic version of Big Bang Theory's Sheldon)  who figured out how to make things shrink and grow.  His love interest is socialite Janet Van Dyne; basically more Penny than Amy, if we continue the BBT analogy, also known as Wasp. (Janet would've been the Lang's love interest in the movie 'cause that makes sense...)

Marvel has liked strict control over their properties even before they started making their own movies. True story: She-Hulk was created so the Incredible Hulk TV showrunners wouldn't capitalize on the "success" of The Bionic Woman and create their own version!

In the comics, Antman and Wasp were Avengers before Captain America and the soon to be added Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver yet they're pushed off into Phase 3 of Marvel's cinematic multi-year plan? What the hell is that? It's Big Bang Theory with super powers!  Hank is Sheldon, Tony "Ironman" Stark is Howard, and Bruce "Hulk" Banner is a combo of Leonard and Raj.

Anyway, this got me thinking about if creative control is a good or bad thing. Back in the day at least, Star Trek novels were more controled creatively than Star Wars novels.  Author Barbara Hambly wrote the Trek novel Crossroad where this tentacled black monster from another dimension took over the Enterprise.  It sucked. She then wrote the Star Wars novels Children of the Jedi and Planet of Twilight which were fantastic. On the other hand, Vonda McIntyre's novelization of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock was damn good but her novel written for the "other universe", The Crystal Star, was boring as hell.

To sum up: Some writers need to be reigned in while others chafe too much and still don't follow instruction.  The trick for Marvel will always be finding that right balance.                  


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