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'Baby Driver' director Edgar Wright on the tough decision to leave 'Ant-Man'

"Baby Driver" director Edgar Wright is photographed in Beverly Hills. (Christina House / For The Times)
"Baby Driver" director Edgar Wright is photographed in Beverly Hills. (Christina House / For The Times)

The recent news of the departure of Phil Lord and Chris Miller from an upcoming “Star Wars” film and their subsequent replacement by Ron Howard has again focused attention on the difficulty of retaining an original voice within the confines of contemporary Hollywood.

During a recent interview about his new film “Baby Driver,” Edgar Wright spoke about the tough decision to leave Marvel’s “Ant-Man” in 2014 just before the movie was to begin production. Though he still retains a writing credit on it, Wright said he has never watched the film.

“I don’t want to go into too much detail, and I can’t go into too much detail, but the simple, hard facts of it is that there was a point right before, about eight weeks before were supposed to start shooting, where they wanted to do a draft with somebody else,” Wright said. “Once you’ve been a writer-director on a movie for eight years, it’s kind of tough to take.

“So it was a really tough decision that ultimately was a binary decision. If I do something like that I want to be a writer-director on it, I don’t want to just be a director-for-hire, that’s not what I signed up for. The positive thing that came out of it is I came into doing this film next.”

As for whether the experience has turned him off to the possibility of franchise filmmaking in contemporary Hollywood, Wright answered with a mixture of diplomatic caution and hard-earned wisdom.

“I would be a fool to say no, so I will definitely say never say never,” he said. He leaned in close to a reporter’s recorder to add with a smile, “I will say on the record that I’ll do a Bond movie.”

Click here for more from Wright on “Baby Driver” and how making original stories in franchise-focused Hollywood can seem like “lassoing a unicorn.”

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