Edgar Wright's four feature films--the so-called "Cornetto Trilogy" with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, a series that includes Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World's End, as well as the cult favorite Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World--are so widely beloved that the nerd world seemed to collectively moan a little in happiness at the news that Wright would be teaming with Marvel to direct Ant-Man.
Alas, those moans turned to groans last week when Wright removed himself from the project over script disagreements with Marvel Studios. And in this extremely watchable eight-minute video that analyzes Wright's directorial style as compared to the comedic visions of most American comedy filmmakers, the reason why his departure is lamentable becomes very clear: Wright is one of the most visually inventive comedic directors working today, and the case made in this video essentially serves as empirical evidence of that.
The video snarks on some of the wasted opportunities and boring visual direction favored by, say, The Heat and This Is the End--funny movies that lack any real sense of cinematic storytelling--and describes the current crop of American comedy films as "lightly edited improv." That's a harsh opening salvo, but when the video breaks down exactly what it is Wright does that most of his contemporaries do not--wringing visual and audio jokes out of moments that other filmmakers just pan through to get to the next bit of dialogue--it becomes hard to argue with. Whatever Edgar Wright does next will probably have a lot of crackle to it--it's just too bad that it's not going to be a tiny superhero who fights crime while talking to ants.