Nothing’s Changed at Marvel Studios

Three Fools explain why the departures of Edgar Wright and Drew Goddard change almost nothing, and why that’s both good and bad news for fans and investors.

May 31, 2014 at 1:16PM

Ant Man Changing Size

Will this version of Ant-Man survive to appear on the big screen next summer? Source: Marvel Entertainment.

Edgar Wright won't be directing Ant-Man and Drew Goddard has stepped down as executive producer of Daredevil. Are these the first signs of an inevitable decline at Walt Disney's (NYSE:DIS) Marvel Studios?

Host Ellen Bowman puts this question to analysts Nathan Alderman and Tim Beyers in this week's episode of 1-Up On Wall Street, The Motley Fool's web show in which we talk about the big-money names behind your favorite movies, toys, video games, comics, and more.

Tim says that Marvel couldn't sustain a near-perfect record forever. Yet losing Wright may be the bigger blow of the two, if only because Goddard had already committed time to Sony (NYSE:SNE) for developing The Sinister Six, which now may be on a fast track with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 on its way out of theaters.

So just how big is Wright's loss? Big enough. He'd been working on Ant-Man in some form or another since 2006, around the same time that a then-upstart Marvel Studios hired Jon Favreau to direct Iron Man. Tim says in a 2007 visit to Marvel HQ he'd been told the film would net out as a sort of action comedy reminiscent of Shaun of the Dead, the horror comedy Wright developed with actor Simon Pegg. Perhaps that concept no longer made sense to studio boss Kevin Feige? His vision is what unites the Marvel Cinematic Universe in its current form.

The Hollywood Reporter's Marc Bernardin refers to Feige as a showrunner, wherein each Marvel movie is like a grand TV episode in service to a larger whole. It's a good point, Tim says, and Bernardin should know. He's also an established comic book writer with screenwriting credentials and a staff writing job at Syfy on his resume.

Nathan says of the departures that the consequences for Marvel, if any, hinge on how the relationships ended. Unfortunately (or fortunately), we don't know the details but some reports now say that Wright left after Marvel ordered an outside rewrite of the Ant-Man script without first contacting him or writing partner Joe Cornish. They apparently weren't pleased with the process, or the resulting script.

A sad tale if true, but this also isn't the first time Marvel Studios has reversed itself. Monster director Patty Jenkins was to helm Thor: The Dark World, only to be replaced by Alan Taylor. The film was still a rousing success, earning more than $600 million worldwide. Feige's showrunner-style commitment to a common look, feel, and continuity across properties may have helped smooth the transition. Expecting anything less in this situation would probably be a mistake, Tim says.

Do you agree? What do you expect from Marvel's Ant-Man? Click the video to watch as Ellen puts Nathan and Tim on the spot, and then be sure to follow us on Twitter for more segments and regular geek news updates!

Looking for stock ideas?
Great. Andy Cross, The Motley Fool's chief investment officer, has selected his best stock idea for the year ahead. Find out which stock it is in our free report, "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014." Just click here

Neither Ellen Bowman nor Nathan Alderman owned shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Tim Beyers owned shares of Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.

Compare Brokers