As if the years he spent developing Ant-Man never happened, filmmaker Edgar Wright has moved on from the long-gestating Marvel Studios he was forced depart over the all-too-typical creative differences, and is piling on the future projects.
A few days ago it was revealed that he was hard at work on his next original feature Baby Driver for Working Title Films. If that wasn’t surprising and pleasant enough to hear, today Wright has signed on to direct an adaptation of the young adult novel Grasshopper Jungle for Sony Pictures.
Written by Andrew Smith, Grasshopper Jungle was first published in February of this year and has earned terrific reviews so far. Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr., who described the story as “Stand By Me meets Attack The Block“, summed up the plot of the novel as “a coming-of-age story that focuses on an Iowa teen trying to come to grips with his own raging hormones and sexual feelings as he and his cohorts cause a deadly genetically engineered plague that unleashes an army of 6-foot-tall praying mantises.”
Fleming also added, “Those bugs live the life these guys wish for, acting on an insatiable appetite for fighting, food, and fornicating.” The comparison to Attack the Block seems fitting as Wright served as an executive producer on his Ant-Man writing partner Joe Cornish’s acclaimed 2011 directorial debut.
Wright will direct from a screenplay by Scott Rosenberg, whose past credits include Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead, Con Air, and High Fidelity. He also developed the short-lived American remake of the hit BBC crime drama Life on Mars for ABC. The film will be produced by Matt Tolmach (The Amazing Spider-Man) and Wright’s longtime producer Nira Park.
The plot of Grasshopper Jungle sounds absolutely bonkers, but then again so did Scott Pilgrim and Wright made a beautiful and hilarious cult classic out of that source material. The director walked away from Ant-Man with zero damage done to his career and reputation, and is taking on even more interesting projects that play to his strengths and will likely allow him to retain more creative control than Marvel Studios was prepared to part with. The superhero movie might reach a wider audience and make more money in the long run, but it definitely sounds like Wright is making the films that are the most guaranteed to get my money on opening weekend.