Marvel Film Woes Cast Shadow Over Disney's Recent Stock Pop

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- An Avengers movie sequel, a highly anticipated Star Wars sequel and the opening of Disney's (DIS) Shanghai theme park in 2015 are all reasons why Disney shares have reached record highs. On Tuesday, shares were trading at around $84, up 10% year to date.

Despite the rise, a cloud is hanging over the company's Marvel unit, as directors continue to leave projects. That in turn leaves release dates in jeopardy.

In 2015, Disney's Marvel unit is scheduled to release both Ant-Man and Avengers: Age of Ultron. However, after losing two different directors, Ant-Man's July 17, 2015, release date appears to be in jeopardy.

Two big directors, Edgar Wright and Adam McKay, have both pulled out from Ant-Man. It took McKay only three days to decide against directing the Marvel project. Wright had been attached to an Ant-Man movie adaptation since 2006. Wright and Marvel parted ways due to disputes over the script.

Along with Ant-Man, Marvel's Daredevil television series lost its director, Drew Goddard. The television show is one of several signed in an original programming deal with Netflix (NFLX). To make matters worse, Goddard left the show to work on Sony's (SNE) adaptation of a Sinister Six movie, part of Sony's rights for Spider-Man characters -- a Marvel brand that Disney has no rights to.

Changing directors is nothing new for Marvel. The company has had a tendency to encounter disputes and see new directors come and go. The Thor and Captain America movie series saw new directors for sequels, for example. However, if the director recasting causes a delay in production and changes release dates, that could spell trouble for Disney.

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