Frankly if they weren't going to have Ant-Man up and running by the time the first Avengers started, what could we really expect to come of it, Wright being involved or not? The root of the problem was Marvel wanting him to make changes to the story to fit it into the MCU's broadening universe and his vision of a self-contained sort of thing did not lend itself to being part of the MCU (had this been one of the early films like The Incredible Hulk, and perhaps dropped in 2009 when there was a big break (2008, and then nothing again until 2010) between MCU releases, its quirkiness might have made it endearing enough to do really well and might have out-earned TIH at the box office). If this issue hadn't been made clear between both director and studio WAY beforehand, and evaluations of the script being done at regular intervals to ensure full agreement and cooperation, well, somebody screwed the pooch big time. This obviously gets harder and harder the longer they wait to finish up a project with a more obscure hero when more and more things are happening in the universe around them and more contortions have to be made to fit just right. I mean, who could argue that a director being the writer as well is the best way to ensure the film ends up exactly as intended? Joss Whedon knocked Avengers 1 out of the park by doing that. The drawback is the freedom they need/want and the bottom line of the studio's demands inevitably clashing at some points. The ideal scenario would have been Ant-Man teaming up with the Avengers to defend New York after his own Phase 1 solo movie so he'd at least have been in the continuity sooner even if he didn't get any solo sequels like most of the rest of the team. How kick-ass would it have been to see him start using his Giant Man formula and start smacking some of those Chitauri jetskis out of the sky, or tackling one of those big Leviathans or getting one in a headlock and wrestling it like a gator? Guess we'll have to wait til Infinity War to see that if they ever get around to making him able to do anything other than shrink. I honestly can't see him being useful enough to even be hanging with either side of the Civil War unless he brings that Goliath-style magic to the table.
One good thing we can say is, they're using an appropriate villain who, while having similar abilities, does the Iron Man approach by being much more streamlined and upgraded (those extra arms and lasers, plus one would almost believe he could fly based on some of his movements) from the looks of things and that's great, much better than both of Cap's carbon-copy super soldier foes in each of his own movies. The more they can do to differentiate the villain from the hero, the better as far as I'm concerned (Thor vs. Loki and Thor vs. Malekith are great examples) so this looks like it will be different enough from Iron Man (which was a concern among many youtube commentators). Although it does make me think Ant-Man is going to defeat him by flooding the Yellowjacket suit with insects since I'm not so sure that guy can control them the way Ant-Man does.
And whether or not Wright's magic touch remains in part or very largely, it does look like they're not taking it too seriously, with lots of humor injected into it and let's face it, that's what made Thor: The Dark World and Guardians of the Galaxy work. I think they know they don't have the greatest thing in the world on their hands but they're still determined to do right by it and I'm glad they're sticking with it. It's not like they're having big threequel aspirations like DC did with Green Lantern and then having to pull the plug, they're more aware of the limitations of the appeal and just want to make the best thing they can and I respect that. I just want there to be some bigger overarching relevance to the MCU as a whole and I think they're going to deliver so it avoids that self-containment issue that caused all this drama in the first place (otherwise what'll have been the point?) I do wish it hadn't pissed Wright off enough to make it seem like he'll never want to get involved in this sort of production again, for Marvel or otherwise. I'm having Three Flavors Cornetto Trilogy withdrawal after The World's End. I gots to have more!