What is going on with Marvel’s ANT MAN? We hear you cry. Obviously things went quiet for a moment, when director Edgar Wright (SHAUN OF THE DEAD) left the production in May. Wright had been developing the pet project since 2006. Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios had described ANT MAN as a movie that was uniquely Wright’s vision. The word is that Feige and Marvel were unhappy with Wright’s take on ANT MAN and ordered rewrites that didn’t involve Wright or his co-writer Joe Cornish (director of ATTACK THE BLOCK). This precipitated Wright’s exit from the project.
For a time, the movie was cast with Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Patrick Wilson, Michael Peña, Corey Stoll and Matt Gerald, yet had no locked down script nor a director. Feige announced ANT MAN’s July 2015 release date would remain in place and Peyton Reed was named as director. Filmwise, Reed is best known for BRING IT ON (2000), and also has solid comedy connections with The Upright Citizens Brigade and Odenkirk and Cross’s MR SHOW television series. Reed is also a twenty-year veteran of Comic-Con as Paul Reed explained in San Diego this year, in an effort to assure fans that Reed understands the material. Adam McKay, screenwriter, director, Funny or Die co-founder and SNL alum was brought on to rewrite the script. Assurances were given that the new screenplay would still have “the same DNA” as Wright and Cornish’s version.
Writers Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari were announced when shooting began in San Francisco in July. Their job was to make ongoing script changes during production, leading to suggestions the project was “troubled”. Recently, Michael Douglas who plays scientist Hank Pym, has been tasked with talking up the progress of the production in interviews. He said Rudd is looking ripped and has destroyed four versions of the Ant Man costume. The production moved to Atlanta in August. Observers have noted the small post-production window allowed for what is presumably a movie filled with special effects.
Joss Whedon’s AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON is due in May 2015 and ANT MAN follows two months after that. So we will know in less than a year, how the production weathered the creative shifts and short time-frame.
So what is ANT MAN is about? Here is the official Marvel synopsis:
Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang (Rudd) must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.
ANT MAN is the twelfth film in what is now known as Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. It also launches Phase Three of the shared fictional universe.