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Have you had conversations with Joss Whedon?
Shane Black: Oh yeah.
What kind of stuff do you guys talk about?
Shane Black: Chicks [laughs] No, we talk about…he’s the one who told me to trust the machine at Marvel. He said, “It may seem like you’re in this tumultuous environment, thousands of people running around screaming all of the time,” which is true. It’s a very chaotic process, especially our schedule is insane, but he said, “Trust the machine, because ultimately it will guide you through,” and that was the case. You got on the train, you rode the train, and day by day hit all of the stops you have to hit and then the train reaches that release date. He also told me about what he thought was best in the elements of Iron Man that he’d watched and when he saw our first cut, he said, “Here’s what I like...” and he gave us some notes that we implemented because, you know, it’s all about hanging around... My whole career, hanging around people, not that people admire me, forget that. They’re ok. Hang around people that I admire. And so when Joss Whedon and Kevin Feige and Drew Pearce sit in a room with me, I go, “Okay, I’m going to listen and try to take the cotton out of my ears and stuff it in my mouth.”
Honestly, a big part of what I really love about this film is that it feels like one of your films.
Kevin Feige: Will you add it to your Shane Black marathon now?
Of course! I’ll buy it in September on Blu-ray and it goes right after Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. But this movie has a completely different kind of Tony Stark story than what we’ve previously seen. It’s a detective story on a really large scale. It’s genre within genre. I’ve heard that Captain America is going to be more of a political thriller, but I’m curious how that genre within genre element may play out in future projects, like Ant-Man, Doctor Strange and even Guardians of the Galaxy.
Kevin Feige : Yes. 100% and I think we sort of did that with the first phase. So, to me, that’s just fun and that’s a way of making sure it’s... I mean I’ve never looked at superhero movies as purely superhero movies and I think just because something originates in a comic, they start calling it a comic book movie and that’s what people always used to ask me. They ask it less now, but going back ten years, people were asking, “When is this going to end? How much longer is this fad...,” and I said, “Nobody ever asks that about novels.” You know, “How much longer are you going to be making movies off of novels, because how much more of this can we take?” Well...
Shane Black: It’s a mythology with super-powered beings, which mythology…my God, it goes back to the dawn of time. And each movie has an individual shape. What’s great about Marvel is their unwillingness to just compromise by doing the same thing again. Each one has to find its shape, like how he was talking about with Captain America was finding its shape as something different, but I wouldn’t expect that to then by the same one they did for Ant-Man. Ant-Man could be a musical comedy. I don’t even fucking know.
What can we expect from Ant-Man?
Kevin Feige: Well, you know, the neat thing about Ant-Man is that it predates the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I first met with Edgar [Wright] nine years ago, eight years ago, something like that. What was so exciting about it was that Edgar brought a very unique spin to it and it’s not a comedy and it’s not parody, but Shawn of the Dead isn’t either. He makes incredibly cinematic movies that embrace a lot of different genres and there is a very specific genre that is embraced in Ant-Man that I will let Edgar reveal and talk about at some point. And, frankly, again, that predates the rest of the work we’ve done, but I’ve found it is a fun way in early development to hone in on the type of story you want to tell and in the case of this movie and Captain America and even Guardians, they’re very specific genres that we’re playing with.
Shane Black: So, the shape for this one was sort of Michael Creighton meets Frank Capra in an odd way.
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