Black Panther. Captain Marvel. Doctor Strange. These are just some of the Marvel properties ready for a film adaptation that have yet to receive one. And yet, after Avengers: Age Of Ultron collects a billion plus dollars at the box office next year, none of these characters are going to get that boost. No, instead the attention will go to Ant-Man, a character that not even hardcore fans care about.
In popular Marvel continuity, Ant-Man is Hank Pym, an inventor who is known for inventing Pym Particles, material that can let you shrink to the size of an ant. Ostensibly, these particles also allow him to grow back to normal size, but it took him forever to learn how to become Giant Man. That's the kind of genius mind we're talking about here. Ant-Man is really known for two things: one, inventing a number of dangerous, failed inventions, like the villain Ultron himself. Oh, and beating his wife.
Yes, in a history that stretches back fifty two years, one of the only two things associated with Ant-Man is a violent act against his wife. Saying that this shouldn't be a highlight of that many years of comic book fame is fair. And saying that it has to be a highlight, because Ant-Man is a sorry character with few memorable moments in his entire existence, best left for the supporting role in someone else's movie, seems fair. Over the years, other characters would become Ant-Man (including Scott Lang, who will be played by Paul Rudd), but none of them would become interesting enough to forever supplant Hank Pym in the role.
It's the dirtiest secret that Marvel's interest in an Ant-Man film wasn't as great as their interest in an Edgar Wright film. Now that Wright's gone from a project featuring a D-List character, Marvel has put out feelers towards directors. Not just any directors, of course, but the top comedy directors in the world, including Adam McKay and Rawson Thurber. And look at how this doesn't fit with Marvel's so-far wise decisions to pick filmmakers off the beaten path. No one in Hollywood was insane enough to give James Gunn a blockbuster budget. Joe Johnston and Kenneth Branagh were considered also-rans. Shane Black couldn't get hired off the strength of only one movie. And NO ONE was waiting for Joss Whedon's next directorial effort after Serenity.
The fact that they lack the confidence for another customary off-brand filmmaker this time around suggests even they don't want to make Ant-Man. This is a shotgun marriage, a movie with a release date, a movie that's been discussed for eight years. Just weeks away from filming, a year away from release, and why should Marvel rush out to make the movie? Fans who will believe the "game has changed" after Age Of Ultron are going to be thrown for a loop at Ant-Man's smaller scope and comedic approach. It's not exactly the power-move you make after releasing what is sure to be one of the biggest films of all time.
Originally, Ant-Man was slated for a November 6th, 2015 slot, before being bumped up to July 17th. Now here's what they have to do: admit a partial defeat and retreat to that November date (or maybe a week later, to avoid a showdown with the next Bond movie). Now, kill Ant-Man, and replace it with another, smaller film. Given that the rumors suggest a chunk of Avengers: Age Of Ultron takes place in the nation of Wakanda, make a movie of Wakanda's ruler, Black Panther. Have the fights choreographed by Larnell Stovall. Hire someone off-the-beaten-path. Take your time on a practical-effects film, and let's all forget about Ant-Man, a movie about a guy who can shrink and talk to ants, starring an actor that hasn't been the lead in a single movie that grossed $75 million or more.
To read why Marvel Studios should continue moving forward with Ant-Man, head over HERE!
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