SPOILER ALERT: The following article contains certain spoilers for Ant-Man. If you haven’t seen the film yet, you may want to click away to another one of our wonderful articles!
As we reported yesterday, the version of Ant-Man that is currently playing in theaters originally had a different ending that was going to feature Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang taking out Martin Donovan’s villainous Michell Carson after discovering that he had stolen a vial of the "Cross Particles." What you probably don’t know, however, is that the movie actually once had a completely different opening as well, featuring a dangerous mission down in Central America for the young Dr. Hank Pym.
I learned about this alternate intro when I had the opportunity to talk with director Peyton Reed about his movie during an extended one-on-one interview. I asked the filmmaker if Ant-Man had ever featured any flashback sequences beyond the two that are included in the final cut, and it was in his response that he detailed the way that the blockbuster was originally going to begin. According to Reed, the film was originally going to start with a sequence set in Panama, where Dr. Hank Pym was given a mission to retrieve a very important McGuffin:
It was basically a standalone sequence where you really did not see it was Hank Pym. He was retrieving some microfilm from this, originally Cuban general and then it because a Panamanian general… It really was designed in those early drafts to be almost like a Bond movie standalone scene in the beginning. It was going to show the powers. You never saw Ant-Man, it almost felt like an Invisible Man sequence, and it’s really, really cool.
In the original Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish drafts of Ant-Man, the scene was going to be set in Cuba in the 1960s, but because the timeline was shifted and the movie wanted to stay historically accurate, the location was changed to Panama. Jordi Molla was cast to play the aforementioned general, named Castillo, and there was even an idea to have the actor play his own adult son later in the movie, but that idea was eventually scrapped. Said Reed,
It started to feel tonally disconnected from the movie we were making and story-wise, and it also kind of like, it set a standalone adventure, but it didn’t just connect to the rest of our story.
What’s interesting, however, is that the sequence may have a future after all. Peyton Reed told me that they did film the flashback sequence in Panama, and it was only cut out during the post-production process. He also still has an interest in possibly releasing the scene as its own little entity:
We actually ended up shooting that sequence and cut it together and it’s fantastic, but the more we got into editing, it just felt too disconnected to the rest of the movie. It felt like vestige of those earlier drafts, which as a standalone thing was really cool. We actually talked at one point about releasing like a standalone, Hank Pym as Ant-Man. Who knows if that will still happen.
It was eventually decided that the best way to open the film would be with the digitally de-aged Michael Douglas as Dr. Hank Pym quitting his position at S.H.I.E.L.D., but what do you think of the original flashback sequence that was going to open Ant-Man? Would you still like to see it, potentially as a One Shot? Hit the comments with your thoughts!