Few projects have been in development at Marvel Studios longer than Ant-Man. When the company was first laying out its plans for what would eventually become the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the shrinking superhero was originally going to be a part of Phase One, but over time other movies took precedent and the film was repeatedly pushed back. In 2015, however, Ant-Man is finally making his way to the big screen.
But what will the movie be about? Who has been put in charge of making it? Which rumors can we believe, and which ones are fake? Like we do with all major releases, we’ve put together a handy guide that will help you get all of the facts straight and learn what really is going on with Ant-Man. Read on and learn!
The DirectorIt was all the way back in 2006 – two years before the release of Iron Man - that director Edgar Wright was hired to make the first theatrical film based around the Marvel Comics hero Ant-Man, but ultimately it was not meant to be. Just a few weeks before production was scheduled to begin, it was revealed that Wright and Marvel were parting ways over creative differences, leaving the studio to search for a new director.
After a long search that saw names rumored like Adam McKay, Nicholas Stoller, David Wain and Rawson Marshall Thurber, Marvel ended up choosing director Peyton Reed as Edgar Wright’s successor. While Reed doesn’t really have any experience making action movies – his resume instead featuring titles like Bring It On and Down With Love - he has had ties to the comic book company in the past, and was even considered as the director of Guardians of the Galaxy before the gig went to James Gunn.
The StoryPrior to leaving the project, director Edgar Wright and his Adventures of Tintin co-writer Joe Cornish had been hired to write the screenplay for Ant-Man, it was changes that Marvel wanted to make to the script that eventually drove them away from the project. While they are still getting credit for their work on the film and the story, the most recent draft of the script was penned by Adam McKay and star Paul Rudd.
Centering on two different generations of the Ant-Man character, the film largely centers on Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a small-time crook who gets enlisted by a genius scientist named Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) to help him protect the science of his Ant-Man suit and the miraculous shrinking Pym Particles from those who wish to use the technology for evil.
Dr. Hank PymIn the comics, Dr. Hank Pym is a genius scientist who becomes a superhero after discovering the Pym Particles – which allow him to shrink down to the size of an insect while maintaining relative strength. In the film, he will be portrayed by the legendary Michael Douglas – though you shouldn’t be expecting him to go into full superhero mode. Instead, Douglas has confirmed that he won’t be strapping on a costume in the film, and is instead leaving those duties to his younger co-star. Not much is known about how the character will be portrayed, but given what was shown at San Diego Comic-Con we do know that he isn’t a huge fan of the superhero game.
Scott LangScott Lang was the second character in Marvel Comics to take on the Ant-Man mantle, though he didn’t exactly start off on the side of honesty and justice. As will be portrayed in the film, with the great Paul Rudd taking on the role, Lang is a petty crook who is simply trying to make ends meet so that he can take care of his daughter. At this stage it’s not entirely clear how he winds up first crossing paths with Michael Douglas’ Dr. Hank Pym to become the new Ant-Man – other than the fact that Pym hires Lang to do a job for him – but surely those details will be revealed in time.
Hope van DyneWhile most comic book fans were expecting that the female lead in Ant-Man would be Janet van Dyne – a.k.a. the wife of Dr. Hank Pym who is also the diminutive superhero Wasp – instead that particular part is going to Janet’s daughter, Hope van Dyne, who will be played by the lovely Evangeline Lily. It’s been confirmed that Hope is Hank Pym’s daughter in the film, but how she will be directly linked to the film’s story remains unknown. There has been a great deal of speculation among fans that Hope could wind up being the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version of Wasp – her new hairstyle being taken as a hint – but Marvel is staying mum on the subject.
Yellow JacketIt’s just not a superhero movie without a supervillain, right? Well, playing that part in Ant-Man is none other than House of Cards/The Strain star Corey Stoll, who will be playing Darren Cross a.k.a. Yellow Jacket. As was revealed at San Diego Comic-Con this past summer, he is an industrialist who wishes to steal Dr. Hank Pym’s amazing Pym Particles. It’s this action that leads Pym to get in touch with Scott Lang about reviving Ant-Man. An image of the Yellow Jacket costume has already leaked online, and you can see it here.
Howard StarkAfter making his first Marvel Cinematic Universe appearance as Howard Stark in Iron Man 2, John Slattery is returning to the role in Ant-Man. We’ve recently been getting used to seeing Dominic Cooper as the younger version of Iron Man’s father, having played the part in Captain America: The First Avenger as well as the Marvel One Shot Agent Carter, but the fact that Slattery is back playing the part in Ant-Man suggests that there will be flashback sequences in the movie from the 1970s and/ or possibly the 1980s. His exact role in the movie hasn’t been revealed yet, though his presence likely has something to do with S.H.I.E.L.D. – which he co-founded.
Peggy CarterPeggy Carter, as portrayed in the Marvel Cinematic Universe by Hayley Atwell, is primarily known as a Captain America character, but it looks like she’ll be working alongside a different superhero in Ant-Man. This news has not been officially confirmed by Marvel, but casting calls have been discovered looking for a Hayley Atwell look-alike - which is pretty strong evidence. Given the presence of the middle-aged version of Howard Stark, logic would suggest that Peggy will be connected to Ant-Man via her role in S.H.I.E.L.D., but exactly how big her role will be remains a question mark.
The Rest of the CastApparently Marvel doesn’t think that having a cast consisting of Michael Douglas, Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, John Slattery, and Hayley Atwell is enough, because they have surrounded their lead actors with a ton of great character actors and fun names. While it’s not entirely clear what roles they will be playing in the movie, it has been confirmed that the Ant-Man supporting cast will include Bobby Cannavale, Michael Pena, Abby Ryder Fortson, Judy Greer, David Dastmalchian, Wood Harris, Gregg Turkington, T.I. and Martin Donovan. Who are they playing? We’ll have to wait and find out.