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Ant-Man director Peyton Reed confirmed that his Marvel production – after months of uncertainty and gear-shifting – finally was underway. And as if that news needed even more confirmation, we have our first image of Paul Rudd, in character, in the above image. A San Francisco treat for Marvel fans everywhere.
Click on the above image for a hi-res version. This is a shot of Paul Rudd as Scott Lang, a criminal who will be pulled into the Marvel universe by an unexpected mentor, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). From the looks of this image, we are seeing Lang early on in his process. He's likely at his lowest, when the world seems to be conspiring against him, and he is forced to steal to provide for his ailing daughter. From what we have been able to ascertain, Lang will break into the laboratories of Dr. Pym and steal his Ant-Man technology... giving him the powers of Ant-Man.
Will he use them for good, or for evil?
In addition to the modern story of Scott Lang, we are beginning to assume that a chunk of Ant-Man will connect to the older Marvel Cinematic Universe. The official press release from Disney and Marvel confirmed the participation of several key players from the MCU -- notably, John Slattery is in the ensemble, likely as Howard Stark (the role he played in Iron Man 2). As we reported a while back, the Ant-Man production was casting for an actor who looks like a young Michael Douglas. Doesn't this suggest that there will be a lengthy flashback where young Hank Pym interacts with historical figures from the MCU? That's our best guess at the moment.
Ant-Man will shift its production to Atlanta after securing these San Francisco images, likely recording landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge (above) and maybe a few trolley cars before settling in to nondescript (and decidedly cheaper) Georgia studio spaces. We saw footage of Ant-Man at San Diego Comic-Con, and while it looked very cool, it's tough to determine how much of Ant-Man will be able to be pulled off with practical effects. There was a scene of Scott Lang riding on the back of an actual ant. That has to be digital, which likely means a lot of green screen.
Ant-Man is due in theaters in July 17, 2015.