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Marvel’s Ant-Man was one of the funnier entries into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang never let the situation keep from having a sense of humor about the whole thing. The movie was not without its emotional moments, however. Director Peyton Reed has apparently received letters regarding one of the film’s darker moments with a question: Did Antony really die?
In a movie called Ant-Man, there was really no way around the need to make the film’s insects important characters in their own right. Front and center in this endeavor was Antony, Scott Lang’s trusty steed. He’s the only insect that actually has a name and the two do form a nice bond over the course of the film. Apparently some of the film’s younger fans became very attached to the little the guy and were heartbroken at the character’s apparent death. Director Peyton Reed told USA Today that he lets them down gently by glossing over the truth of the situation.
There’s a couple of moms who have written and said, ‘My son is distraught about Antony dying. Can you please just tell me, did he really die?’ And I could have said, ‘Well, he did die. Maybe now’s a good time to explain to your child that sometimes there are casualties.’ But what I actually said was the average lifespan of an ant is something like 12 weeks, so he was probably going to die pretty soon anyway.
So if you yourself were curious as to the fate of Ant-Man's epic mount, sorry, he’s dead. However, you can rest easy knowing that Antony was actually a really old ant. He probably sacrificed himself intentionally knowing he was not long for this world. Too dark? Peyton Reed himself calls the scene a "weird little tragic moment." Antony was born of the need to make the insects clear and distinct characters, and Reed seems to have taken it as a personal challenge to see if it was possible to get an emotional reaction from the death of an ant, something most people step on every day without even noticing.
He apparently succeeded admirably when it comes to the younger viewers, but we know he at least got in-the-moment reactions from many older ones, as well. As small a role as it was, in every sense of the word, the loss of characters isn’t something we’ve had to deal with much (yet) in the MCU, so it was surprising if nothing else, especially in a movie that focuses so much on comedy.
Ant-Man slowly became a big success for Marvel, so much so that is has spawned a sequel faster than anybody expected. We expect Scott Lang will name even more insects, that will probably tear our hearts out, by the time that one comes along.