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Ant-Man (film)

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Ant-Man (film)

Ant-Man
Logo
Directed by Peyton Reed
Produced by Kevin Feige
Screenplay by
Based on Ant-Man 
by Stan Lee
Larry Lieber
Jack Kirby
Starring
Cinematography Russell Carpenter[2]
Edited by
  • Dan Lebental[2]
  • Colby Parker, Jr.[2]
Production
company
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release dates
  • July 17, 2015 (2015-07-17)
Country United States
Language English

Ant-Man is an upcoming American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics characters of the same name: Scott Lang and Hank Pym. The film is produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is intended to be the twelfth installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Peyton Reed directed the film with a screenplay written by Gabriel Ferrari, Andrew Barrer and Adam McKay, with Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Peña and Michael Douglas starring. In Ant-Man, Lang must help defend Dr. Pym's Ant-Man technology and plot a heist with worldwide ramifications.

Development of Ant-Man began in April 2006, with the hiring of Fayette County, Georgia and in Atlanta.

Ant-Man is scheduled to be released on July 17, 2015.

Premise

Thief Scott Lang must aid his mentor Dr. Hank Pym in safeguarding the mystery of the Ant-Man technology, which allows its user to decrease in size but increase in strength, from various menaces and plot a caper to defend the Earth.[3][4]

Cast

A petty criminal,[5] who acquires an invented substance that allows him to shrink in scale but increase in strength.[3][6] Regarding Rudd's casting, producer Kevin Feige said, "Look at that origin of the petty crook who comes into contact with a suit and does his best to make good, and then look at someone like Paul Rudd, who can do slightly unsavory things like break into people’s houses and still be charming and who you root for and whose redemption you will find satisfaction in."[5]
Hank Pym's daughter.[7][8] Describing her character, Lilly said, "Janet Van Dyne is my mom. Hank Pym is my father. I was raised by two superheroes. I’m no schlump. I’m a pretty smart, competent, capable, kick-ass female. She’s very cool.” Originally cast by Wright, Lilly was reluctant to take the role after he left the project until she read the revised script and got a chance to meet with Reed.[9]
A former protégé of Pym, who takes over Pym's company and acquires the Ant-Man technology to create the Yellowjacket suit.[10][8][11] Describing the suit, Stoll said, "Darren Cross... has a suit that is sort of the next generation of Ant-Man’s suit. It can do everything that Ant-Man can do, but more. It’s more badass, more militaristic, sleeker… sort of like if Apple had designed a battle suit."[12] As for his character, Stoll said, "He is not a villain in the vein of Thanos or Loki, who are villains that know it. [Cross] is a guy who is not that dissimilar from Michael Douglas' character, Hank Pym. A brilliant scientist, who is not ethically pure. I think a great thing about the whole movie is that everybody in this movie is in those shades of gray a little bit."[13]
An entomologist and physicist who invents the Ant-Man technology in 1963 and mentors Lang to take over as Ant-Man.[6][14][10] Douglas compared his decision to join a superhero film to his role in Behind the Candelabra saying, "Sometimes—like [when] they didn't see you for Liberace—you've got to shake them up a little bit and have some fun."[15] Douglas indicated that he will not be wearing the Ant-Man suit, saying, "My costume will be hung up and Paul will be wearing it in good form."[16]

Additionally, Hayley Atwell[17] and John Slattery[18] reprise their roles from previous MCU films as Peggy Carter and Howard Stark, respectively. Judy Greer plays Scott Lang's estranged ex-wife.[19] Abby Ryder Fortson, David Dastmalchian, Wood Harris, Gregg Turkington, T.I. and Martin Donovan have been cast in undisclosed roles.[1][2]

Production

Development

Development of an Ant-Man film began as early as the late 1980s, when Ant-Man co-creator Stan Lee pitched the idea to New World Entertainment, Marvel Comics' parent company at the time. However, Walt Disney Pictures was developing a film based on a similar concept, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, and although Ant-Man went into development, nothing came to fruition.[20]

In 2003, Edgar Wright and his writing partner Joe Cornish wrote a treatment for Artisan Entertainment, who owned the film rights to Ant-Man at the time. Wright explained, "We wrote this treatment revolving around the Scott Lang character, who was a burglar, so he could have gone slightly in the Elmore Leonard route, and they came back saying, 'Oh, we wanted to do something that was like a family thing'. I don't think it ever got sent to Marvel."[21] In April 2006, Marvel Studios hired Wright to direct Ant-Man as part of the company's first slate of independently produced films, buoyed by a $525 million revolving film-financing facility. Wright also signed to co-write the screenplay with Cornish, based on a comic book series about an electronics expert who can shrink to the size of an insect and communicate with ants via a telepathic / cybernetic helmet, and to co-produce the film with his Big Talk Productions partner, Nira Park.[22]

"The thing I like about Ant-Man is that it's not like a secret power, there's no supernatural element or it's not a genetic thing. There's no gamma rays. It's just like the suit and the gas, so in that sense, it really appealed to me in terms that we could do something high-concept, really visual, cross-genre, sort of an action and special effects bonanza, but funny as well."

At the 2006 San Diego Comic-Con International, Wright said he was intrigued by the story's high concept and character. Wright also stressed that the film will not be a spoof but an action-adventure with some comedic elements and would incorporate both the Hank Pym and Scott Lang incarnations of the character.[24] At the time, Wright said that he was looking to "do a prologue where you see Pym as Ant-Man in action in the 60's, in sort of Tales to Astonish mode basically, and then the contemporary, sort of flash-forward, is Scott Lang's story, and how he comes to acquire the suit, how he crosses paths with Henry Pym, and then, in an interesting sort of Machiavellian way, teams up with him."[23]

In February 2007, Wright said that the project was in "a holding pattern" while the script was being revised.[25] He also said that he had been doing research for the film, stating "Obviously I can't interview anyone that's got shrinking serum, [but] in terms of who the characters are though – yeah. Nanotechnology and all that."[26] In March 2008, Wright said that the first draft of the script had been completed and he was working on the second.[27]

In February 2010, Stan Lee tweeted that he met with Wright for lunch, writing "To make up for my previous grievous error, here's a little item that may have escaped you. Marvel is prepping a movie starring-- Ant Man!". Lee continued, "I had lunch with the cool, young director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) and, as you'd imagine, we had fun discussing the tiny hero".[28] Later in the week Wright told MTV News that there was no timetable for the film "Because that character isn't one of their biggest properties, it's not like a tentpole deadline ... It's more like me and [Marvel Studios president] Kevin Feige saying, 'Let's make a really good script.' We've always agreed on that — 'Let's make a good script that works, that's all about a great genre film, and that isn't necessarily relying on anything else'".[29] At the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con International, Wright said that Ant-Man would not fit in the chronology of The Avengers as "it didn’t work with the kind of the angle that we were going to do with the origin that I’d written".[30]

In January 2011, Wright stated that he has resumed writing the script for the film following the conclusion of the international promotion for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.[31] In April 2011, screenwriter Joe Cornish said that he and Wright delivered the second draft of Ant-Man to Marvel.[32] At the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con International, Wright said "Since February, we've done two drafts of the script, and we just handed in a third draft".[33]

(L-R) moderator Geoff Boucher, producer Kevin Feige and Wright at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con International.

In May 2012, Feige said that the project was "as close as it's ever been" while Wright teased the film by tweeting a pictogram of Ant-Man.[34] In June 2012, Wright spent just under a week shooting footage for a reel that would be used to test out the potential look and tone of his movie, as well as to decide how convincing Ant-Man's powers look on screen.[35] At the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con International, Wright stated that Ant-Man would be happening and screened the test footage to the audience during the Marvel Studios panel.[36] In October 2012, Marvel Studios and Disney scheduled the film for release on November 6, 2015.[37]

In January 2013, Feige stated that Ant-Man would be part of Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.[38] In May 2013, Feige indicated that the screenplay needed to be modified in order to fit into the universe because the project had been in development before the first Iron Man film. Feige also stated that shooting was slated to begin sometime in 2014,[39] and that casting would begin towards the end of 2013.[40] In July 2013, Wright said that he and Cornish had completed the script for the film and that Marvel allowed him to delay its production so that he could complete The World's End,[41] as the film's producer Eric Fellner was diagnosed with cancer.[42]

In August 2013 after Joss Whedon, director of Avengers: Age of Ultron, announced that Henry Pym would not be Ultron's creator, Wright said Ultron was never a part of the story of Ant-Man.[43] Wright elaborated, "[Ultron] was never in my script. Because even just to sort of set up what Ant-Man does is enough for one movie",[44] and described Ant-Man as a stand-alone film. He said it will fit into to the larger continuity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, explaining that "It is pretty standalone in the way we're linking it to the others. I like to make it standalone because I think the premise of it needs time. I want to put the crazy premise of it into a real world, which is why I think Iron Man really works because it's a relatively simple universe; it's relatable. I definitely want to go into finding a streamlined format where you use the origin format to introduce the main character and further adventures can bring other people into it."[45] Also in August, Wright stated that pre-production for Ant-Man would begin in October and filming would begin in 2014.[46] In September 2013, Disney moved the film's release date from November 6, 2015 to July 31, 2015.[47]

Pre-production

In October 2013, Wright tweeted a photograph from the production of the June 2012 test reel with the caption, "Now I'm back in LA, it's high time to finish a little something I've been working on."[48] By October 14, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Paul Rudd were being considered for the lead role.[49] However, Gordon-Levitt dismissed his consideration as a rumor.[50] Also in October, Kevin Feige stated that Ant-Man will be a "heist movie" and to expect a casting announcement for Hank Pym before the end of 2013.[51]

In November 2013, Feige stated that aspects of Eric O'Grady's Ant-Man would not be featured in the film.[52] By November 25, Rudd became the frontrunner to play Henry Pym, and casting for Pym's girlfriend had begun.[53] Also in November, the filmmakers' intentions to shoot in the UK were dashed due to a lack of studio space. Wright said, "Ironically, Ant-Man was meant to shoot in London but London is full because I guess that Pinewood extension got turned down," referring to the plan by Pinewood Shepperton to add 15 studios to their facility but was rejected in part by the local council in May 2013 because the project was eyeing protected land.[54][55] By the end of the month, the film was scheduled to be shot in the US instead.[56]

In December 2013, Wright, a fan of the comic book since childhood – owning copies of Tales to Astonish #27 featuring the "The Man in the Ant-Hill" storyline and Marvel Premiere #47 featuring the first appearance of Scott Lang,[57] spoke about the difference between Ant-Man and other films featuring size-changing saying, "The difference between Ant-Man and other shrinking movies is other shrinking movies are usually about somebody trapped small. This is different in that he can actually change size and he can do that at will, so it becomes more of a power than an impediment."[58] Wright also talked about the challenge of directing a superhero film saying, "It's a challenge to do. Shaun and Hot Fuzz and World's End are all R-rated films. I like the challenge of making a PG-13 film. Because you've got to entertain in a different way. You don't have the same tools. It's also different in terms of Scott Pilgrim. They're both adaptations. It's nice to be able to do an adaptation."[59] By December 19, Rudd was in negotiations to star in the film.[60][61] The following day, Marvel announced that Rudd had been cast as Ant-Man.[62]

In January 2014, Wright posted a screenshot on his blog from the [66] Also in January, Disney changed the release date once again, moving the film up to July 17, 2015 from July 31, 2015.[67] In February 2014, Evangeline Lilly entered early talks to portray the female lead.[7] In the same month, Wright announced on his blog that Bill Pope, who he worked with on Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and The World's End, would be his director of photography.[68] In March 2014, Corey Stoll entered negotiations for an undisclosed role in the film[11] and by April, Patrick Wilson and Matt Gerald were cast in undisclosed roles.[69][70]

"Ant-Man is interesting because he was one of the original movie universe... I also like that it's this sort of passing of the torch. There's sort of a weird mentor / pupil thing happening between Michael Douglas' character Hank Pym and Scott Lang, which Paul Rudd plays. Hank Pym used to be old Ant-Man and he is trying to find someone to be the new Ant-Man. I like that. I think that's sort of a classic Marvel Comics thing and something that we really haven't seen in that universe."

Peyton Reed, director of Ant-Man[71]

On May 23, 2014, Marvel and Wright jointly announced that Wright was leaving the project, due to "differences in their vision of the film" and that the studio was closing in on a new director.[72] Pope also left the project in the wake of Wright's departure.[73] By May 30, Adam McKay had entered negotiations to replace Wright,[74] but pulled out of negotiations the next day.[75] On June 7, Marvel announced that Peyton Reed would direct the film, with McKay contributing to the film's script.[3] Other directors under consideration included Ruben Fleischer, Rawson Marshall Thurber, Nicholas Stoller, Michael Dowse, and David Wain.[76][77][78][79]

Later in the month, Feige stated the film was still intended to release on the July 17, 2015 date, with production slated to begin on August 18, 2014.[80][81] Feige elaborated that "much of the movie will still be based very much on [Wright and Cornish's] draft and the DNA of what Edgar has created up to this point" with Reed stepping in to direct, and McKay reworking only parts of the script. "[Reed] wanted to be sure that he was wasn’t just inheriting something or following someone else’s lead. Or wasn't inheriting something that the evil studio had watered down to be something bad", Feige continued. "He looked at everything, he talked with us, and he said 'Number one, I agree with the direction you're going in. And number two, I can add to it.'"[82] McKay revealed that Rudd helped him rewrite the script, saying, "I’ve always known Paul Rudd’s a really good writer from improvising with him on set, but I had no idea he was that good—he’s really great with dialogue. So the two of us holed up in hotel rooms on the east and west coast, and I think it was like six to eight weeks we just ground it out and did a giant rewrite of the script. I was really proud of what we did, I really thought we put some amazing stuff in there and built on an already strong script from Edgar Wright and sort of just enhanced some stuff."[83]

By the end of July, Wilson left the film due to scheduling conflicts brought on by the filming delay, and characters being played by Gerald and [85] In August 2014, Reed revealed that Scott Lang's daughter would appear in the film,[86] and Gabriel Ferrari and Andrew Barrer were hired to make further revisions to the script.[87] After reading the revised script, Evangeline Lilly said, "I saw with my own eyes that Marvel had just pulled the script into their world. I mean, they’ve established a universe, and everyone has come to expect a certain aesthetic [and] a certain feel for Marvel films. And what Edgar was creating was much more in the Edgar Wright camp of films. They were very different. And I feel like, if [Marvel] had created Edgar’s incredible vision — which would have been, like, classic comic book — it would have been such a riot to film [and] it would have been so much fun to watch. [But] it wouldn’t have fit in the Marvel Universe. It would have stuck out like a sore thumb, no matter how good it was. It just would have taken you away from this cohesive universe they’re trying to create. And therefore it ruins the suspended disbelief that they’ve built."[9]

Filming

[89] and Dave Callaham completed a rewrite of the film.[90] In October 2014, Martin Donovan was added to the cast.[1] Filming also took place at the State Archives building in Downtown Atlanta.[91] In October 2014, Feige revealed that Ant-Man would no longer start Phase Three, instead being the final film of Phase Two.[92] On December 5, 2014, Reed announced on social media that principal photography on Ant-Man had been completed.[93]

Music

In February 2014, Wright tweeted that Steven Price would score the film.[68] However, Price left soon after Wright's departure from the project.[73]

Release

Ant-Man is scheduled to be released in North America on July 17, 2015.[67] It had originally been scheduled for release on November 6, 2015.[37] In September 2013, the release was moved to July 31, 2015,[47] before changing for a final time to July 17, 2015 in January 2014.[67]

Marketing

In March 2014, ABC aired a one-hour television special titled, Marvel Studios: Assembling a Universe, which included a sneak peek of Ant-Man.[94][95] In July 2014, Reed, Rudd, Douglas, Lilly, and Stoll appeared at Marvel Studios' panel at the 2014 San Diego Comic–Con to help promote the film and screen a visual effects test featuring Rudd and Douglas.[10] In October 2014, Marvel Comic's Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso stated there are comic tie-in plans for the film.[96] In November 2014, ABC aired another one-hour television special titled, Marvel 75 Years: From Pulp to Pop!, which featured behind the scenes footage of Ant-Man.[97] Marvel Comics' February 2015 solicitations released in December 2014, revealed a two-issue comic tie-in, Marvel's Ant-Man Prelude, following Hank Pym as Ant-Man on a mission during the Cold War.[98]

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