Tag Archives: Ant-Man

‘Ant-Man’ – Yep, it’s the real deal (Spoilers. Duh.)

ant-man poster

“Ant-Man?” “Ant-Man?” Ludicrous. Silly. Comic-booky.

Exactly.

Go see it.

It’s late and I’m tired, but some first impressions upon seeing the movie tonight:

Spoilers ahead, more likely than not.

It seems like every new Marvel movie has naysayers convinced – at least in advance – that this will be the one that destroys the studio. We heard that with “Guardians of the Galaxy” last year. We heard it with “Ant-Man” this year.

Nope. Hasn’t happened. Sure won’t happen with “Ant-Man,” which is smaller in scale than some of the Marvel movies but still has high personal stakes for the characters, as well as fun action and character scenes.

Credit scenes, because this is what you want to know: As these things go, the scenes have some heft. The first – in the mid-credits – at least promises a new, female hero. The second sets up the entry of the Ant-Man character into the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe and next spring’s “Captain America: Civil War.”

The final credits scene, however, is foreshadowed somewhat by the extended cameo played by Anthony Mackie’s Falcon character, however. After Falcon intercepts and fights with Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang at the new Avengers facility and Falcon turns up again at the end of the movie, looking for Ant-Man, there’s little surprise to the post-credits scene. Still, it’s pretty cool.

The movie has Easter eggs – more than I could catch – and plot threads for the overall MCU. But the best of those by far is the opening scene, set in 1989, with an uncanny, younger CGI version of Michael Douglas’ character, Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man. Loved this scene  and loved how it filled in some blanks in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it so far.

There’s a surprising amount of comedy in the movie, maybe not really surprisingly. The whimsy makes for some of the best moments in “Ant-Man,” however.

I’ll come back to the movie at a later date, maybe after I see it a second time.

And by the way, here’s my earlier post on why Ant-Man matters to the MCU.

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‘Ant-Man’ trailer: Big things, small packages

ant.man_.trailer

A while back in this space I talked about why Ant-Man – oddball character, oddball history, possibly oddball movie – matters to the Marvel Comics universe and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

I think this summer’s “Ant-Man” movie, while lower on the expectations scale than “Age of Ultron,” could play a crucial role.

We know that Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), the original Ant-Man, passes the mantle to Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), the new Ant-Man.

Based on rumors circulating, we’re going to guess that the movie will bridge some of the gaps in the history of the Marvel universe we haven’t seen on the big screen yet.

The first “Ant-Man” trailer underwhelmed some people.

The new one, released today, was really good, I thought. And yes, there’s a lot of “Iron Man” lurking in the plotline of the new movie.

But that’s okay, because “Iron Man” was good enough to kickstart the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Here’s the trailer. Enjoy.

Why Ant-Man – and maybe ‘Ant-Man’ – matters

tales-to-astonish-35

I know there was some discontent out there with the trailer for Marvel’s “Ant-Man” movie, but I was relieved when I saw it the other day.

Why?

Mostly because I was relieved the trailer indicated the movie, starring Paul Rudd as the second Ant-Man, Scott Lang, will address some of the same questions the moviegoing public will have: Why do we need a superhero who shrinks? And why would anyone call themselves Ant-Man?

But also because the movie will finally acknowledge the place in the Marvel Universe of one of its pioneering characters.

So who is Ant-Man and why should we care about him?

Tales_to_Astonish_Vol_1_27

Ant-Man is best known as Henry, or Hank, Pym, and he debuted in comics in “Tales to Astonish” 27, published in January 1962. Pym was an unfortunate scientist who could shrink to ant-size … but couldn’t defend himself from ants. He barely survived this tale that was a retread of “The Incredible Shrinking Man.”

But Pym returned in “Tales to Astonish” 35, this time as Ant-Man and sporting a helmet that let him communicate with ants. He was their master!

After several issues of adventures, Pym and girlfriend (later wife) Janet Van Dyne appeared in the first issue of “The Avengers,” as a diverse group of heroes got together to defeat Thor’s brother, Loki.

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Pym and Van Dyne even named the group, which makes it all the more important that their history in the Marvel universe be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Avengers co-founders!

Pym is a problematic character on a couple of counts, though.

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It’s not like the Marvel Cinematic Universe needs another genius scientist, even if Pym created Ultron, the villain in the upcoming “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” The MCU already has Tony Stark and Bruce Banner.

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Plus, Pym was always an erratic character. That’s a plus for the realistic 1960s-and-beyond Marvel Comics universe, but not for movies that increasingly play to a wide mainstream audience. So Pym the brilliant genius who had emotional breakdowns, masqueraded as at least one super-villain and even struck his wife is shifted to a secondary role in the movie.

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Why the “Ant-Man” movie matters is another thing. but I think that it does.

Everybody worried when the movie’s original director, “Shaun of the Dead” creator Edgar Wright, left the project and he and Marvel cited creative differences. The temptation was to worry that Marvel wanted Wright to make his movie more mainstream and he didn’t go along.

I trust ultimate director Peyton Reed – “Bring it On” is a classic – but more than anything, I trust Marvel.

Why?

Well, their track record is pretty good. Most of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies have been good to great, with only a couple of lesser entries (“Iron Man 2” to some extent).

antmanduoEW

I also think “Ant-Man” will explore the idea of failure, loss and redemption in the Marvel universe. And that’s good, because those story beats and emotions are a huge part of the comic books.

The upcoming “Doctor Strange” movie, with Benedict Cumberbatch set to play the arrogant surgeon who rebuilds his life, should strike some of the same notes.

But more importantly, I think Marvel will use “Ant-Man” to fill in the gaps in its movie universe.

How?

Rumors indicate that portions of “Ant-Man” will take place in the 1960s, with a younger actor playing Michael Douglas’ role of Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man. It’s been suggested that we’ll see 1960s-period-appropriate versions of Howard Stark and other characters long established but unexplored during a period of several decades.

Just like “Agent Carter” on TV right now is filling in the blank spots in the post-World War II Marvel universe, I believe “Ant-Man” will fill the gaps in the 1960s, with a young Pym and wife Janet Van Dyne (parents of Hope Van Dyne, the character played by Evangeline Lilly in the movie) adventuring and working with SHIELD.

There’s a ton of material here that, if properly explored, will fill in “lost years” and make the Marvel on-screen universe feel even more like a real, if fantastical, world.

So yeah, Ant-Man matters because of his history and “Ant-Man” matters because of how it might flesh out the Marvel history onscreen.

‘Ant-Man’ trailer: ‘Is it too late to change the name?’

ant-man trailer

The new trailer for “Ant-Man,” Marvel’s newest superhero flick, premiered tonight during “Agent Carter.”

The Peyton Reed movie, featuring Michael Douglas as Henry Pym in mentor mode and Paul Rudd as Scott Lang, the guy who inherits the suit, comes out this summer.

Offbeat action and humor will sell this movie.

The trailer is fun stuff.

 

Comic-Con: ‘Ant-Man’ poster art

Ant-Man-Comic-Con-poster

I’m gonna have to think about this for a while.

As Comic-Con begins in San Diego tonight, we’ll see and hear lots of interesting comic-book-movie-related stuff.

Here’s a tidbit from Entertainment Weekly: A poster promoting Marvel’s “Ant-Man.”

You got your Michael Douglas, your Paul Rudd. And you got a very comic-booky-looking Ant-Man.

Something tells me that if Edgar Wright had continued as director of the movie, we’d see something with a different tone.

 

Edgar Wright, ‘Ant-Man’ and the Marvel Cinematic Universe

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The news today that Edgar Wright would no longer direct “Ant-Man” – but that the movie, set to kick off the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase Three, immediately following 2015’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” would continue under another director – seemed like a bump in the road that Marvel’s been building since before “Iron Man” came out in 2008.

Maybe a major bump.

It’s possible we’ll find out what “creative differences” occurred between Wright, maker of “Shaun of the Dead,” and Marvel and MCU honcho Kevin Feige. These things happen, but aside from some disgruntlement from writers and directors and Jon Favreau’s departure after “Iron Man 2,” we haven’t seen a lot of discord in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

As a matter of fact, compared to DC/Warner Bros.’ problems getting its superhero slate booted up, Marvel has had a pretty smooth time of it. Despite the fact that Marvel is somewhat notoriously cheap in its movie-making.

But Wright’s departure, we have to believe, doesn’t come about because of money. There must have been some fundamental disagreement in how “Ant-Man” was going to come out and how it would fit into the MCU.

What’s even stranger is that Feige recently said that Wright – who has been working on “Ant-Man” since 2006, before most people even knew there was an MCU – was integral in how the universe was developed.
Feige said:

“We changed, frankly some of the MCU to accommodate this version of Ant-Man. Knowing what we wanted to do with Edgar and with Ant-Man, going years and years back, helped to dictate what we did with the roster for Avengers the first time. It was a bit of both in terms of his idea for the Ant-Man story influencing the birth of the MCU in the early films leading up to Avengers…”

Since the movie has mostly been cast, with Michael Douglas and Paul Rudd as older and younger Ant-Men Hank Pym and Scott Lang, and the movie was about to start filming soon, it seems unlikely we’ll see major changes in the story. More likely it will be a matter of tone and execution. Wright was going to do his movie his way and Marvel couldn’t abide by that.

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I was excited about “Ant-Man” for a couple of reasons. For one, the character is a lynchpin of the comic-book Marvel universe. He was a founder of “The Avengers,” for pete’s sake.

And the apparent plan to use “Ant-Man” to flesh out the mostly unexplored middle years of the MCU – with Douglas as Pym active in flashback scenes in the 1960s or 1970s – was even cooler.

We still might see that all play out.

Or we might not.

“Ant-Man” might be terrific even without Wright. After all, we all hated the thought of Favreau leaving the “Iron Man” series.

We’ll all be lucky if the MCU can continue on smoothly after this bump in the road.

 

Hank Pym? Sure. Reed Richards? Nuh-huh.

Fantastic Four 16 Ant-Man

Let’s play a game. We’ll call it “Superhero Casting: Yes or No.”

It’s inspired by the many, many casting rumors circulating online. Denzel Washington as Green Lantern  John Stewart. “Girls'” Adam Driver as Nightwing. You get the picture.

So Marvel recently announced that Michael Douglas would be playing the original Ant-Man, Henry Pym, in Edgar Wright’s upcoming “Ant-Man” movie. Paul Rudd had already been announced, and it turns out he’s playing Scott Lang, the second-generation Ant-Man.

michael douglas ant man henry pym

I’m kind of intrigued by the idea of a senior citizen superhero. If the speculation is correct and Pym – an important figure in the Marvel Comics universe and one of the founders of the Avengers – was a below-the-radar adventurer or SHIELD agent sometime between the time of Captain America and … reborn Captain America, that’s kind of interesting.

So I’m okay with a pivotal comic book figure being the subject of offbeat casting.

But then there’s the reboot of “Fantastic Four,” in which Fox seems to be going for a 20-something cast.

A  few young actors, including Kit Harrington, are said to be in the running for Reed Richards, one of the brainiest men in the Marvel Universe and the father figure of the FF.

kit harrington reed richards

Sorry. This isn’t Reed Richards.

reed richards

This is Reed Richards.