Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Peyton Reed|
|Produced by||Kevin Feige|
|Music by||Christophe Beck|
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Studios
|Box office||$114.4 million|
Ant-Man is a 2015 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics characters of the same name: Scott Lang and Hank Pym. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is the twelfth installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film was directed by Peyton Reed, with a screenplay written by Edgar Wright & Joe Cornish and Adam McKay & Paul Rudd, and stars Rudd,Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Peña, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Anthony Mackie, Wood Harris, Judy Greer, David Dastmalchian, and Michael Douglas. InAnt-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 Wright to direct and co-write with Cornish. By April 2011, Wright and Cornish had completed three drafts of the script and Wright shot test footage for the film in July 2012. Pre-production began in October 2013 after being put on hold so that Wright could complete The World’s End. Casting began in December 2013, with the hiring of Rudd to play Lang. In May 2014, Wright left the project citing creative differences, though he still received screenplay and story credits with Cornish as well as an executive producer credit. The following month, Reed was brought in as Wright’s replacement, while McKay was hired to contribute to the script with Rudd. Principal photography took place between August and December 2014 in San Francisco and Metro Atlanta.
- A former systems engineer at VistaCorp and petty criminal, who acquires a suit that allows him to shrink in size but increase in strength. 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.”On the character, Peyton Reed said, “He’s not used to being a hero. He’s more like George Clooney[‘s character Danny Ocean] in Ocean’s Eleven. He’s a guy trying to create a new life for himself and find redemption.” To get in shape for the role, Rudd worked with trainers and cut alcohol, fried foods and carbohydrates out of his diet. Rudd stated that in preparation for his role, he “basically didn’t eat anything for about a year … I took the Chris Pratt approach to training for an action movie. Eliminate anything fun for a year and then you can play a hero.” Rudd signed a multi-film contract with Marvel, with Feige saying it was “three[ films]-plus-plus to appear in other things.”
- The daughter of Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne and a senior board member of Pym Technologies, who helps Darren Cross take over the company. The film ends with van Dyne taking up the mantel of Waspfrom her mother. Describing her character, Lilly said, “I was raised by two superheroes. So, I’m a pretty screwed up human being. I am also fairly capable, strong, and kick-ass, which is wonderful to play, but the most fun to play was just how messed up she was from being raised by two superheroes. And the clear message sent by my name is that I’m not a big fan of my father and so I took my mother’s name.” She added that van Dyne’s “arc in the movie is trying to find a relationship” with Pym. 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.Feige noted that van Dyne was the more obvious choice to take up the mantle of Ant-Man, being “infinitely more capable of actually being a superhero” than Lang, and that the reason she does not is because of Pym’s experience with losing her mother, rather than sexism, which Feige felt would not be a problem for Pym in modern times. Subsequently, Feige stated that the film would hint at van Dyne eventually taking up the identity of Wasp from her mother. Lilly signed a multi-film contract with Marvel.
- A former protégé of Pym, who takes over Pym’s company, militarizes a similar version of the Ant-Man technology and creates the Yellowjacket suit. 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.” 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.” Unlike Rudd, who wore a practical costume as Ant-Man, Stoll wore a motion capture suit when performing as Yellowjacket. Reed explained that this decision was made early on when creating and filming with a real Yellowjacket costume was found to be unpractical.
- Bobby Cannavale as Paxton:
- A police officerwho is engaged to Lang’s ex-wife Maggie. Cannavale stated that Rudd and McKay convinced him to join the film, saying, “They sort of pumped [my] part up a bit in [their rewrite] and they both called me and said, ‘You’ve got to do this.’ They called me before Marvel called. I really went on good faith because they’re so secretive over there about the script. I just trusted them.” He also added that the process felt like an indie film, instead of a large-scale blockbuster, and that he was able to improvise frequently, along with the other actors.Patrick Wilson was originally cast in the role,before leaving the film due to scheduling conflicts brought on by the filming delay.
- Michael Peña as Luis:
- Lang’s cellmateand a member of his heist team. Peña stated he modeled Luis’ vocal style and positive outlook on life “on a friend of a friend”, saying, “That’s just the way he talks and the cadence. He’s got this grin on the entire time and he doesn’t care. He’s the kind of guy where you’re like ‘Hey, what’d you do this weekend?’ and he’s like ‘I went to jail, dawg,’ with a smile on his face. Not a lot of people do that. Not a lot of people think of life on those terms.” Peña signed a multi-film contract with Marvel for three films.
- Tip “T.I.” Harris as Dave: A member of Lang’s heist team.
- Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson / Falcon:
- An Avenger who is a pararescueman trained by the military in aerial combat using a specially designed wing pack. On including Falcon, Reed said that it was not done just to include the character, rather “It served a plot point; a purpose in our story” and allowed them to enhance Peña’s “tip montages”, which were written by production writers Gabriel Ferrari and Andrew Barrer, also adding Falcon “seemed like the right character — not a marquee character like Iron Man or Thor, but the right level of hero.”Rudd and McKay decided to include Falcon after watching Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
- Wood Harris as Gale: A police officer and Paxton’s partner.
- Judy Greer as Maggie: Lang’s estranged ex-wife.
- David Dastmalchian as Kurt: A member of Lang’s heist team.
- Michael Douglas as Hank Pym:
- The original Ant-Man who is a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent,entomologist and physicist, who in 1963 discovered the subatomic particles that make Ant-Man’s transformation possible and later mentors Lang to take over the role. 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.” Describing Pym, Douglas said, “He’s sort of a Northern California, formal guy. He’s lost control of his company. He lives in sort of a time warp. He was always a bit of a tinkerer. He’s got a lab, plus a lot of other stuff, in his basement that we find out about. He’s certainly bitter about what happened with his company and deeply scared of what the future might hold – because he himself, after having gotten small so many times, it’s difficult. He looks and tries to find a guy that he can work with and has the right characteristics, which is [Scott].” Douglas indicated that he would not be wearing the Ant-Man suit, saying, “My costume will be hung up and Paul will be wearing it in good form.”
Additionally, John Slattery and Hayley Atwell reprise their roles as Howard Stark and Peggy Carter, respectively, from previous MCU media. Slattery stated that his involvement in Ant-Man was “not that much more” than his participation in Iron Man 2, while Atwell described her appearance as being “more of a cameo”. Abby Ryder Fortson portrays Cassie, the daughter of Lang and Maggie,Gregg Turkington appears as Dale, the manager of Baskin-Robbins, and Martin Donovan plays Mitchell Carson, a former member of S.H.I.E.L.D. who works for Hydra and looks to purchase the Yellowjacket technology.Garrett Morris, who had played Ant-Man in a Saturday Night Live sketch, appears as a taxi driver. Ant-Man co-creator Stan Lee makes a cameo appearance in the film as a bartender.Chris Evans and Sebastian Stan make uncredited appearances during the post-credits scene as Steve Rogers / Captain America and Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier, respectively. Hayley Lovitt makes a nonspeaking cameo as Janet van Dyne / Wasp.
In 1989, scientist Hank Pym resigns from S.H.I.E.L.D. after discovering that the espionage organization attempted to replicate his Ant-Man shrinking technology. Believing the technology is dangerous, Pym vows to hide it as long as he lives. In the present day, Pym’s estranged daughter, Hope van Dyne, and former protégé, Darren Cross, have forced him out of his own company. Cross is close to perfecting a shrinking suit of his own, theYellowjacket, which he shows off to a horrified Pym.
Upon his release from prison, well-meaning thief Scott Lang moves in with his old cellmate, Luis. Lang’s ex-wife, Maggie – engaged to policeman Paxton – will not let Lang see his daughter Cassie unless he provides child support. Unable to hold a job due to his criminal record, Lang agrees to join Luis’ gang and commit a burglary to get the money. Lang breaks into a house and cracks its safe, but only finds what he believes to be an old motorcycle suit, which he takes home. After trying the suit on, Lang accidentally shrinks to the size of an insect. Terrified by the experience, he returns the suit to the house, but is arrested on the way out. Pym, the homeowner, visits Lang in jail and smuggles the suit into Lang’s cell to help him break out.
At his home, Pym, who manipulated Lang through Luis into stealing the suit as a test, wants Lang to become the new Ant-Man to steal the Yellowjacket from Cross. Van Dyne, who has been spying on Cross for Pym despite her strained relationship with her father, helps Pym train Lang to fight and to control ants. They send him to steal a device from the Avengers‘ headquarters, where he briefly fights Sam Wilson. Pym tells van Dyne the truth about the death of her mother: she was Pym’s counterpart, the Wasp, and she disappeared into a subatomic quantum realm to disable a Russian nuclear missile. Pym warns Lang that he could suffer a similar fate if he overrides his suit’s safeguards.
Cross perfects the Yellowjacket and invites Pym to the unveiling ceremony. Lang, along with his gang and a swarm of flying ants, infiltrates the building during the event, sabotages the servers, and plants explosives. When he attempts to steal the Yellowjacket, he is trapped by Cross, who intends to sell both the Yellowjacket and Ant-Man suits to Hydra. Lang breaks free, defeats the Hydra agents, and pursues Cross as he escapes, while the explosives detonate, vaporizing the building.
Cross dons the Yellowjacket and fights Lang…
I expected this to be bad. I was wrong. So wrong that I have to say this may be one of the best Marvel movies to date. The characters and camaraderie were similar to The Avengers, but on a lower scale. I laughed my butt off at times, and even though I saw the ending coming, it was still worth the wait. Way better than expected 5 Stars and Highly Recommended – MR
Find the new Ant Man trailer here