After several years spent in production and development, Marvel Studios Ant-Man finally hit cinemas in June 2015.
The film was originally being helmed by Edgar Wright; director of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and Scott Pilgrim but citing creative differences, Wright left the project a year before release but still attained writing and executive producer credits.
The worry for Marvel with Ant-Man most likely lay in the character not being well known to a larger film audience. Whilst being hugely popular in the Marvel Comics universe, Ant-Man had yet to be portrayed on the big screen, or any form of visual media.
So the question was how do they promote such a character especially following the success of the Avengers and their solo films, with characters like Iron Man, Captain America and even Guardians of the Galaxy becoming household names.
Their answer? An origins film that works in a highly fuelled Avengers world. What Ant-Man did so well was acknowledge the films presence within the MCU without co-depending on it. Finishing what was a very busy and sometimes over stuffed Phase Two, the film gave the audience an origin film that was original, funny, action packed and filled with some of the best CGI in any superhero film.
Marvel made sure fans knew that their tiny hero existed within the MCU during their advertising, creating some of the better superhero posters showing our hero standing on Iron Man’s shoulders, Cap’s shield and Thor’s hammer.
The story itself is a very personal one for both Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Dr Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) as they do what they must for their family, in a world of constant danger.
It doesn’t give way to the usual end of the world scenarios that most MCU films take on, instead focusing on a story of trust, technology used wrong and the thin line between good and evil.
The direction from Peyton Reed is fantastic, especially when showing the full powers of Ant-Man and it’s easy to tell that some of Edgar Wright’s brilliant ideas still remained in the final edit. Just look at Luis’ storytelling.
It also explores some history in the MCU, showing the shrinking technology in full use in the height of the Cold War in the 1980s. A little nod to the fans from Marvel on this point also provided us with small cameos from Hayley Atwell and John Slattery as Peggy Carter and Howard Stark.
In regards to the main cast, Rudd was the perfect choice for the main role bringing exquisite comic timing along with an emotional touch when needed.
The supporting cast too should be praised with strong performances from Mr. Douglas himself, Evangeline Lilly, and Corey Stoll as the Villain Yellowjacket. Michael Pena became a fan favourite in his role as Scott’s sideman and expert storyteller, Luis. Anthony Mackie also makes a fun cameo as Sam Wilson aka the Falcon.
The film surpassed expectations at the box office, taking in over five hundred million dollars at the box office on a budget of one hundred and thirty million.
As a result, Marvel Studios announced a 2018 sequel named Ant-Man and the Wasp starring Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly.
Set in between the two new Avengers: Infinity War films and coming after Scott’s new status as outlaw following Captain America: Civil War, it will be interesting where Marvel’s smallest heroes will go from here.
An original story, possibly focusing on finding the original Wasp or facing a new villain, ending on a link to Infinity War Part Two are the likely options.
Ant-Man is the twelfth and final piece in the Purple Revolver MCU Guide. If you would like to read any more, search for any MCU film in the movies section.