Marvel Studios has had writer/director Edgar Wright working away slowly on Ant-Man for years, but the character didn’t make the cut for The Avengers. With Wright being a Comic-Con regular, he’s been unable to avoid questions about the project, including last year while promoting Attack The Block. But this year he’s finally got more to offer than another update on the script status.

After reporting on rumors of the character’s potential involvement in Iron Man 3 and later hearing that Edgar Wright shot test footage for Ant-Man last month, Marvel Studios officially introduced the character with a fun and exciting video premiering at Comic-Con 2012.

The panel began with an epic video, highlighting Marvel Studios panels dating back to 2006, with key announcements, clips and forward-thinking statements from key Marvel players (mainly Marvel president Kevin Feige) and Edgar Wright was there from the very beginning. The video ended by saying “and now, phase two begins” to a roaring audience which was then followed up by the panel stating they’d talk about the four films they’re working on.

These were Iron Man 3 – the focus of this panel – followed by Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy. But what about Ant-Man said panel moderator Geoff Boucher (Hero Complex)? Edgar Wright came out on stage, the fans went wild, and they screened the test footage he shot a few weeks ago. It was entirely unfinished but he asked the fans if they are sure they want to see it in that state and of course the building went nuts.

So, what was shown in the short clip?

  • Opening shot pans down from inside a vent looking down a brightly lit hallway, lined with silver colored panels. Inside the vent is a very small Ant-Man looking down the hallway to a door at the end, guarded by two men in suits.
  • Angle changes to corridor looking up to vent and we see little Ant-Man jumping down, changing size to normal as the armed men pull out side-arms to shoot.
  • Ant-Man shrinks, jumps up and we see a slow-mo shot of him punching the guard to his in the mouth.
  • Ant-Man goes full size as he engages the second guard, shrinks again as he jumps and grabs the guard’s tie, going full-size as he goes over and using the momentum to flip the guard over his should through a glass window.
  • Ant-Man, then patiently walks and enters the elevator door as a few more glass bits fall from the window.

Ant-Man’s costume concealed his face entirely but is very similar to the books (seen above and below). When he transforms, he phases and instantly becomes the other size. It was a pure action sequence and showcases how Ant-Man can be a very cool and unique spy for SHIELD. His abilities are very unique and he’s a trained operative. Wright said after the footage: “Ant-Man will kick you ass one inch at a time.”

With what was done in so little time, and without finished effects, any dialogue or even an actor, what was shown proves that Ant-Man can work. If they’re willing to make Rocket Raccoon a reality in Guardians of the Galaxy, the Ant-Man character will get his time to shine.

As for casting, Wright says there’s nothing yet, and jokes that Ant-Man has actually been here all day in the audience. He then placed an Ant-Man name tag on the table. That was it for the short Ant-Man segment, then it was straight to the full Iron Man 3 presentation. If you’re a fan, be sure to read our list of 10 actors Marvel should consider for the Ant-Man role.

[Update: Ant-Man may begin shooting after Thor: The Dark World for a 2014 release date.]

Iron Man 3 is directed by Shane Black based off of his and Drew Pearce’s screenplay, and stars Robert Downey Jr., Ben Kingsley, Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, Jon Favreau, Rebecca Hall, Cobie Smulders, William Sadler, James Badge Dale and the voice of Paul Bettany.

Iron Man 3 is currently shooting and is scheduled to hit theaters on May 3, 2013. Thor 2 comes later that fall and Captain America 2 the following spring.

Keep an eye on the Screen Rant Comic-Con 2012 page for all the convention news.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Header image uses art by Julie Bell.