Director Joe Cornish’s comedic alien invasion flick Attack the Block was a hit with SXSW attendees this past weekend, which only bodes well for his next collaboration with Edgar Wright on the Ant-Man screenplay. Wright revealed a few months back that he’s in the midst of pounding out a new draft of the comic book movie’s script, and there’s been speculation that the film could even begin production later this year.

Now the two gentlemen charged with realizing the often miniaturized super sleuth Dr. Henry “Hank” Pym on the big screen have provided an update on their progress – and revealed that their Ant-Man movie has been in development for longer than you might think.

Cornish and Wright sat down with The Playlist and had the following to offer, with respect to their Ant-Man pic:

“We kinda have a stock response now, it’s true to say we’ve been writing it in some form. Weirdly, the treatment for ‘Ant-Man’ exists before Marvel Studios. There was a treatment that Joe and I did when Artisan had the kind of lower-rung Marvel properties and we wrote a treatment for it that exists before ‘Hot Fuzz’.

“Basically, when I met Kevin Feige I said, ‘Oh, did you ever get our ‘Ant-Man’ treatment?’ and he had never read it so we submitted it properly like four years later. So it’s something me and Joe have genuinely been working on for nearly a decade and at some point we’ll finish the script.”

The Avengers (sans Ant-Man) arrives next summer and Wright has spoken out before about why the character was not included in director Joss Whedon’s superhero ensemble adventure:

“The thing is, the script that I’ve written… the chronology of it or the way it works wouldn’t really fit in with what [The Avengers] do. And my film is very much an introduction to [Ant-Man], and so it wasn’t something where it felt right to introduce him in [Whedon’s] film.”

Wright has described his Ant-Man as being “essentially a high-tech spy heist film with somebody with a very particular power.” That description also brings to mind Shane Black’s recent comments about Iron Man 3 being like a Tom Clancy thriller. Based off Black and Wright’s (see what I did there?) previous work, both of their upcoming comic book titles are expected to be in part comedic. Could they also mark the beginning of a trend in which Marvel titles become grittier and more realistic in terms of their plot structure – shrinking men and metal armor suits aside?

Marvel Studios President of Production, Kevin Feige previously announced that Ant-man would not commence production until after The Avengers. Wright’s flick could still conceivably make it to theaters next year, or Marvel may hold off so as to deliver a one-two punch in 2013 with Iron Man‘s next outing and Ant-Man’s first appearance.

Stay tuned to learn more about when Ant-Man might begin production over the upcoming months.

Source: The Playlist