Of all the already-released or in-production film projects at Marvel Studios, the one that’s been in actual development the longest is undoubtedly Ant-Man. Before Marvel Studios released their first self-financed project (Iron Man) and long before Disney acquired Marvel Entertainment, writer and director Edgar Wright appeared on stage at San Diego Comic-Con in 2006 where it was announced that he would be working on Ant-Man for the studio.

What many fans don’t know is that the Ant-Man pitch that got Marvel interested in working on the project with Wright way back then was actually based on something the director wrote a treatment of three years earlier for Artisan Entertainment. This is back when Artisan held the film rights to Ant-Man, before Shaun of the Dead even hit theaters in 2004. Skip forward to present and the film is finally happening at Marvel Studios, with two leads already attached in Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas. With news of another actor in talks (Michael Pena) for a key role, we wanted to compare the latest rumored plot details of the film to what Edgar Wright had in mind a decade ago.

With yesterday’s official news that Michael Douglas would be playing an older version of Hank Pym – one of the founding members of The Avengers in the comics – in Ant-Man, we also learned officially that Paul Rudd would therefore be playing Scott Lang, the second character in Marvel Comics to wear the suit and earn the title.

michael pena ant man movie Ant Man Story & Character Details: Young Hank Pym In The 60s?


From the casting alone, combined with previous announcements regarding upcoming films, we know Ant-Man won’t be following certain story arcs from the books. Obviously, the currently 69-year-old Michael Douglas won’t be suiting up alongside Iron Man in The Avengers sequels, and Ultron (a creation of Pym in the books) will have a new origin story in The Avengers 2, one that may end up not involving Pym at all (as far as we know at this point).

Looking at today’s reports that Michael Pena may also be cast in Ant-Man, we later learned a few more details thanks to This Is Infamous about his role and the story. Their sources indicate that Pena will be playing a villain named “Castillo” from the past who’s based on Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Much like Captain America: The Winter Soldier will use flashbacks to bring back from familiar faces from the WWII era and later in the timeline, to flesh out the backstories of Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), there will be flashbacks in Ant-Man to the ’60s.

They claim the film actually begins in the ’60s, with a young Hank Pym as the first Ant-Man using his tech to battle communism as a spy. Pena’s character is introduced here so think Cuban Missile Crisis. Then of course, we skip forward to present where Scott Lang (Rudd) is introduced, along with another villain. Pena is seemingly still active as a villain in the modern era too from the sounds of it.

Page 2: Edgar Wright’s Old Revealing Ant-Man Hints

Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 31, 2015, and unannounced films for May 6 2016, July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie news!

Sources: This Is FamousSHH

Header Art From Avengers Academy #7 Cover

Ant Man Scott and Cassie Lang Marvel Comics Ant Man Story & Character Details: Young Hank Pym In The 60s?

Scott Lang and daughter Cassie


What’s most interesting about these details are in how similar they are to what Edgar Wright described in chatting with SHH back in 2006, shortly after his Comic-Con appearance with Marvel.

The [comic story] that jumped out was “Ant-Man” because I had the John Byrne “Marvel Premiere” from 1979 that David Micheline had done with Scott Lang that was kind of an origin story. I always loved the artwork, so when I saw that, it just immediately set bells going off kind of thinking going “Huh, that could be interesting. ” So we actually wrote a treatment for it, which was never sent to Marvel. It was like more our pitch on the thing.

Later in the interview, Wright directly mentioned the idea of a ’60s-set prologue, and involving with Pym and Lang as different versions of Ant-Man in the story, which seems to have stuck for the current version of the script.

Well, the thing is that what we want to do, the idea that we have for the adaptation is to actually involve both. Is to have a film that basically is about Henry Pym and Scott Lang, so you actually do a prologue where you see Pym as Ant-Man in action in the 60′s, in sort of “Tales to Astonish” mode basically, and then the contemporary, sort of flash-forward, is Scott Lang’s story, and how he comes to acquire the suit, how he crosses paths with Henry Pym, and then, in an interesting sort of Machiavellian way, teams up with him. So it’s like an interesting thing, like the “Marvel Premiere” one that I read which is Scott Lang’s origin, it’s very brief like a lot of those origin comics are, and in a way, the details that are skipped through in the panels and the kind of thing we’d spend half an hour on.

And for some background, here are some key elements of what’s appealing and different about the Ant-Man character to Wright, where he touches on what his film would have been about way back then. Keep in mind, this interview is from 2006:

Ant-Man was basically doing a superhero film in invert commas, and it takes place in another genre, almost more in the crime-action genre, that just happens to involve an amazing suit with this piece of hardware. The thing I like about Ant-Man is that it’s not like a secret power, there’s no supernatural element or it’s not a genetic thing. There’s no gamma rays. It’s just like the suit and the gas, so in that sense, it really appealed to me in terms that we could do something high-concept, really visual, cross-genre, sort of an action and special effects bonanza, but funny as well. There will definitely be a humorous element to it as well. So we wrote this treatment revolving around the Scott Lang character, who was a burglar, so he could have gone slightly in the Elmore Leonard route, and they came back saying, “Oh, we wanted to do something that was like a family thing.” I don’t think it ever got sent to Marvel. So then about two years ago I met Kevin Feige and Ari here and they said, “Are you interested in any Marvel titles?” and I said, “Weirdly enough, I did something for you,” [At this point, writer Joe Cornish walks into the room with a camera, because he’s also the official Hot Fuzz “blogographer.”]…so we basically said, “Do you want to read the thing that we did three years ago?” So they read it and that’s kind of the basis for what we’re working on.

As we theorized before in our recent Ant-Man coverage, since we’re going to see quite a lot of history explored in the Captain America sequel and potentially Ant-Man, it’s possible those historical arcs can intertwine. Wouldn’t it be neat to see some old heroes work together, forming the first “Avengers” and giving S.H.I.E.L.D. the inspiration years later to form The Avengers Initiative? What if young Pym crossed paths with the villainous Winter Soldier in the ’60s?

Ant Man Movie Costume Ant Man Story & Character Details: Young Hank Pym In The 60s?


If there is going to be a young Pym, who will play him? Would Marvel and Wright cast another actor or use CGI to de-age Michael Douglas a la Jeff Bridges in TRON: Legacy?

Does the idea of seeing a young Hank Pym serve as the first Ant-Man quell any concerns you had about Paul Rudd being the lead? Share your thoughts in the comments!

More: Johnny Depp Meeting With Marvel For Doctor Strange?

Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 31, 2015, and unannounced films for May 6 2016, July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie news!

Sources: This Is Infamous, SHH

Header Art From Avengers Academy #7 Cover