Edgar Wright – director of cult favorites like the ‘Three Flavors Cornetto’ trilogy and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World – sat down recently for an interview with ET, in order to promote the DVD/Blu-ray release of The World’s End (the finale to his Cornetto trilogy, with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost). Naturally, the conversation eventually turned to Ant-Man, a Marvel Studios project that was first announced some 6-7 years ago now.
Ant-Man will finally open in theaters in late July of 2015, around two months after “Phase 2” of the MCU finishes with the release of The Avengers: Age of Ultron; plus, Zack Snyder’s Batman vs. Superman opens a couple of weeks before Wright’s superhero film launches into the stratosphere. Hence, it’s fair to say that Wright’s shrinking hero has a challenge ahead of him, when he attempts to stand out (see what I did there?) alongside the titans of the Marvel and DC universes.
When ET asked Wright how he plans to bring attention to Ant-Man, the director replied:
“ I want to make him into a badass [laughs]. No, I always liked that comic and I always thought it would be an interesting thing to see in live-action. That’s why I [showed] that Comic-Con test that we did for Marvel, to show this fight scene like a proof of content, like this is what the action is going to look like. I think a lot of people who maybe don’t know the character sort of see that test and go, ‘Oh, right, I get it. It’s like an action film,’ so that’s the idea. I think people will be surprised by what kind of movie it is, and so in that respect it’s something that I know is going to stand out because it’s got a very different story and is a very different movie.”
Wright, as a storyteller, certainly possesses a voice that is clear and easily to identify, which perhaps makes him working on Ant-Man most comparable to Shane Black directing Iron Man 3. The difference is, Wright’s projects tend to be genre movies first, his own spin on the genre second; for example, the Ant-Man test footage looks and feels like it might’ve come from a traditional superhero espionage thriller, only envisioned by Wright.
Hence, fans of previous Marvel Studios’ releases may well be pleasantly surprised by how Ant-Man turns out (as Wright suggests), while the hardcore Marvel fans may not have the same complaints that they had about Black’s (kinda) subversive take on Tony Stark.
Further case in point: Wright told ET that he doesn’t anticipate that the tone of Ant-Man will deviate so far away from the light-weight fantastical adventure vibe of previous installments in the MCU:
“Well, I think the Marvel movies are funny, you know? I think generally the Iron Man films and The Avengers is funny. They’re not ever in the comedy section, but they are funny and entertaining, so I think it’ll be something in a similar vein to that.”
We’ve seen evidence of that in the casting rumors swirling around Ant-Man, with a list of names being thrown around that includes – or has included – Paul Rudd (Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues), Rashida Jones (Parks and Recreation), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Don Jon) and Jamie Bell (The Adventures of Tintin) – all of whom are people that have done serious dramatic work, but also have a good deal of experience in the area of comedy performance. Expect the final cast lineup to also include folk who know a thing or two about how to keep their tongue pressed firmly in cheek.
Ant-Man opens in theaters on July 31st, 2015.