The shape of Marvel's Cinematic Universe has shifted yet again in the wake of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, but the overall narrative's changes may not mean too much to the upcoming Ant-Man. The MCU goes small in a big way with the story of Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a reformed thief enlisted by Dr. Henry Pym (Michael Douglas) to take up the mantle of the hero with a suit that shrinks him down to the size of an insect while bestowing superhuman strength.
Ant-Man releases in less than a month, and the studio is cranking up the marketing blitz. New TV spots have been coming steadily during the past few weeks, with the latest paired with a series of high-res stills highlighting one aspect of the plot present in the PR material since the movie's first trailers: the relationship between Scott Lang and his daughter.
In the run up to the film's release, most of the marketing has focused on Ant-Man's action or the scale of the hero compared to some of the other Avengers, but the father-daughter theme is one of the film's key elements. Both incarnations of Ant-Men have daughters - Hank Pym's daughter Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) is his trusted co-hort in Pym's plan to keep his technology away from Darren Cross a.k.a. Yellowjacket (Corey Stoll) and Scott's daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson) appears to be the primary factor in his becoming a better person.
This Father's Day spot gives us our longest look at Cassie thus far, and during the brief "Hi, Peanut!" scene, she appears to be in Yellowjacket's clutches. Putting Cassie in peril is sure to motivate Scott like nothing else. As Scott's ex-wife Maggie (Judy Greer) points out, he's already a hero to his daughter.
After all, the comic book version of Scott Lang first donned the Ant-Man suit after stealing it from Hank Pym in an attempt to save his daughter's life - shades of this origin story appear to have made it into the movie version. Co-star Bobby Cannavale - who plays Cassie's stepfather, a cop who has arrested Scott in the past - has confirmed in the past that most of his scenes are with Rudd and Greer, which points toward a rivalry for Cassie's affections and approval. The conflict within ex-con Scott between going straight and circumventing the law to save the world is bound to be fueled by how Scott wants Cassie to see him.
In the comics, Cassie eventually becomes a member of the Young Avengers, having evidently absorbed enough Pym Particles to grow and shrink without the need of a suit. Given the ever-growing roster of the MCU's heroes - such as the long-game introduction of the Inhumans on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - could elements of Cassie's comic book heroics be teased in Ant-Man? We'll find out for sure in July.
Ant-Man opens in theaters on July 17, 2015.