With only eleven months to go before Ant-Man hits theaters in summer 2015 as Marvel Studios' second superhero movie release of the year, the pressure is on to get the cameras rolling. Ant-Man's pre-production has been through quite a bit of turbulence lately, after director Edgar Wright - who had been attached to the project since before the release of Iron Man - parted ways with Marvel and Peyton Reed (Yes Man) stepped in to take over.
Ant-Man will star Michael Douglas as Hank Pym and Paul Rudd as Scott Lang - two different iterations of Ant-Man from the comic books. The very first poster for Ant-Man was released at San Diego Comic-Con 2014, and showed a fully-costumed Ant-Man riding on the back of a winged ant (this scene had better make it into the movie). Corey Stoll (The Strain) was also confirmed to be playing antagonist Darren Cross, who adopts one of Hank Pym's alternate identities from the comics - Yellowjacket. Meanwhile, The Hobbit star Evangeline Lilly will play Hope van Dyne, Hank Pym's daughter.
Despite the setbacks, Ant-Man has officially begun filming today, with Peyton Reed celebrating the start of filming on Twitter with a possible tagline for the movie ("LET'S. GET. small.") and reports indicating that the first scenes will be shot in Tenderloin, in downtown San Francisco. The Bold Italic has shared an image of a flyer spotted there last week, which was posted by Pym Particles Productions LLC and gave residents advance notice of street closures due to the filming of a project called "Bigfoot." Very subtle.
Alright, gang. Today is the day. LET'S. GET. small. #AntMan
— Peyton Reed (@MrPeytonReed) August 18, 2014
The notice states that street closures on Monday 18th August will be for the purposes of setting up and testing equipment for a rain effect, but on Tuesday 19th the cast and crew will be filming a dialogue scene (no clues as to which actors will be in the scene, unfortunately). A great deal of Ant-Man will no doubt be filmed on sound stages, but for location shoots like this it's likely that we'll see a few candid set photos emerge on the internet before long.
Despite the reworking of the script, Ant-Man was recently described by Reed as having maintained the heist movie elements that Wright had long been planning, and will also be a "passing-of-the-torch movie" as Hank Pym hands the Ant-Man mantle on to ex-con Scott Lang. Comic-Con also saw the reveal of the first teaser footage for the movie, in which Lang (in costume) engages in a daring chase scene with Pym feeding him directions.
Ant-Man is definitely one of the lesser-known superheroes that Marvel has brought to the big screen so far, but the success of this year's Guardians of the Galaxy (which grossed over $400 million at the worldwide box office within the first couple of weeks of its release) has shown that it's possible for even the very weirdest of movies to snag the attention of mainstream audiences - especially if that movie happens to have the Marvel logo attached.
Here is the full official press release from Marvel, confirming the start of production on Ant-Man:
Marvel Studios began principal photography today in San Francisco, California, on its newest Super Hero franchise Marvel's "Ant-Man." The film brings one of Marvel comics' original founding members of The Avengers into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The production also shoots on location in Atlanta, Georgia, which serves as the base for the film's production.
Set for release in the United States on July 17, 2015, the film is directed by Peyton Reed ("Bring it On," "The Break-Up") and stars Paul Rudd ("I Love You Man," "Role Models") as Scott Lang aka Ant-Man, and Michael Douglas ("Behind The Candelabra," "Wall Street") as his mentor Dr. Hank Pym and Evangeline Lilly ("The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," "Lost") as Hope Van Dyne, daughter of Hank Pym.
The film also includes outstanding additional cast including Corey Stoll ("House of Cards," "The Bourne Legacy"), Bobby Cannavale ("Danny Collins," "Annie," "HBO's "The Long Play"), Michael Peña ("End of Watch," "American Hustle"), Abby Ryder Fortson ("Togetherness"), Judy Greer ("13 Going on 30," "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes"), David Dastmalchian ("The Dark Knight," "Prisoners"), Wood Harris ("Remember the Titans," "The Wire"), John Slattery ("Mad Men," Marvel's "Iron Man 2") and Gregg Turkington ("The Comedy," "On Cinema") and multi-hyphenate T.I. ("American Gangster," "Takers").
Based on the Marvel comic character first published in 1962, Marvel's "Ant-Man" continues the lineage of epic big-screen adventures chronicled in Marvel's "Iron Man," "The Incredible Hulk," "Iron Man 2," "Thor," "Captain America: The First Avenger," "Marvel's The Avengers," "Iron Man 3," "Thor: The Dark World," "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," "Guardians of the Galaxy" and the upcoming Marvel's "Avengers: Age of Ultron."
Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.
Marvel's "Ant-Man" is produced by Marvel Studios' president, Kevin Feige, with Louis D'Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Michael Grillo and Stan Lee serving as executive producers.
Director Peyton Reed's creative team also includes Oscar® winning cinematographer Russell Carpenter ("Titanic," "21"), production designer Sheppard Frankel ("Identity Thief," "Horrible Bosses") costume designer Sammy Sheldon Differ ("X-Men: First Class," "Kick Ass"), visual effects supervisor Jake Morrison (Marvel's "Thor: The Dark World," "The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers"), stunt coordinator Jeff Habberstad (Marvel's "Iron Man 3," "X-Men: Days of Future Past") and six-time Oscar® nominee, special effects supervisor Dan Sudik ("Captain America: The Winter Soldier," "Marvel's The Avengers"). The editors include Dan Lebental, ACE (Marvel's "Thor: The Dark World," Marvel's "Iron Man") and Colby Parker Jr. ("Lone Survivor," "Hancock").
Ant-Man arrives in theaters on July 17th, 2015.