Marvel Studios' biggest and most popular team of superheroes, The Avengers, have returned to the big screen so they can save their planet once again. Writer-director Joss Whedon's Avengers: Age of Ultron is receiving mostly positive reviews (currently has a 74% on Rotten Tomatoes) and, as expected, the sequel has already earned over $1 billion at the box office. Iron Man and Earth's Mightiest Heroes have made a very successful return, but it'll soon be time for the Marvel Cinematic Universe's smallest hero to steal the spotlight when Ant-Man opens in theaters.
While director Peyton Reed's movie has already received multiple trailers and posters, there's much about the film that has yet to be revealed. That's about to change, though, as the film's release gets closer.
Indeed, Empire's latest issue is giving fans a rather in-depth look at the upcoming comic book movie. Not only does it offer a some excellent looks at Ant-Man and Yellow Jacket in costume (below), it also has an interview with the director and some of the stars.
Writer-director Edgar Wright was working on Ant-Man's script for several years, but eventually, the mind behind Shaun of the Dead left the project due to "creative differences." There was plenty of speculation over who would take his place, and eventually, it was revealed that Yes Man director Peyton Reed would have the tough task of following Wright's work. Obviously, this was a subject that can't be ignored and Reed had no problem discussing it with Empire. According to the director, his version has allowed him to give a darker look at Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man in the comics.
"One of my concerns upfront was, 'Someone else has developed this movie for a really long time. Can I come in and make it my own?' And that has absolutely been the case. For one thing Marvel have let me explore the dark side of Hank Pym, this tortured, guilt-ridden guy. I love that this is a mentor/pupil story, but with a ****ed up pupil and a really ****ed up mentor."
Reed also confirmed that he has spoken with Wright, saying they both "acknowledged the general weirdness of the situation" while also saying it's been "nice" being able to talk with him about the project. Also, actress Evangeline Lilly (Hope Van Dyne) described her character as "a very had woman on a journey towards becoming a decent person."
Lilly also commented on the differences between Wright and Reed's takes on the movie:
"I think the most defining difference between the two scripts was that Edgar's didn't take itself as seriously. It was fun and silly and brilliant irreverent - a romp from beginning to end, in classic English fashion. Whereas where we've gotten to is so much more American. There's tons of levity, but just as much emotion."
While Wright's movies are always loaded with creative humor, the Cornetto Trilogy (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World's End) had no issues focusing on character and emotion as well. His work is exactly why so many fans were disappointed to hear he was no longer attached to the project.
Still, he is receiving credit for the script, and while movies like Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Age of Ultron won't be easy acts to follow, it's safe to assume Marvel Studios has put a lot of thought into when this movie is being released. Considering the following the studio has built since 2008's Iron Man, it's fairly obvious the movie won't be a total flop at the box office. However, only time will tell whether or not it brings in an impressive amount of money and receives positive reviews from both critics and fans.
As for whether we'll see any other heroes appear in Ant-Man alongside Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), the director didn't say yes, but he didn't say no, either. When asked about Falcon and other members of the new team of Avengers, the director simply said, "That's classified information. That's buried. It's possible."
Considering Marvel Studios places an emphasis on teasing what's ahead for the bigger picture and making sure each project feels like it's part of a shared universe, it seems unlikely Ant-Man will feel isolated and the possibility of cameos - even if they're just in a credits scene - certainly seems likely.
Ant-Man is scheduled to open July 15.