Marvel Studios' cinematic universe already contains some very big names, and the last team-up of The Avengers included some of the major players from the comics. A couple of the original founding members of the superhero team from the comic canon have yet to be seen in their own movie, however: namely insect-themed pair Ant-Man and Wasp, who share similar powers of growing and shrinking to extreme sizes.
An Ant-Man movie has actually been in development since before the release of the early Phase One Marvel movies like The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man, but director Edgar Wright chose to complete two very different movies - Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and upcoming release The World's End - before finally turning his attention to every comic book geek's dream job.
Ant-Man has been set for release in November 2015, and Wright has said that he intends to begin casting and pre-production by the end of this year. The script for the film has been undergoing rewrites in order to make Ant-Man's story fit in better with the greater Marvel cinematic universe, but in an interview with DigitalSpy, Wright confirmed that he and Joe Cornish's script is now complete:
"The script is all done, actually. I put Ant-Man on the back burner to make [The World's End] for a number of reasons, some of them quite personal - it was like, 'I have to do this film now, it's really important.' And so [Marvel] were actually very good in terms of like, 'OK, we'll see you in two years.' The things is, is that that character's been around since 1962, so he's not going anywhere, and the later we leave it the better the special effects will be."
The overall impression from Wright's words is that Marvel wasn't too worried about putting a rush on Ant-Man, and was happy to let the script marinate for a while as other films were produced. After all, the studio can only release two films a year, and its schedule has been fully booked with the likes of The Avengers 2, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, so Ant-Man could afford to rest on the shelf for a little longer.
Wright has mentioned special effects before as one of the reasons why he wanted to wait and make Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and The World's End before moving on to Ant-Man, which he had always envisioned as "a big effects movie." A lot of the scenes where Ant-Man is in his smaller form could likely be achieved using practical effects and clever set-building (after all, it worked for Honey I Shrunk the Kids), but creating the insects with whom Ant-Man interacts will probably require some CGI creature design.
An early vision of Ant-Man was revealed in a fantastic set of concept art for future Marvel movies, but the question of who will be inside the costume remains a mystery, perhaps even to Wright himself. We recently quizzed Armie Hammer on the rumors that he had been seen hanging out with Wright on the set of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but he claimed to not even know who Wright was, let alone much about Ant-Man. Right now, it seems, the role could still go to just about anyone.
Tell us your hopes for Ant-Man in the comments, and suggest the perfect casting choice for the character of Hank Pym (if indeed Pym is the protagonist of the movie).
Ant-Man arrives in theaters on November 6, 2015.