Of all the already-released or in-production film projects at Marvel Studios, the one that's been in actual development the longest is undoubtedly Ant-Man. Before Marvel Studios released their first self-financed project (Iron Man) and long before Disney acquired Marvel Entertainment, writer and director Edgar Wright appeared on stage at San Diego Comic-Con in 2006 where it was announced that he would be working on Ant-Man for the studio.
What many fans don't know is that the Ant-Man pitch that got Marvel interested in working on the project with Wright way back then was actually based on something the director wrote a treatment of three years earlier for Artisan Entertainment. This is back when Artisan held the film rights to Ant-Man, before Shaun of the Dead even hit theaters in 2004. Skip forward to present and the film is finally happening at Marvel Studios, with two leads already attached in Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas. With news of another actor in talks (Michael Pena) for a key role, we wanted to compare the latest rumored plot details of the film to what Edgar Wright had in mind a decade ago.
With yesterday's official news that Michael Douglas would be playing an older version of Hank Pym - one of the founding members of The Avengers in the comics - in Ant-Man, we also learned officially that Paul Rudd would therefore be playing Scott Lang, the second character in Marvel Comics to wear the suit and earn the title.
From the casting alone, combined with previous announcements regarding upcoming films, we know Ant-Man won't be following certain story arcs from the books. Obviously, the currently 69-year-old Michael Douglas won't be suiting up alongside Iron Man in The Avengers sequels, and Ultron (a creation of Pym in the books) will have a new origin story in The Avengers 2, one that may end up not involving Pym at all (as far as we know at this point).
Looking at today's reports that Michael Pena may also be cast in Ant-Man, we later learned a few more details thanks to This Is Infamous about his role and the story. Their sources indicate that Pena will be playing a villain named "Castillo" from the past who's based on Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Much like Captain America: The Winter Soldier will use flashbacks to bring back from familiar faces from the WWII era and later in the timeline, to flesh out the backstories of Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), there will be flashbacks in Ant-Man to the '60s.
They claim the film actually begins in the '60s, with a young Hank Pym as the first Ant-Man using his tech to battle communism as a spy. Pena's character is introduced here so think Cuban Missile Crisis. Then of course, we skip forward to present where Scott Lang (Rudd) is introduced, along with another villain. Pena is seemingly still active as a villain in the modern era too from the sounds of it.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014, The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 31, 2015, and unannounced films for May 6 2016, July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.
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Header Art From Avengers Academy #7 Cover