What's most interesting about these details are in how similar they are to what Edgar Wright described in chatting with SHH back in 2006, shortly after his Comic-Con appearance with Marvel.
The [comic story] that jumped out was “Ant-Man” because I had the John Byrne “Marvel Premiere” from 1979 that David Micheline had done with Scott Lang that was kind of an origin story. I always loved the artwork, so when I saw that, it just immediately set bells going off kind of thinking going “Huh, that could be interesting. ” So we actually wrote a treatment for it, which was never sent to Marvel. It was like more our pitch on the thing.
Later in the interview, Wright directly mentioned the idea of a '60s-set prologue, and involving with Pym and Lang as different versions of Ant-Man in the story, which seems to have stuck for the current version of the script.
Well, the thing is that what we want to do, the idea that we have for the adaptation is to actually involve both. Is to have a film that basically is about Henry Pym and Scott Lang, so you actually do a prologue where you see Pym as Ant-Man in action in the 60′s, in sort of “Tales to Astonish” mode basically, and then the contemporary, sort of flash-forward, is Scott Lang’s story, and how he comes to acquire the suit, how he crosses paths with Henry Pym, and then, in an interesting sort of Machiavellian way, teams up with him. So it’s like an interesting thing, like the “Marvel Premiere” one that I read which is Scott Lang’s origin, it’s very brief like a lot of those origin comics are, and in a way, the details that are skipped through in the panels and the kind of thing we’d spend half an hour on.
And for some background, here are some key elements of what's appealing and different about the Ant-Man character to Wright, where he touches on what his film would have been about way back then. Keep in mind, this interview is from 2006:
Ant-Man was basically doing a superhero film in invert commas, and it takes place in another genre, almost more in the crime-action genre, that just happens to involve an amazing suit with this piece of hardware. The thing I like about Ant-Man is that it’s not like a secret power, there’s no supernatural element or it’s not a genetic thing. There’s no gamma rays. It’s just like the suit and the gas, so in that sense, it really appealed to me in terms that we could do something high-concept, really visual, cross-genre, sort of an action and special effects bonanza, but funny as well. There will definitely be a humorous element to it as well. So we wrote this treatment revolving around the Scott Lang character, who was a burglar, so he could have gone slightly in the Elmore Leonard route, and they came back saying, “Oh, we wanted to do something that was like a family thing.” I don’t think it ever got sent to Marvel. So then about two years ago I met Kevin Feige and Ari here and they said, “Are you interested in any Marvel titles?” and I said, “Weirdly enough, I did something for you,” [At this point, writer Joe Cornish walks into the room with a camera, because he's also the official Hot Fuzz "blogographer."]â€¦so we basically said, “Do you want to read the thing that we did three years ago?” So they read it and that’s kind of the basis for what we’re working on.
As we theorized before in our recent Ant-Man coverage, since we're going to see quite a lot of history explored in the Captain America sequel and potentially Ant-Man, it's possible those historical arcs can intertwine. Wouldn't it be neat to see some old heroes work together, forming the first "Avengers" and giving S.H.I.E.L.D. the inspiration years later to form The Avengers Initiative? What if young Pym crossed paths with the villainous Winter Soldier in the '60s?
If there is going to be a young Pym, who will play him? Would Marvel and Wright cast another actor or use CGI to de-age Michael Douglas a la Jeff Bridges in TRON: Legacy?
Does the idea of seeing a young Hank Pym serve as the first Ant-Man quell any concerns you had about Paul Rudd being the lead? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie news!
Header Art From Avengers Academy #7 Cover