The marketing campaign of Ant-Man is just beginning this week, with the release of the film's first official one-sheet (not counting the artistic rendering from Comic-Con), as well as the first Ant-Man teaser trailer. And the trailer was just that, a teaser introducing the old and new wielders of the Ant-Man costume, with a limited look at the ants, action sequences and supporting cast.
Piecing together what the cast, director Peyton Reed and Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige said about the film last year, and what we know of the comics the movie is based on, we're going to get very geeky and share everything we know about Ant-Man's story and characters, and how it could lead to and tie into other Marvel projects.
The film's story takes place in San Francisco where Pym Technologies and Pym's residence are located. Some scenes were shot in San Francisco - including the one with The Incredible Hulk Easter Egg - but the bulk of the shooting occurred in Atlanta, on location, and at Atlanta's new Pinewood Studios. The Pym Technologies building for instance, is actually the Georgia Archives Building, where Marvel added shrubbery, Pym signs and digitally rendered in the water front.
Ant-Man is the first Marvel movie that focuses on and heavily features family. When you think back on the cast of The Avengers, outside of Tony Stark and Thor, we don't meet any relatives of the others. They are seemingly alone, with no responsibilities at home. For original Ant-Man Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), the creator of the size-altering Pym particles and ant-communication technologies, as well as new Ant-Man and ex-thief Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), both have daughters in complicated relationships.
If the film follows the Scott Lang story arc of the comics, his daughter (played by Abby Ryder Fortson in the movie) may be ill and it may force Lang to take action. In the comics that meant stealing the Ant-Man suit from Hank Pym and using it to break into Darren Cross' company. Given the visuals in the trailer, depicting Lang getting arrested as Hank Pym watches, then Hank Pym recruiting Lang - offering a "second chance" - it's a safe bet Ant-Man the movie will follow a similar path.
Actress Judy Greer doesn't appear in the first teaser trailer, plays lang's ex-wife. The name of their daughter is Cassie in the comics, but has yet to be confirmed for the movie. Note the backpack is the same as the first official Ant-Man still photo.
A Second Chance
Scott Lang gets arrested and we're guessing it has to do with him breaking into Pym Technologies for something that may or may not be for helping his daughter. In the comics, that catches the eye of Hank Pym, who's convinced that the ex-thief (read: ex-con) actually has a heart of gold and what it takes to be a hero. Pym's speech in the first Ant-Man trailer is powerful in that regard.
Below, we see Pym watching Lang getting arrested. Lang has a rough time in the joint (prison fight!) before being let out and offered a second chance.
We've discussed Scott Lang's daughter, but have yet to talk about Pym's daughter, who has a far larger role in the movie - and potentially a large role in future movies. With Ant-Man comes fellow Avenger and superhero Wasp (real name: Janet Van Dyne) who isn't part of the main cast of the film. We know from various Michael Douglas interviews at San Diego Comic-Con last summer that his character of Hank Pym is shaped by a tragedy involving his wife and daughter. That wife would be Janet, who likely died in the past (cue flashbacks to scenes involving Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) and Howard Stark (John Slattery)).
Perhaps that's why Evangeline Lilly's character, Hope Van Dyne, adopts her mom's maiden name over her father's. In brief shots in the trailer, Hope is depicted as an employee of Darren Cross (who runs Pym Technologies in an "evil" fashion) and kicks butt on the side, wields a gun, and sports a Wasp-like haircut. This may be the origin story of a new generation's Ant-Man, but it may also serve as the introduction of a new Wasp and another future Avenger.
Yes, Paul Rudd has Marvel movie abs. The actor's real-life super power is not aging. He's seen training above with Hope, so this is likely later in the film, assuming their characters don't cross paths before Pym recruited Lang. In the last photo above, note the background behind Hope featuring the hexagonal lights. More of that later.
We've known since Edgar Wright first talked about his original screenplay for Ant-Man almost a decade ago at the very first Marvel Studios Comic-Con panel that there would be a segment of the Ant-Man movie that takes place in the past. With Peggy Carter and Howard Stark making guest appearances, that's still the case. We'll probably meet original Ant-Man as a young man, suited up during the cold war, and that's where we're guessing this brief shot is from.
A year ago, reports on the story of Ant-Man had the flashbacks featuring a villainous character named "Castillo" from the past who’s based on Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Later, Jordi Mollà was cast as that character. With Agent Carter also premiering on ABC this week, we're curious if the series will pave the way for some of what these flashbacks include.
The Secret Lab
We actually don't know if this is a secret anything, but after Pym recruits Lang and gets him out of lockup, it appears the mentor takes the mentee to some old, seemingly underground, lab and tells him of the "Ant-Man legacy" and responsibility.
That Action Sequence
Seemingly directly from the very first test footage Edgar Wright shot a few years ago just for Comic-Con, the first Ant-Man trailer features a sequence where our hero exits a vent and charges down a hall at two guards, changing his size while approaching them to dodge bullets, returning to his full size to take one out and shrinking to punch the other, grabbing his tie, and tossing him through glass as he returns to full size.
FYI: When Ant-Man shrinks, he retains the strength of his normal-sized self.
We're not sure if this is from the original heist attempt that got Lang arrested in the first place (after potentially stealing the suit from Pym), or if this is after he's given the suit by Pym and is on a mission.
"What Is This? A Center For Ants?"
The one advantage Ant-Man has over Yellowjacket (from what Corey Stoll told us at Comic-Con) is the secondary ability to communicate with and control ants. Ants give Ant-Man a powerful and organized army, after all, and Michael Douglas repeatedly reminded us of that last year as well.
The trailer features several shots of Lang approaching and mounting a flying ant - footage that seems straight from last year's Ant-Man teaser sequence that Marvel played for fans before the film even began shooting. That scene featured the voices of Michael Douglas walking Paul Rudd through how the suit and helmet work, and how he can communicate with and trust the flying ant.
The shots are a little extreme on the lens flares, likely to cover up the CGI effects, but the birds eye view shot (second of the five) showcases cool as a microscopic effect.
For whatever reason after acquiring the suit (again, unclear if this is before or after Pym recruits Lang), Lang returns home to visit his daughter. If she's ill like in the books, perhaps he's stolen what he needs. That or he's just paying his daughter a superhero visit.
The Ant-Man Costume
Up close, the Ant-Man outfit looks rather retro and worn. And it should, given that Hank Pym wore it many years in the past. We love how the eyes are visible through the mask, meaning unlike Iron Man and Guardians of the Galaxy's Star-Lord, the protagonists won't need to continually find reasons to not wear the mask when suited up, so that audiences can see the actor emote. The wearer of the Ant-Man costume hits one of the triggers in the hand to seemingly activate the Pym particles and shrink in size as emphasized in the shower scene.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it's Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) who suits up as Yellowjacket, although that's being saved for another Ant-Man trailer.
What we know from the Marvel panel at San Diego Comic-Con is that Cross was previously a mentee of Hank Pym, and is another ambitious genius scientist who takes over Pym Technologies. He's up to no good, which is why Pym recruits Lang to - as the official synopsis reveals - "pull off a heist that will save the world." As you can see above, Cross isn't too happy about that.
When Peña was first cast in Ant-Man it was believed to be for a potentially villainous role (see: Castillo in Flashbacks section) but from the photo below he seems to be a guard for Pym Technologies, a well-armed one at that. Whether he's a character from the books or will become one, remains to be seen.
Share your highlights, thoughts and theories on the Ant-Man trailer below!
Marvel’s Ant-Man stars Paul Rudd as Scott Lang aka Ant-Man, Evangeline Lilly as Hope Van Dyne, Corey Stoll as Darren Cross aka Yellowjacket, Bobby Cannavale as Paxton, Michael Peña as Luis, Judy Greer as Maggie, Tip “Ti” Harris as Dave, David Dastmalchian as Kurt, Wood Harris as Gale, Jordi Mollà as Castillo and Michael Douglas as Hank Pym. Peyton Reed directs Ant-Man with Kevin Feige producing and Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Michael Grillo, Edgar Wright and Stan Lee serving as executive producers.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron releases in theaters on May 1 2015, followed by Ant-Man on July 17 2015, Captain America: Civil War on May 6 2016, Doctor Strange on November 4 2016, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on May 5 2017, Thor: Ragnarok on July 28, 2017, Black Panther on November 3 2017, Avengers: Infinity War - Part 1 on May 4 2018, Captain Marvel on July 6 2018, Inhumans on November 2 2018 and Avengers: Infinity War - Part 2 on May 3 2019.
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