Geek-fave British filmmaker Edgar Wright has been developing Ant-Man for six years now, which is even longer than Marvel Studio's Cinematic Universe has been in existence. The project was finally locked down for a 2015 release after making an appearance at the 2012 Comic-Con, where a test footage reel was screened - managing to bring down the house, despite it not even being finished.
Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige has confirmed that Ant-Man will kick-off Phase III of the MCU, building on the events of the upcoming Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers sequels (in addition to Guardians of the Galaxy). Hence, once Wright finishes both post-production and promotion duties for The World's End - a finale to his genre riff trilogy, including Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz - he will (at last) devote all efforts to bringing the tiniest Avenger to the big screen.
IGN recently interviewed Wright about The World's End, where (not surprisingly) the conversation eventually turned to the Ant-Man script he and writer-director Joe Cornish (Attack the Block) have spent years now putting together. Wright spoke about his new comic book project, how it should benefit from his gained experience over the past five years, and which MCU Phase I installment was his favorite.
On the topic of his approach to Ant-Man:
“It’s a way of doing a superhero film within another genre. I wanted to tell an origin tale in a slightly different way. It’s part of the Marvel cinematic universe, but it also feels like its own piece.”
Wright's comments echo those of Wolverine director James Mangold, in terms of how neither wants to adhere to the typical superhero movie formula. Here, Ant-Man is shaping up closer to an espionage genre action-thriller - similar to, say, the first Mission: Impossible installment - rather than your average 'Superhero Movie' about an ordinary person gaining incredible powers, learning to be responsible, and so forth. That should set a good precedent for other films coming during Phase III, including Doctor Strange (which is the other confirmed new superhero movie in Phase III, to date).
On why Ant-Man's been in pre-production mode for six years:
“I’ve been collaborating with [Marvel boss] Kevin [Feige] during the whole of that cycle. I think people have always assumed… ‘Oh why is it taking so long to make?’ Part of it is because I wanted to make two other movies [Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and The World's End] first... But to be honest, the later I do it, it feels like I could learn more, especially about special effects. It’s a big effects movie, so I’m pleased to go into it having done Scott Pilgrim and The World’s End because you’re always learning more about that side.”
Scott Pilgrim's effects-heavy nature makes it a good illustration of what Wright can do with the proper budget, which gives all the more reason to be excited about him taking on the Ant-Man universe.
Moreover, rumors continue to point towards future MCU installments branching out even further into the cosmos after Thor: The Dark World and Guardians of the Galaxy - be it during The Avengers 2 or in a Planet Hulk movie down the line - meaning, it is all the more important for Earth-bound installments (like Ant-Man) to be stylish and technically-sophisticated. That should allow them to compete with their fantastical peers and keep fans interested in what's happening on our home planet. Suffice it to say, Wright's a great choice to meet that challenge.
As for his favorite Marvel movies so far, well, the answer shouldn't surprise you:
“I guess my two favorites would have to be Iron Man and The Avengers. I’ve enjoyed all of them and I think those two are the ones that score highest on the popcorn metre. That totally work as great crowd-pleasers. And I think what they’ve managed to do in terms of The Avengers coming after a five-film cycle, is kind of extraordinary and unprecedented in cinema history. To bring together four other franchises into one. It couldn’t have gone better could it? It’s amazing.”
Iron Man 3 releases May 3rd, 2013, Thor: The Dark World on November 8th, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4th, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1st, 2014, The Avengers 2 on May 1st, 2015 and Ant-Man on November 6th, 2015.
Now that Chris Pratt is playing Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy, who are hoping to see take up the Ant-Man mantle? Lee Pace, Joel Edgerton or another person on our '10 Actors Marvel Should Consider for Ant-Man' list? Let us know in the comments!