Shane Black pioneered what is now considered the archetypal buddy-action genre with his script work on the Lethal Weapon franchise, The Last Boy Scout, and Long Kiss Goodnight - he then went meta with his 2005 directorial debut, the cult Neo-Noir comedy Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Edgar Wright, by comparison, made his name in America on his genre-riffs with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) before making his own one-of-a-kind cult film in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World two years ago.
That's to say, there's a lot of interest amongst the moviegoing public to see what these gentlemen come up with in their respective Marvel superhero films, Iron Man 3 and Ant-Man. Marvel co-president Louis D'Esposito promises that chance will be arriving sooner, rather than later.
The first footage from Black's Iron Man 3 was screened in the form of a sizzle reel at Marvel's Comic-Con panel this past summer. Reports have since emerged that a formal trailer showed at a premiere for the Avengers Blu-ray. However, in a recent interview with FilmJunkies.de (hat tip to CBM), D'Esposito stated the official IM3 teaser has yet to be finished, but that he expects the preview to hit theaters in "mid to late October."
Iron Man 3 will, among other things, set the stage for "Phase Two" of the Marvel Movie Universe (MMU). The Comic-Con footage had plenty of humor, but imminent danger and world-shattering events are also on the table for Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. Indeed, IM3's mix of wise guy heroes, outlandishly menacing villains, and tangible violence recalls Black's oeuvre as a whole - not to mention, seems like the perfect formula for the Iron Man franchise.
There's a fair amount of pressure on Iron Man 3 to raise the bar for the MMU to the next level; it has to followup Marvel's game-changing Avengers, as well as rebuild fan confidence after what many consider a regressive second installment in Iron Man 2. Marvel has seemingly been taking its time with Wright's Ant-Man movie for similar reasons, since the occasionally-miniaturized superhero will be all the more difficult to "get right" now that expectations are higher.
Comic-con attendees were very receptive to the Ant-Man test footage, enough so to prompt demands from others who want to check out the results. D'Esposito, when asked about the idea, reiterated the claims of Marvel producer Victoria Alonso saying "Yes, I think so. Edgar is just adding the finishing touches and then we will once again make the final visual effects editing. The process is almost complete. Then we will decide when and how we can make it available to the fans. We are more than happy with it. He's a great filmmaker and we look forward to [it].”
Marvel's co-president once again avoided setting an official date for when, exactly, Wright could begin filming Ant-Man for real. Rumors persist that production could get underway once Alan Taylor finishes up shooting Thor: The Dark World overseas in London, meaning Wright's flick could join the Russo Brothers' Captain America: The Winter Soldier and James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy as the Marvel flicks hitting theaters in 2014.
Wright is in the midst of principal photography on his new Pegg/Frost collaboration, The World's End, so there's good reason to wonder if Ant-Man can start shooting in a matter of months. The test footage suggests Wright's ability to interweave stylized action with cartoonish comedy will serve the superhero film well, so there is all the less reason for either Marvel or the fan community to demand that he start rushing things after several years of careful development.
We will continue to keep you posted on the status of Ant-Man. Meanwhile, Iron Man 3 releases on 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; and The Avengers 2 on May 1st, 2015.