The first Thor movie originally had the MCU's first reference to Ant-Man - though it didn't make it into the final cut. Although Ant-Man was only released in 2015, it had actually been in the works for almost a decade; Marvel Studios first hired Edgar Wright to direct the film in 2006, but the studio didn't rush the project, and several different scripts were produced. Creative differences between Wright's vision and Marvel's ultimately led to Wright being replaced by Peyton Reed as director.
Marvel seem to have always known they were going to use both Hank Pym and Scott Lang. In an interview with SuperHeroHype back in 2006, Edgar Wright revealed that he intended both versions of Ant-Man. "You actually do a prologue where you see Pym as Ant-Man in action in the 60s," he observed, "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." It's not too far removed from what the film ended up being.
By the time of 2011's Thor, Marvel was evidently beginning to feel confident of the direction they were going to take. In fact, the original script for Thor included a notable reference to Hank Pym. In one scene, shortly after their equipment had been taken by SHIELD, Doctor Selvig told Jane Foster that he'd heard of the organization before. "Please, let me contact one of my colleagues," he asked. "Dr. Pym has had some dealings with these people. I'll e-mail him and see if he can help." It would have been a subtle Easter egg, establishing a link between Hank Pym and SHIELD. It also would have fit perfectly with the MCU, which established that Pym worked with SHIELD for years, and his wife Janet was stranded in the Quantum Realm after a SHIELD mission.
In the final theatrical cut, the line is ever so slightly different, and Selvig doesn't name the colleague he's considering emailing. In both versions, Darcy pointed out that SHIELD had taken Selvig's laptop too, so he wouldn't be sending any emails anytime soon.
It's interesting to speculate why this line of dialogue was changed. The Ant-Man script went through at least two drafts in 2011, so perhaps plans briefly changed, and Marvel was unsure whether Hank Pym would indeed be tied to SHIELD in the end. Alternatively, it may be that Marvel realized dropping in a Hank Pym Easter egg at this stage would have been a bad move; fans would naturally have assumed Pym would play a role in 2012's The Avengers, given he was a founding member of the team in the comics.
Whatever the reason may have been, the line was cut, and as a result Hank Pym didn't even get name-dropped in the MCU until he made his big-screen debut in 2015's Ant-Man. It's interesting to imagine Pym as a colleague of Erik Selvig, another eccentric genius in the MCU.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
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