Director Edgar Wright is finally getting his much-desired chance to bring to life Ant-Man, a superhero most well known for his ability to change size, and who may or may not be able to control ants in the film adaptation. The film will follow Avengers: Age of Ultron by mere months, the film featuring Ant-Man's greatest enemy: Ultron. This comes as a bit of a shock, as including Ultron in a movie without Ant-Man would be equivalent to having the Mandarin without Iron Man, Loki without Thor, or Red Skull without Captain America. Why would they do such a thing?
On top of taking away Ant-Man's biggest enemy, the cast for the movie includes both the first and second comic characters to inhabit the character: Henry Pym and Scott Lang. Why have two Ant-Mans? Some of the answers come from Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, who calls the movie a heist film. For those unfamiliar with Ant-Man, Henry Pym invents the suit using technology called Pym Particles that can grow and shrink. Lang acquires the suit by means of thievery, which Pym discovers and teaches him to use for good. No wonder Feige used the word "heist"!
So the movie is going to be based on Lang's stealing of the suit (most likely from Pym's lab at a S.H.I.E.L.D. Building from the looks of the trailer seen at the bottom of the page), and then how they work together. But why have both? Well, for one, they become each other's own enemy at first: Pym's suit is stolen, and Lang is in trouble with Pym. If they wanted to pursue Scott Lang's story, then they couldn't have Ant-Man without Pym Particles, which means Pym is essential for every version of Ant-Man that you make.
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Edgar Wright leads us to believe there will still be a villain other than each other in the end though. In an interview with Wright, the director says:
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.
Believe it or not, this has been his plan since 2006 when Marvel Studios first approached him with the idea of making a Marvel film, and he had actually written the original story for the movie 3 YEARS EARLIER! Talk about a long time in the making! The part that ensures the villains won't be each other comes when Wright says "teams up with him". Marvel characters always end up needing something to team up against to get over disagreements nowadays: look at the Avengers. Wright's only hint at the villain is what he says the best way to introduce a villain is: "the villain comes from the hero’s technology".Wright says that this is the best way to introduce a hero and a villain at the same time, referencing the first Iron Man movie as the perfect example.
Is there any other reason to have both Hank Pym AND Scott Lang? I mean, having to introduce Ant-Man as a pre-existing hero just so you can keep the name Pym Particles is a bit tedious, no? Yes, it is very tedious. But if you could introduce three superheroes in one movie that isn't The Avengers, wouldn't you do it too? That's right, three. Ant-Man isn't always Ant-Man: he's also Giant-Man (Gi-Ant-Man, as tall as skyscrapers). On top of that, he is also married to The Wasp, yet another superhero. Evangeline Lily was recently hired for the "lead female role", most likely being The Wasp herself.
The hint of a possible Giant-Man comes from Wright as well, when he said in an interview when asked why he chose to direct Ant-Man over the other superheroes he was offered (including most of the ones already made), he responded: "Obviously the shrinking is incredibly visual, the fact that he can shrink and enlarge, kind of mid-combat...". If you have Hank Pym as Giant-Man, Scott Lang as Ant-Man, and Janet Van Dyne as the Wasp, you just gained another 3 superheroes to include in Avengers 3.