UPDATE: Marvel has reportedly added 2 new directors to its shortlist! Get the lowdown here
The ongoing struggle over [Ant-Man](movie:9048) has been seen by many as the start of a potentially difficult period for Marvel as they enter "Phase 3", the period of their Cinematic Universe which sees many big names step down (most notably Robert Downey Jr. in [Iron Man 4](movie:886190)).
Recent weeks have seen British director Edgar Wright leave the project, and now Adam McKay has also reportedly walked away from the movie.
Marvel, meanwhile, are counting on Ant-Man extending the lifeline of their Avengers franchise, and have already signed up big names in the shape of Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly.
So what can we expect from Ant-Man? Here's what he know so far:
Lang or Pym?
As all Ant-Man fans know, there are two Ant-Men, both of whom are expected to feature in this movie.
The Original, Hank Pym, is a scientific genius who discovered the "Pym Particles" he uses to transform himself to the size of an Ant.
Pym is infamous for hitting his wife Janet van Dyne (Wasp) in a 1980s comic strip. And, even though he was brainwashed at the time, the character never entirely lived the incident down.
Interestingly, Janet later divorced Pym and went on to have a relationship with Tony Stark. You might think this would make a good story line for an Ant-Man movie, especially with Hank Pym being played by Michael Douglas, however the movie is more likely to focus on...
Scott Lang is the second character to wear the Ant-Man suit and gain its shrinking powers. Lang however, comes from a very different background to Pym.
Originally a petty thief, Lang first gained access to the Ant-Man's powers when out of desperation he broke into Hank Pym's house and stole them. Lang is different from Pym mainly in tone, appealing to a young, more relaxed audience. He will be played by Paul Rudd, and it will be interesting to see the different styles of Douglas and Rudd, Pym and Lang up against each other.
Heist or Caper?
The tone of the movies may in fact be crucial in understanding Ant-Man, as it is widely thought to be the key of disagreement between Wright and Marvel.
We might have noticed the warning signs when Marvel chief Kevin Feige came out and said that Wright had originally pitched Ant-Man as a heist movie, and it was this element that had got Marvel excited about the project.
Can we infer from this that Wright's Ant-Man did not have the action packed tine that Marvel expected? Was it more in line with his [The World's End](movie:38798) or fellow writer Joe Cornish's Attack the Block?
They wouldn't be the first to take Ant-Man in this more whacky direction - see here Third Ant-Man Eric O'Grady spying on Ms. Marvel in the shower:
Despite some rumors that Hank Pym would be the creator of Ultron in next year's [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](movie:293035), the Wright's Ant-Man was not intended to have anything to do with the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, at least not yet. Speaking about this possibility, Wright said:
(Ultron) was never in my script. Because even just to sort of set up what Ant-Man does is enough for one movie. It's why I think Iron Man is extremely successful because it keeps it really simple.
You have one sort of -- the villain comes from the hero's technology. It's simple. So I think why that film really works and why, sometimes, superhero films fail -- or they have mixed results -- because they have to set up a hero and a villain at the same time. And that's really tough. And sometimes it's unbalanced.We know nothing (all up in the air)
We Know Nothing
As a sort of caveat to everything outlined so far, the rumor was that Wright walk away from the project because of a COMPLETE rewrite to his script. So what might that mean for Ant-Man. In the end, the truth might be that your guess is as good as anyone's.
But what would you like to see from an Ant-Man movie? Try the poll, and write in with your own thoughts below the line!