Marvel Studios has certainly proven its market value due to the recent success of Guardians of the Galaxy and the amount of media buzz surrounding the release of its movie trailers, but every giant has a moment of fear and risk. This year that very risk will be the miniaturized hero Ant-Man, who many believe to be Marvel Studios' first possible flop in the box office. While it is difficult to say at this moment as opinions are rather mixed on the recent released trailer, one could argue that the risk already lies in the long production history behind the picture.
Troubled Production History
Ant-Man was already being planned back in 2006 with Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish writing a script, but feeling that technology wasn’t exactly up to par at the time with what they wanted to accomplish, it was put on hold in 2007. It took until 2012 for the first test reel to be featured at the San Diego Comic-Con, showing off what we could expect from the picture. With opinions divisive on the casting of an older Hank Pym with Michael Douglas and the focus being on Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang, the film was heading towards a release in 2015, but in 2014 suddenly Edgar Wright left the project shortly before filming. While official statements still remain with a "creative difference" behind the scenes, various rumors still float around. The film still had a deadline to keep, so after a month long search for a new director, Marvel Studios found Peyton Reed. In addition, the main star Paul Rudd and Adam McKay rewrote the entire script.
Now, after reading the long history behind the film and all its ups and downs, one would automatically assume that there was a big risk behind the picture. People that looked forward to what Edgar Wright would accomplish have second thoughts regarding the film, as Peyton Reed’s biggest films consist of Yes Man (2008), The Break-Up (2006) and even Bring It On (2000). In a way, one could point out that Anthony and Joe Russo both were behind shows like Community (2009) or Arrested Development (2003) and were also directors of the comedy You, Me and Dupree (2006), but still managed to make Captain America: The Winter Soldier quite a successful film. Yet while giving that comparison, there is a certain fear due to how the entire production of the film had to be rushed due to the lost month of finding a director for the film.
The Response to the Trailer
Some doubt is still out there with the recent trailer rather focusing on the main story and themes instead of truly hooking people, I personally see another thing to worry about: Avengers: Age of Ultron. What do I mean by that? Well, considering that Age of Ultron is being released on May 1, 2015 and Ant-Man following shortly on July 17, it will only be two months before we have another Marvel Studio film. So, the entire marketing behind both films will have to work in accordance over the course of the coming months. As The Hollywood Reporter points out, the recent trailer was considered too generic and a small misstep on the side of Marvel’s marketing team, one could consider that the trailer had the biggest issue of being released shortly before the more anticipated Marvel blockbuster Age of Ultron.
Naturally, these close release schedules also lead to a considerable amount of comparison between the two films. Ultron builds up a strong atmosphere with its music, while Ant-Man focuses mainly on its story. There is a considerable impact Age of Ultron could have on the success of Ant-Man, if the marketers use this opportunity. The after credit scenes by Marvel Studio films have become quite famous, so releasing a sneak preview of Ant-Man afterwards that truly grabs the audience may help the film forward, but if they completely blow it off, the hype behind Age of Ultron may end up diminishing the release of Ant-Man.
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