You have hand it to Marvel's show runner, Kevin Feige. He hasn't disappointed. Not yet anyway. And with Ant-Man concluding Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we have the best yet to come. It goes without saying, you should watch Ant-Man before continuing reading - some spoilers within.
I was slightly apprehensive on hearing the announcement of an Ant-Man movie. It sounded like a ridiculously silly idea. Admittedly this was actually because I wasn't yet educated in the established comic book mythos, that saw Ant-Man being part of the original Avenger line up. Once I understood the back story, I was pumped.
Then I became very concerned when Edgar Wright left the project. 'Scott Pilgrim vs the World' is one of the my favourite movies, and it seemed a Wright led superhero movie would have been really special. Style, cinematography, visual story telling - all these things that Wright excels at in his movies, would have given superhero fans a new standard of expectation. He would have totally knocked it out of the park.
But now after seeing Ant-Man in cinemas last weekend, I finally understand why this tiny superhero was needed for the Avengers line up, and with all respect to Wright, why he had to part ways with Feige.
It seems to be no secret that Feige is running Marvel Entertainment like an executive would on a TV show. There is just simply a greater vision on hand, which means the journey cannot be about any single auteur. And with Wright at the helm, series continuity would have been sacrificed to allow his own visually stylistic interpretation of the Ant-Man story. It just wouldn't have fitted into the Marvel film series episode 12.
Peyton Reed has now proven he is more malleable to Feige's vision, and Adam McKay and Paul Rudd's rewrites safely returned the film into a post-Age of Ultron follow up. Ant-Man is as familiar as it is different.
It has at times a similar tone to Winter Solider, particular with the opening scenes set during the early construction of the Washington based Shield headquarters, the Triskelion.
It had the playfulness and emotion that gave Guardians of the Galaxy its heart.
And action scenes play with the same frenetic bravado that could easily see the scenes of Ant-Man re-edited into Age of Ultron and happen concurrently together.
It makes sense then to have the inclusion of New Avenger, Falcon, in a fun, but unnecessary scene, thats serves as a lot more than just a brief Stan Lee style cameo. It gives placement in the overall timeline continuity, that has seen a massive extensions in Agents of Shield and Agent Carter TV incarnations, and sets a clear path of what will come of Phase 3, come next year's Civil War.
While Phase 1 came to a massive conclusion with the Avengers finally assembling, Ant-Man's smaller scale suits a second act transition perfectly. It reduces the pace, lightens the mood through humour and lowers audience expectation of the coming War filled third phase.
Ant-Man as the smaller quieter closing film of phase two was necessary, and Peyton Reed's acceptance of that vision was clearly the deal breaker Feige needed to make it happen. Phase 3 is going to be a challenging three year effort from audiences. Civil War will see much of the superhero world we have grown to love, split and destroyed. And leading to, I hope, a breath taking conclusion over the Infinity War films. Ant-Man's smaller seeds allows Feige to regroup and rebuild particularly after Age of Ultron earlier this year.
All I ask is that Feige continues that approach, right until the end of Phase 3. Give us the small with the big too. It means us comic-book-loving-cinema-audiences can keep enjoying each new chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, rather than experiencing superhero fatigue of the same old falling from the sky destruction. Because lets be honest with DC's own universe kicking off next year, we are going to be begging for Ant-Man style reprieve come 2018. And judging by weekend box office for Ant-Man, small can mean just as big!
Daniel Sanguineti is a Australian Film Producer and Writer, who has previously tutored film and media at the University of Canberra and the Canberra Institute of Technology. He is on twitter @DanSanguineti.