Marvel didn’t discuss any new films in their lineup during their Comic-Con Hall H panel (Boo!), focusing only on the two films they have scheduled for next year: Their Phase Two showstopper Avengers: Age of Ultron, and then their “small” start to Phase Three, Ant-Man, the latter of which actually kicked off their panel.
With the Edgar Wright replacement fiasco still not sitting well with many fans, new Ant-Man director Peyton Reed only received a lukewarm welcome as he led his cast onstage for their presentation. Marvel tried to get the crowd to warm to Reed by boasting about his geek credentials (he’s been coming to Comic-Con for 20 years already), which helped a little. Stars Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas (who respectively play Scott Land and Hank Pym, the new and old Ant-Man) got a much wilder reception by the audience, even though this was their first time attending the Con.
Rudd commented on the first time experience saying, “I’m popping my Comic-Con cherry. It’s a mindbender” joining the MCU. I’m so honored to be a part of it. It’s really thrilling. I’ve been doing this (acting) as a job for awhile, but this is a whole other thing!”
When moderator Chris Hardwick mentioned that Douglas was also popping his Comic-Con cherry, the veteran actor retorted without missing a beat, “I’ve popped enough cherries in my time,” much to the roaring laughter of the audience.
What really got the crowd going though was new test footage (likely still based on Wright’s designs) showing off lead Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) being led through a heist by his mentor Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). Here’s /Film’s description of the demo reel teaser.
The clip opens on a science lab. In contrast to the super-sleek ones we’ve seen at, say, Wayne Enterprises or Stark Industries, this one looks older and smaller, almost homey. The camera moves around the room, showing various flasks and vials, a jar with moving ants inside, and Ant-Man’s famous helmet.
Meanwhile, we hear Scott Lang and Hank Pym’s voices over the scene. Lang sounds hesitant: “Dr. Pym, you seem nice, but…” Eventually, he gets to the point: “I’m not a superhero.”
Pym makes it clear he doesn’t hold superheroes in high esteem to begin with. “You’re not an egomaniac,” he agrees. “Superheroes, what a goddamn joke.” Pym continues confidently over Lang’s protests. “I think someone already shrunk your balls,” he says. “It’s a small job.”
The video then cuts to a city at night, with flashing lights and tall buildings in the background. We see a tiny figure in the Ant-Man suit, running across a rooftop. It’s Scott, and we can hear him speaking to Hank remotely. It sounds like Scott is on his first adventure, and Hank is instructing him in what to do.
A flying insect flies toward Scott and he tries to get on, but the damn thing won’t budge. Hank tells Scott to just jump, so Scott launches himself off the building… and he’s immediately caught by a flying ant. Scott rides it through a vent, as other insects follow. “Okay. I got this,” Scott says. Cue Ant-Man logo.
That sounds pretty cool, especially how bristly Douglas’ Hank Pym sounds. His surliness is part of his character, as Pym has been known in the past for temperamental outbursts. This aspect of the character was manifested most infamously when he slapped his wife Janet Van Dyne aka the superhero the Wasp. While I doubt Marvel will be drawing on that comic book event for the movie, something apparently did happen between Douglas’s Pym and his wife, leading to an estranged relationship between him and his daughter Hope.
And yes, we finally also got confirmation that Evangeline Lilly will in fact be be playing that daughter, Hope Van Dyne, while it’s also been confirmed that Corey Stoll will be playing the villainous Darren Cross, Pym’s ex-business partner who eventually gets hold of some Pym Particles, gives himself size-changing abilities and becomes the film’s main baddie Yellowjacket (the concept art designs for whom we saw last week, and it looks incredible). Just a note: In the comics, Darren Cross is a villain (as I pointed out before) but has nothing to do with Yellowjacket, which was actually one of Hank Pym’s alter-egos. Clearly, Marvel are tweaking their comic book origins to what they need on the screen. Whether that applies to Lilly’s Hope Pym is up for debate. In the comics, she goes on to become the Avengers villain, the Red Queen, but Lilly could not confirm or deny anything of the sort, as she has apparently not received a script yet. With the movie due next year, that should change soon.
Douglas and Stoll also elaborated a bit on the relationship between Pym and Cross, with Douglas saying that “Hank’s partner, Corey, [tries] to take their company into an evil direction, and it’s up to his new mentee in Paul to take over and save the day.” Stoll though, showing the different approaches to the character, gave a slightly different take, saying “I was Hank Pym’s mentee and a genius scientist as well, and I have taken over the company and some very judgmental people may think that that’s an evil direction, but I’m just taking it into the future.”
Apparently that grey-ish morality was a central part of Wright’s vision for the film, especially since Scott Lang is supposed to start off as a criminal himself, so it will be interesting to see just how far they take it.
Ant-Man is scheduled for release on July 17, 2015.[SOURCES: Collider, Newsarama, /Film, EW]
Last Updated: July 28, 2014