6 Things I Want to See in the Ant-Man Movie
The Marvel movie I am most looking forward to in the next few years is Ant-Man. And I’m including Avengers 2 in that list. I don’t know what it is exactly that has me so excited. Is it the quirky, colorful nature of the C-list superhero? Is it the perfect casting of Paul Rudd? Or maybe Marvel hiring Edgar Wright, one of my all-time favorites, to sit in the director’s chair?
Whatever the case may be, I cannot wait for Ant-Man to shrink onto the big screen in 2015!
Production is ramping up as Wright gets ready to start filming. He’s teased the costume, he’s announced his lead actor, and just the other day on his blog, Wright posted that he’s watching episodes of Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes for inspiration. (He posted about one episode in particular, which we’ll talk about in a moment). Ant-Man is going to kick off Phase 3 of the Marvel movies. The film is going to prove if, after Avengers 2, the fans have enough faith in Marvel to watch a film that isn’t about Iron Man, Thor or Captain America. I think it’s going to be a huge success.
But since we still have time, how about a few suggestions for what I’d like to see in the film. Here are my six best ideas for Ant-Man, and feel free to show your own wants and desires in the comments!
6. Modern Costume
One of the reasons I love Ant-Man so much are his modern day costumes. Artists over the past decade have really had a lot of fun with the character, turning Ant-Man into a really snazzy, creepy sort of guy. The picture up there is Ant-Man circa the late 90s, and I just think that costume is perfect. The red and black look great together, and that helmet is otherwordly!
Whereas I just don’t like Ant-Man’s original costume from the 1960s. The helmet is iconic, sure, but it’s just so weird looking! Even when artists try to modernize the classic helmet, I just don’t think it works.
So for the Ant-Man movie, I want to see a more modern, more badass take on the Ant-Man costume. That classic helmet might be popular among comic book fans, but for mainstream movie audiences, Ant-Man really needs to look futuristic and modern.
On that note, I love the costume Wright used in his sizzle reel, back when he was just toying with ideas for the character and the special effects. But I think it’s safe to say that costume is not the final design – but I think it’s a great start!
Not every Marvel movie has involved SHIELD, but I think Ant-Man could definitely use a boost from the super secret spy organization. We obviously don’t yet know Ant-Man’s origins or status quo, but I recommend making him an Agent of SHIELD. He doesn’t have to start out as an Agent of SHIELD, and the suit doesn’t have to come from SHIELD, but maybe he’ll end up doing missions for SHIELD nonetheless. It would be a good way to explain how the guy with the size-changing powers gets up to shenanigans.
The Marvel Movieverse guys aren’t really crime-fighters, stalking the back alleys of New York City to bust purse-snatchers. I don’t think Ant-Man would be either. SHIELD would be a great way to give Ant-Man some motivation and connect him to the larger movieverse.
4. Creative Freedom
What are the all-time classic Ant-Man stories? What’s that? There are none? You are correct sir! Ant-Man does not have a classic, memorable origin. He does not have any iconic super-villains to fight. There are simply no great Ant-Man stories out there that Wright and Marvel could adapt to the big screen – and that’s great!
I don’t think they should adapt anything to make the Ant-Man movie. I think Wright and company – who I’m pretty sure have already written the script – should have free reign to make up every single aspect of Ant-Man. Granted, I’d like to keep the shrinking powers, and probably use the name of one of the comic book Ant-Men, but everything else should be up for grabs. Origin, profession, age, motivation, mission, villain; Wright should have the freedom to create and tell whatever story he wants. Ant-Man could flourish with that kind of freedom.
3. No Wasp
The first Ant-Man in the comics was a scientist named Hank Pym, and always at his side was his wife, Janet Van Dyne, otherwise known as the Wasp. Ant-Man and the Wasp are pretty much linked in the comics…but I don’t care. I don’t want to see the Wasp or Janet Van Dyne in the movie. Introducing Ant-Man does not require introducing the Wasp, no matter what the stickler fans might say.
Obviously these movies enjoy their romantic sub-plots, and maybe I would allow Janet for that, but I don’t think she needs to become the Wasp (unless that’s the post-credits teaser). Ant-Man should exist as a wholly separate entity in his first movie. It’ll be easier and better for audiences to swallow.
Speaking of the Wasp…
2. No Wife-Beating
Once upon a time, several decades ago, there was a story where Hank Pym got angry and struck his wife Janet. And like I said, since there are no classic or iconic Ant-Man moments or stories, that one incident of spousal abuse has become Hank Pym’s defining characteristic. There’s simply nothing else as interesting about him – but that does not mean he’s a wife-beater. It was one moment, they have since made up, and Pym has not done anything even remotely similar since. That doesn’t excuse what he did, but it also doesn’t define his character – except that everybody thinks it does.
In my epic quest to read as much as I can about the upcoming movie, I have seen multiple Internet writers worry about how this wife-beating incident will count against the character and the movie. How can they turn a wife-beater into the next Robert Downey Jr.? What happens when Fox News finds out that Marvel is making a movie about a wife-beater? How can they possibly make an Ant-Man movie without addressing the elephant in the room?
Simple, just don’t mention. Don’t include it in the film. Don’t include it as part of movie Hank Pym’s back story. Don’t talk about it. Don’t film it. Spousal abuse is an ugly topic, and movie Ant-Man should have nothing to do with it, no matter how obsessed people in the comics world are with Hank Pym’s crime.
Marvel already has precedence with this sort of issue: they have come out and said they will never include Tony Stark’s alcoholism in the movies. There is this great Iron Man comic book story – ‘Devil in the Bottle’ – where Tony Stark comes to grips with his alcoholism. It would make for great movie fodder, but Marvel has said the storyline and the subject matter are just too dark and serious for a movie that’s supposed to appeal to kids. I agree, and that’s exactly the stance Marvel should take with Hank Pym’s spousal abuse.
1. Scott Lang (and Cassie)
The best way to avoid all that Hank Pym drama is to not put him in the film, and with Ant-Man, that’s entirely possible! Though Wright has said that Pym will at least be in the movie, there’s no confirmation that he’s Ant-Man, or that he’ll be played by star Paul Rudd. He could just be a supporting character. I’m down with that, because I want the main character to be Scott Lang, the second Ant-Man. Like a lot of superheroes, multiple people have worn the costume; in fact, there have been three different Ant-Men in the comics. Pym, the scientist, was the first, and he was followed up in the 1980s by Scott Lang, a thief with a heart of gold. Lang needed to get money fast to help his daughter, Cassie, so he stole the Ant-Man costume, went on a crime spree and eventually got stopped by the Avengers. But Pym was so impressed with Lang that he let him continue as Ant-Man.
Therein lies a perfect leading man. Whereas Pym is a stuffy old scientist with domestic problems, Lang is a plucky con man with a pretty neat origin and a kid. How many superhero movies have we seen where the hero has a kid to worry about? And which sounds more like Paul Rudd? If you’re going to make an Ant-Man movie, I say Lang is your man, while still using Pym to perhaps invent the shrinking technology.
And I’m pretty sure Wright agrees. On his blog the other day, Wright posted a screen shot from an episode of Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and labeled his post ‘homework’. The episode in question was Season 2’s ‘To Steal an Ant-Man’, the episode that told the story of Scott Lang stealing Hank Pym’s Ant-Man costume. Of all the Ant-Man clips and screenshots Wright could have posted, why that one?
Because Scott Lang is movie material!
What do you want to see in the Ant-Man film? Who is your ideal leading man? Let us know in the comments!