Comic-Con 2014: 'Ant-Man' Confirms Cast & Shows Tiny Action Bit
by Ethan Anderton
July 26, 2014
The big show in Hall H for this year's Comic-Con is all done, and the day closed out with the signature Marvel panel. While no new projects were announced, we did get some tasty footage from The Avengers: Age of Ultron (more on that in our Marvel video blog coming soon). But everyone is already on board with the superhero ensemble sequel, and Marvel really needed to make some waves to show the crowd that Ant-Man could stand on its own. In order to win over the crowd, they brought the charming Paul Rudd and veteran Michael Douglas, not to mention confirming two stars who weren't officially announced yet.
Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige brought out Evangeline Lilly and revealed that she will be playing Hope Van Dyne, daughter of Hank Pym (Douglas). And they also introduced Corey Stoll (Non-Stop), who is playing Darren Cross, a corporate figure who will become the villain known as Yellowjacket. Not much was revealed in the vein of story details, and Lilly even mentioned that she doesn't have a script yet, so that's a little worrisome. But in order to keep the hype machine on the right track, director Peyton Reed was on hand to talk about his passion for comic books, and show fans that he's got this under control.
Here's the Ant-Man helmet on display at the Marvel booth today before the panel:
— ErikDavis (@ErikDavis) July 26, 2014
And with that came another tease of the film. Edgar Wright did this once before with a test reel showing off what action with Ant-Man changing from big to small and vice versa could be like, and it was really fun. This time, we got a mix of footage that was shot just for Comic-Con in the form of a sweeping shot through Hank's lab with voiceover from Rudd and Douglas in character, talking about some kind of small heist job, and also a mostly complete special effects sequence showing tiny Scott Lang (Rudd) as Ant-Man trying to escape the aforementioned job. He calls upon a flying ant for help, with Douglas talking in his ear and trying to help him, but he has trouble wrangling it, forcing him to just escape by jumping off the ledge (a table), until he's caught by the ant in question and flies through an air vent.
The footage wasn't super impressive, but it was fun to see another approach to the action in this fashion. What was interesting was the dynamic between Pym and Lang. Before the action sequence unfolds Lang doesn't really seem to be on board with whatever the Pym wants to pull off, and it hints at the elder's desire to have the junior use the Ant-Man suit and powers for good and also his distaste for heroes in the spotlight, because Lang says, "I'm not superhero." And Pym fires back, "You’re not an egomaniac. Superheroes, what a goddamn joke.” Sounds like there's some sour grapes there, maybe from the past?
However, this kind of sequence doesn't really assure us that Peyton Reed is the man for the job following Wright's exit. And that's because the film hasn't even started shooting. The action sequence in question just goes to show you how far in advance these scenes are planned (due to the long post-production process needed to complete them), and how little input a director like Reed has when it comes to staging the blockbuster action that Marvel fans love to see. Here's hoping he can just keep the actors in line outside of the comic book action so the characters shine just as much. Thoughts?