With “Captain America: The First Avenger” grossing over $65 million on its opening weekend and fans already buzzing about next year’s “Avengers,” Marvel’s quickly expanding cinematic universe is as popular as ever. Now, from San Diego Comic-Con 2011 comes news that Marvel Studios might finally be moving ahead on a long-awaited release: Edgar Wright’s “Ant-Man.”
The “Shaun of the Dead” and “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” director has been talking about taking on Marvel’s smallest superhero since at least 2007, promising a live-action film that would blend humor with action and would include two different Ant-Men: Henry Pym and Scott Lang.
In the Marvel Comics source material, both characters make use of a special formula and suit that allows them to shrink, as well as a high-tech helmet that facilitates communication with ants and other insects. “Ant-Man” is said to feature flashbacks of the original hero, Pym, as well as scenes of his successor, Lang, in the present day. Now, after years of infrequent updates and stalled production, things are finally looking up for “Ant-Man.”
“Since February, we’ve done two drafts of the script, and we just handed in a third draft on Monday,” Wright told MTV News. The director is co-writing the film with Joe Cornish, whose “Attack the Block” (a British alien-invasion movie starring frequent Wright collaborator Nick Frost and in theaters on July 29) was making waves of its own at Comic-Con. Apparently, some of the hold-up on “Ant-Man” was related to “Attack the Block,” as the duo did not complete a second draft until Cornish was finished with his directorial debut.
“The way we wrote the script is for it to be a standalone genre film,” Wright said, perhaps indicating that “Ant-Man” would be less explicitly tied to the “Avengers” family of titles like “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Thor” and “Iron Man.” Wright continued by explaining his desire to “create an ‘in’ for people so you don’t have to know 50 years of ‘Avengers’ history to enjoy the movie.”
While most recent superhero adaptations have focused on Marvel and DC’s “big guns,” characters like Batman, Spider-Man, Superman and others, the protagonist of “Ant-Man” will be entirely new to all but the most fervent comic book fans. For Wright and Cornish, however, the freedom that comes with a lesser-known character is a large part of the upcoming project’s appeal.
Wright was close-lipped on who he wanted to play the part of the movie’s eponymous hero (or heroes), but he did hint that he had someone in mind.
Who would you like to see play Ant-Man? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out everything we’ve got on “Captain America: The First Avenger.”