by Brett White
The news that Ultron would be the main antagonist for Joss Whedon's "Avengers" sequel has ended up shedding a lot of light on director Edgar Wright's long-gestating "Ant-Man" film. The film may not hit theaters until November 2015, but people are talking about it now.
Thanks to interviews and hunches, we know that Hank Pym will be featured in "Ant-Man" in some capacity—even though he'll be absent from "Avengers: Age of Ultron." There are also rumors that Tony Stark will be Ultron's creator, and not Pym, which gives one of Ant-Man's main accomplishments to another scientist. Now Edgar Wright has told Science Fiction that Ultron was never even a part of his "Ant-Man."
"I cannot really get into that, but um... I'll say no. No he wasn't." Definitive statement is definitive! But if Pym isn't going up against Ultron, who could he possibly go up against? Let's run down some other possibilities.
Yeah, one of Hank Pym's biggest opponents is Elihas Starr, an atomic scientist with a literal egg-shaped head. It's a good thing that Edgar Wright has a knack for comedy, because there might not be a way to play this guy straight. But cartoonish name aside, Egghead did Pym a lot of harm when he constructed the third iteration of the Masters of Evil and engineered Pym's fall from grace.
The Advanced Idea Mechanics already appeared in "Iron Man 3," but Aldrich Killian's nefarious think tank could easily get a starring role in "Ant-Man." Could any of the group's notable comic book characters—like Monica Rappaccini, A.I.M.'s scientist supreme, or M.O.D.O.K., the Mobile Organism Designed Only for Killing—pop up in the film? Without Ultron, there'd be room for them.
This is truly an idea from 1963: scientist Alexander Gentry develops a porcupine-esque battle suit with projectile quills for the Army, and then angrily keeps it when he realizes he will see no real profit from his invention. He teamed up with Justin Hammer (played by Sam Rockwell in "Iron Man 2") for a while, acting as the billionaire's muscle. Not to keep pawning off Tony Stark's discarded villains on Ant-Man, but more Sam Rockwell—especially in the hands of Edgar Wright—would be welcome.
Chinese scientist Chen Lu subjected himself to radiation treatments in order to turn himself into a super-powered nemesis for Thor. When powered up, he glows green and can manipulate radiation in the form of heat blasts and hypnotic light. Radioactive Man was among Egghead's Masters of Evil, but Lu's had a much lengthier comics career than his old boss thanks to his tenure with the super-team called the Thunderbolts.
David Cannon is a mutant with the power to turn his body at great speeds, creating the appearance of a whirlwind. Sure, Marvel Studios' can't call him a mutant, but he can get his powers in another way. The character's wind manipulation powers haven't really been done on the big screen before and could provide for some interesting action set pieces. Ant-Man's partner the Wasp has already tangled with this bad guy in the "Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes" cartoon, if you need further proof that this might be the way to go.
Who do you want to see fight Ant-Man? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter!