FOR THE first time, Marvel Studios brings to the big screen a founding member of the Avengers with “Ant-Man.”
Directed by Peyton Reed, “Ant-Man” stars Paul Rudd as the titular character and thief Scott Lang, who must aid his mentor Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) in safeguarding the mystery of the Ant-Man technology—which allows its user to decrease in size but increase in strength—from a new generation of towering threats.
Pym was considered the original Ant-Man after discovering a chemical substance—the Pym Particle—which allowed him to alter his size and possess superhuman strength. With the development of another of Pym’s technologies, Ant-Man also has the ability to control armies of ants.
Marvel comics first introduced Hank Pym in 1962 in “Tales to Astonish #27” and later Pym appeared alongside the Avengers in the team’s debut in “Avengers #1” in 1963.
Reed has always been a lifelong fan of Marvel comic books, so directing “Ant-Man” was a thrill for him.
“Ant-Man is interesting because he was one of the original Avengers, which a lot of people might not know.” said Reed. “I also like that there is a passing of the mantle from Hank Pym to Scott Lang that sets up a great mentor-pupil dynamic between the characters. That’s a classic Marvel Comics dynamic and something that we really haven’t seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far.”
For Reed, the 2015 film incarnation of “Ant-Man” is one that will surprise audiences.
“Ant-Man is an incredibly powerful character,” said Reed. “He can shrink down to a very tiny size and actually command these armies of different types of ants which on the face of it may seem like a silly power, but the great thing about the comics and the great thing about this story is you get to see what kinds of things a bunch of ants can get done and in what interesting ways they can help Scott.”
Themes of fatherhood, mentorship and abandonment play a big part in the relationships of the lead characters in “Ant-Man.” With the film centering on Hank Pym and Scott Lang’s newfound partnership and relationship, the characters are grounded as they struggle with the everyday challenges of being mentorship.
“We always felt that this story and film was a two-hander, in which an older character bestows the mantle to a younger character,” said producer Kevin Feige. “It’s right out of the comic books, and the older character of course is Hank Pym and the younger character is Scott Lang, and that relationship is really the story of this film.”