The Casting of Marvel’s Ant Man

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Ant Man Poster

The latest release in the long list of upcoming Marvel Movies brings us Ant Man.  One of the founding members of The Avengers, Ant Man has the ability to alter his size (shrink) while gaining strength.   A lethal combination that in the wrong hands could prove deadly.   Marvel Studios brings us Michael Douglas as Dr. Hank Pym, the original Ant Man who has developed not only a suit and serum but also has added the ability to control ants.  This scientific breakthrough has been kept secret by Dr. Pym, but in Ant Man we see, Dr. Pym’s protogee, Darren Cross perfecting the serum and a suit of his own.   Bringing Dr. Pym out of retirement and recruiting Scott Lang as the new Ant Man.  Trained and ready to go, Ant Man and Dr. Pym together with a team of ex-cons and Pym’s estranged daughter, Hope, risk everything to pull off the heist of the century.

Director Peyton Reed  a lifelong fan of Marvel films and comics shared “Ant-Man is one of the original Avengers that people seem to have forgotten about.  By bringing Ant-Man to the screen, they also bring a great mentor-pupil dynamic team with Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas.   Producer, Kevin Feige said, Peyton was “high on the list and Feige thought he would be great for this film”

Casting Ant-Man had to be done with someone who would embody the themes – fatherhood, mentorship and abandonment which all play a huge part in the relationships of he lead characters.    Casting Paul Rudd in the lead role was exciting for Peyton Reed.  “nobody more likeable” and “an amazing actor.” were phrases used to describe Rudd.   With Dr. Hank Pym, the filmmakers were thrilled to get veteran actor, Michael Douglas.   As the “guy in control” Douglas “really takes it to another level and gives it the gravitas that we wanted.”  Evangeline Lilly, who plays Hope, Pym’s estranged daughter shared how she loved one of the main themes of the movie being the father / daughter struggles that were prevelent in the movie.   “There’s a feeling of rejection from her dad, as well as the tragic losses she’s experienced in her life.”  Corey Stoll is Darren Cross / Yellowjacket.  As Pym’s original protégé., he has been around to see all the amazing work Pym Technologies has developed, but while Dr. Pym is a good guy, Cross is part of the dark side.   Former cellmate Luis, played by Michael Peña is my favorite character in Ant Man.   Luis is a good friend but still has not shaken that dream of scoring the big heist.  One of the movie themes is “when people believe in you, it inspires you to do the right thing.”    This is the Luis and as Producer Kevin Feige relates there is more to Luis than meets the eye. “Says Feige. “He’s a lot of fun and provides what you think is some of the best comic relief of the movie. But over the course of the film, by the end, you see him step into this role of heroism.”

Filmed mostly in Atlanta, production actually kicked off in San Francisco, which serve as the backdrop.  San Francisco and its Silicon Valley seemed the perfect fit to showcase Pym Technologies.  Plus it allowed the crew to shoot a city that has not bee showcased in Marvel films.  From San Francisco, production went to Pinewood Studios’ newly built facilities in Atlanta where Marvel’s “Ant-Man” became the very first movie to film there, as well as the first time, Rudd wears the suit.  “When Paul first walked on set in the Ant-Man suit, I said to myself, and I’m biased, but I think it’s the most badass suit in the Marvel Cinematic Universe,” declares director Peyton Reed.

In discussing the changes Ant Man goes through, the film makers created an immersive experience so we can feel we are to scale in the large and small world. Paul Rudd also thinks the film will surprise on several different fronts. “One of the things I like about this movie is that it’s not an easy one to put into a box; it’s not a straight up comedy, it’s not a straight action movie, but there are plenty of both,” says the actor. “The characters are also going through what I think are very relatable and familial struggles. Paul Rudd goes on to say how he thinks the “audiences will really connect with the characters in the film.” Evangeline Lilly sums it all up, “Ant-Man is really fresh and new and is something that we’ve not seen at all in the Marvel Cinematic Universe before. It’s going to have its own life and its own fan base. Even if there were no Marvel films that existed today and this film came into the movie theaters, it would still be a smash hit. It has it all—great characters, great action, fun adventure…and who just doesn’t love all those amazing ants?”

Are you ready for the premiere of Ant-Man on July 17, 2015?


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