Ant-Man has had a long and storied development that has been well-documented elsewhere, so I'll try to give you the Coles Notes. Way, way back in 2006, when Marvel announced that they'd be going into business for themselves and starting their own movie studio, they said their first three films would be Iron Man directed by Jon Favreau, The Incredible Hulk directed by Louis Leterrier, and Ant-Man directed by Edgar Wright. When Nick Fury's post-credits scene in Iron Man got everyone hot and bothered at the prospect of an Avengers movie, Ant-Man got put on the back, back burner so Marvel could launch their "Phase I." But Wright remained attached to the project, and kept doing development work as he bid his time doing Scott Pilgrim and The World's End.
When Marvel announced their "Phase II," Marvel revealed that Ant-Man would finally happen as their first film after Avengers: Age of Ultron. Wright finally got down to the nitty gritty. Paul Rudd was cast to play the second Ant-Man, Scott Lang. Michael Douglas came on board to play the first Ant-Man, Hank Pym. Evangeline Lily signed on to play Pym's daughter Hope! Corey Stall was going to be the villainous Darren Cross, who takes up the mantle of Yellowjacket. It was finally going to happen!
And then, this past summer, mere months before filming, disaster struck. After hanging in there since 2006, Edgar Wright left the project. Creative differences was the official reason given. The rumor and speculation was that Ant-Man was always intended to be kind of a standalone thing, but when the Marvel Cinematic Universe took off, Marvel started pressuring Wright to add more Marvel Cinematic Universe elements. And finally, the director and studio reached an impasse. Wanting to maintain the schedule they'd set up, Marvel quickly began the search for a new director. Frequent Will Ferrell collaborator Adam McKay was approached, but negotiations fell apart after a weekend. McKay did do enough work, though, that he's getting a co-writer credited on the screenplay. Finally, a new director was found in Peyton Reed, who brought us the cheerleader epic Bring It On, and the Jim Carrey vehicle Yes Man.
(Fun trivia fact: Reed was once attached to do Fantastic Four, but 20th Century Fox [who own the movie rights to FF] balked at his idea to set it in the 1960s and base it on the original Stan Lee and Jack Kirby run.)
New director in hand, last-minute re-writes done to satisfy the new creative direction, leading many to wonder what the final product is now going to look like. And we got our first glimpse when they finally released the new trailer a couple weeks ago.
This trailer was...not what I was expecting. Despite being a founding member of the Avengers and having a 50+ year history in comics, Ant-Man has always been seen as this goofy, B-list character (except for that one time when Hank Pym punched his wife and the name became synonymous with spousal abuse). And with a comedy talent like Edgar Wright as director, the hope was that Ant-Man was going to be the next Guardians of the Galaxy, a film that embraced the goofiness and turned into a very funny, yet very solid action adventure. But instead of the next Guardians of the Galaxy, this comes across more like "Generic Superhero Film #762."
I'm still holding out hope, though. Being a sucker for superhero films, you know I'll be there when it opens on July 17.
Oh, and we also got the second trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron.
I know some people are fretting over how dark it looks (especially with the creepy version of "I've Got No Strings" playing in the background), but I'm still loving it. We're getting some more Hulk vs. Hulkbuster action. Lots of wisecracks, too, about the Hulk's red eyes in that battle, leading many to speculate that he's being mind-controlled by Scarlett Witch in that scene.
I'm still excited. May 1!