This is really
of Ant- Man.
If Reed realises he’s just deployed the perfect pun he chooses not to acknowledge it. His film’s hero weaponises the very concept of smaller scale, after all – an incredible shrinking man whose icky, insect- bossing powers make him one of the unlikelier players in the Marvel pantheon. Now he’s made the big screen in a multi- generational tale that sees petty crim Scott Lang [ Paul Rudd] inherit the hi- tech Ant- suit from original Silver Age crimefighter Henry Pym [ Michael Douglas].
Reed had his own, rather more controversial legacy to inherit. Ant- Man was originally a dream project for fan fave director Edgar Wright. When Wright left the project in 2014 after almost a decade of development the internet, naturally, cried for blood. Reed was the man who braved the Twitter crossfire and stepped up to deliver the film to the screen.
Now he’s briefly surfacing from what he calls “deep, deep post- production”, sparing time to talk to SFX while finessing Marvel’s latest stab at multiplex domination, the final film of Phase Two. “We’re getting the final visual effects shots, we’re mixing the reels, we’re doing last- minute visual tweaks and colour correction. We’re finally seeing light at the end of the ant tunnel!” I liked that the comic book version of the Avengers was a pretty eclectic group of heroes. It was Thor, it was Hulk and Iron Man… and Ant- Man. I liked the creative ways in which the powers would come into play in battles. And I always liked that he was an underdog, that he almost had this inferiority complex about his powers – and probably even his size – compared to these other heroes. And when you’re a kid and you’re out playing with your action figures, the size of Ant- Man is very appealing. I think that’s the case in our movie as well. When Ant- Man shrinks down and suddenly there’s a whole action sequence that takes place on the floor or on a train set or something, there’s a real parallel to how kids use their imagination. Exactly. There are other characters who have been shape- shifters and things like that, but the shrinking concept is a hallowed tradition in motion pictures, from The Incredible Shrinking Man to Honey, I Shrunk The Kids. It’s a very science fiction concept. We certainly thought about it as a superhero movie but also as a science fiction film, as a shrinking movie. That’s his primary power, so how are we going to visualise that in amazing new, inventive ways with the technology that we have? Then again our secret weapon is his other power, the ability to control ants… That’s the one that’s intriguing to me. With Ant- Man and the Hulk you really understand how those powers are powerful. With Ant- Man it’s, “Oh, he can shrink! That’s cool, I get that! And… he can control ants?! Well, what’s that going to do?” One of the things I loved in the comics, and even more so in our movie, is that we’re going to show the audiences full- on how that power is cool, and how those armies of ants can be marshalled into doing amazing things.
I don’t think it’s necessarily a hard sell, but
The film will have fun with its shrinking concept.