Wait is over: to hit US screens Fri­day

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS in Bur­bank, Cal­i­for­nia

At here.

Af­ter as­sem­bling the Avengers — twice — and trav­el­ing to space with the Guardians of the Gal­axy, Marvel Stu­dios’ latest en­deavor seems like a de­cid­edly small af­fair, yet it took the stu­dio longer to bring the in­cred­i­ble shrink­ing su­per­hero to the big screen than it did to boot up Iron Man, en­list Cap­tain Amer­ica or nail down Thor for their cin­e­matic de­buts.

The sto­ried history of the Ant-Man film goes back eight years when Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuss di­rec­tor Edgar Wright and writer Joe Cor­nish were orig­i­nally at­tached to the pro­ject. Af­ter work­ing on sev­eral drafts of the script, Marvel andWright de­clared lastMay be­fore pro­duc­tion was set to start that they had parted ways “due to dif­fer­ences in their vi­sion”.

A lit­tle over a year later, Ant-Man is ar­riv­ing in the­aters on Fri­day to tell the story of how do-gooder thief Scott Lang (PaulRudd) in­her­ited a high-tech get-up from sci­en­tist Hank Pym (Michael Dou­glas). The pair teams up with Pym’s stern daugh­ter, Hope Van Dyne (Evan­ge­line Lilly), to take down un­hinged for­mer pro­tege Dar­ren Cross (Corey Stoll), who has a suit of his own.

Did the stu­dio end up with the Ant-Man it wanted?

“Ab­so­lutely,” says Kevin Feige, pres­i­dent of Marvel Stu­dios. “As we had al­ways hoped, this ver­sion stands on its own but firmly within the cin­e­matic uni­verse.”

De­spite his sta­tus in comic­book history as a found­ing mem­ber of the Avengers, Ant-Man has never stood quite as tall as Spi­der-Man, Cap­tain Amer­ica or Hulk in the greater pop-cul­ture realm. That’s pri­mar­ily be­cause the char­ac­ter isn’t quite as charis­matic as Peter Parker or Tony Stark, and his su­per­pow­ers are, well, a bit weird. He shrinks, ex­pands and talks to bugs.





For the film­mak­ers, An­tMa­nis right where he should be.

“I liked that af­ter Avengers: Age of Ultron, which was amaz­ingly big with cities fall­ing out of the sky, this was a street-level story,” says Bring It On di­rec­tor Pey­ton Reed, who was brought on af­ter Wright’s de­par­ture. “Scott Lang is a nor­mal guy with no pow­ers, and he’s sucked into this bizarre world. That was a cool arc that I hadn’t re­ally seen in aMarvel movie.”

Be­sides Reed’s last-minute ad­di­tion, Rudd and his An­chor­man writer-di­rec­tor pal Adam McKay were tapped to re­work the script. Feige says they kept the orig­i­nal “spine of the story” from Wright and Cor­nish about a crim­i­nal re­cruited by an older men­tor to in­herit the man­tle of Ant-Man.

Reed says the fi­nal ver­sion of the film in­cor­po­rates sev­eral new el­e­ments, such as ex­plor­ing what hap­pens if Ant-Man shrinks to a sub­atomic level, ex­pand­ing the role ofHopeVanDyne, in­tro­duc­ing an en­counter with an Avenger, as well as in­ject­ing a piv­otal cameo by the char­ac­ter Janet Van Dyne, the wife of Pym who serves as the su­per­hero Wasp in the comics.

The big­gest dif­fer­ence for Ant-Man, which cen­ters on Lang’s at­tempt to nab Cross’ tech­nol­ogy, is that it’s as much of a fam­ily drama as it is a heist film or su­per­hero flick.

Through­out the movie, Lang seeks to re­con­nect with his daugh­ter, Cassie (Abby Ry­der Fort­son), af­ter be­ing re­leased from prison, while Pym and Hope work to rec­on­cile their own strained re­la­tion­ship.

“I was thrilled to dis­cover in the Marvel method that there’s a lot of lee­way,” says Reed.

“They en­cour­age weird, idio­syn­cratic meth­ods. An­tMan is their 12th film. They haven’t done it all, but they’ve done a lot. They’re cre­atively hun­gry to do dif­fer­ent stuff. I found that very lib­er­at­ing.”

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