Although the film has yet to start filming (or possibly has a final script!) the stars of Marvel’s Ant-Man— Michael Douglas, Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly and Corey Stoll— came out as the opening act for Marvel Studios Hall H extravaganza. Douglas plays the elder Henry Pym, the original Ant-Man, while Rudd is petty thief and con man Scott Lang, who takes on the mantle from Pym. Lilly will portray Pym’s daughter Hope Van Dyne, with Stoll as the movie’s baddie Darren Cross.
Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige said that the movie starts shooting in three weeks on Monday, August 18 in Atlanta.
Director Peyton Reed revealed that this was his twentieth Comic-Con, while Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas were, according to Evangeline Lilly, “Comic-Con virgins.”
In response to an audience member, Rudd said, “Yes, I’m popping my Comic-Con cherry, and it is as advertised! This is unbelievable.” Michael Douglas, in contrast, noted that, “I’ve popped enough cherries.” To which moderator Chris Hardwick said, “Don’t think I don’t want to talk about that for the next hour!”
When Rudd was asked how it felt to come into the Marvel Universe, into a movie that would probably be a tentpole, requiring him to be the character for a while, he gave an enthusiastic, if content-free answer: “It’s a mind-bender. It’s so exciting. I’m so honored to be a part of it. It’s really thrilling. It’s kinda tough to wrap my brain around. I’ve been doing this [acting] as a job for a while, but this is a whole other thing. I’m excited by the challenges. I’m thrilled to be working with such great people and looking forward to seeing how it all is.”
Michael Douglas, likewise replied with a slightly fuller, if perplexing response: “I’ve always vicariously looked at Marvel films from afar with tremendous envy. My whole career has been made up of making contemporary movies without any special effects or anything. So to have the joy and the love of all these fantastic tools, that’s so well done. And the Ant-Man story is a wonderful story, and to be surrounded with Peyton. Paul, Evangeline and Cory, I’m just looking forward to a real trip.”
NOTE: this next part may contain spoilers – or not, depending on your point of view:
Douglas continued: “This is sort of based upon a comic that started out in 1962, that Stan Lee wrote, about Doctor Henry Pym who was an endocrinologist (?) also physicist, metaturlgist…metal-turgist (Ed note: Douglas had trouble with ‘metallurgist’). Basically he developed a serum to make a person reduce themselves to size of an ant, but with the strength of a human being, and then went beyond that, more importantly to learn how to communicate with ants. Because ants are armies.
This is basically the story of a heist. His partner [Stoll as Cross] is taking his company in a different, evil direction. And I have found a mentor [Ed note: Douglas means “mentee”] in Paul, to take over my position as Ant-Man. Only trouble is that Paul is in such great shape, such incredible shape that the Ant-Man body suit just [doesn’t fit].”
Peyton Reed quipped, “We’re the first Marvel movie that spending a lot of money on CGI to take out muscles from the suit.”
Both Lilly and Stoll admitted they didn’t know much about their roles. Lilly said, “I can’t tell you anything else about her [Hope] because I don’t have a script.”
When asked what he could tell about Darren Cross, Stoll said, “I think that was about it. I was Hank Pym’s mentee and a genius scientist as well. I have now taken over the company. And some very judgmental people may think that’s in an evil direction, but I think that’s just taking it into the future.”
Kevin Feige expanded on the role, “He does at a certain point obtain some Pym particles and begins to give Ant-Man a run for his money. He puts on a suit that is called the Yellowjacket suit and causes havoc.”
Although filming hadn’t started and there wasn’t footage to show, Feige brought a demo reel, with voiceover conversation by Rudd and Douglas:
Look, Mr. Pym…
Dr. Pym. You seem very nice, but I’m no superhero.
Which means you’re not an egomaniac and you’re not an undisciplined moron, causing more destruction that he stops. Superheros? What a goddamn joke. You’re doing this because it’s the right thing to do.
<sigh> I dunno…
Jesus Christ! I think someone already shrunk your balls. Don’t worry, Scott, it’s a small job.
And with that, the camera pans across a lab room to the Ant-Man helmet, and follows CGI of the character in action escaping from a building.
Check out the small gallery of shots from the panel below:
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