MCU: 10 Things You Might Not Know About ANT-MAN - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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MCU: 10 Things You Might Not Know About ANT-MAN

This is the work of gypsies!

1. Ant-Man nearly came to our screens 25 years before the 2015 Marvel Cinematic Universe movie starring Paul Rudd. In 1988 Ant-Man co-creator Stan Lee pitched an idea for a film to New World Pictures, Marvel Comics' parent company at the time. They were impressed and Ant-Man went in to development. Briefly. New World Pictures quickly stopped pre-production upon hearing about Walt Disney Pictures upcoming 1989 feature Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, and felt that the concept would be too similar.

2. You are very likely aware that director Edgar Wright and his writing partner Joe Cornish were attached to Ant-Man prior to Wright withdrawing from the project and Peyton Reed taking over as director. But you may not know just how long Wright & Cornish worked on developing a cinematic take on Ant-Man. Standby for a trip through the Wright/Cornish/Ant-Man timeline...

Prior to the MCU, Artisan Entertainment announced a deal with Marvel to co-produce, finance, and distribute a film based on Ant-Man in April 2000. Three years, the first reports emerged that Wright & Cornish would be the ones to bring Ant-Man to the screen for Artisan. Even in 2003, Wright's vision revolved around the Scott Lang Ant-Man, and not Hank Pym. Lang was a burglar with Wright describing his first treatment as an "Elmore Leonard" crime thriller, although stated that Artisan wanted the film to be more "like a family thing" so he and Cornish were further developing the screenplay at this time.

Artisan's deal with Marvel came to an end in 2005. The duo, keen to continue with the project, pitched the film to Marvel Studios' then head of production, Kevin Feige. In April 2006, Marvel Studios hired Wright to direct and co-write Ant-Man with Cornish as part of the company's first slate of independently produced films. In fact, Edgar Wright and Jon Favreau were the first two directors signed to Marvel Studios. Favreau's Iron Man becoming the first film out of the gate for the MCU, whereas Ant-Man languished in development hell.

By April 2011, Wright and Cornish had completed three drafts of the script and Wright shot test footage for the film in July 2012. Pre-production began in October 2013 after being put on hold so that Wright could complete The World's End. Casting for Ant-Man eventually began in December 2013, with the hiring of Paul Rudd to play Lang. Then, after more than a decade attached to the film, in May 2014 Wright left the project citing creative differences. Wright said,
"I wanted to make a Marvel movie but I don't think they really wanted to make an Edgar Wright movie."
He also added that at one point, Marvel wanted to do a draft of the script without him, which was "a tough thing to move forward" as Wright has written all of the previous films he directed. Wright continued,
"Suddenly becoming a director-for-hire on it, you're sort of less emotionally invested and you start to wonder why you're there, really."
Edgar Wright still received screenplay and story credits with Cornish as well as an executive producer credit.

3. In June 2014, 12 months before the film premiered in U.S. theaters, Peyton Reed was brought in to replace Wright, while Adam McKay was hired to contribute to the script with Paul Rudd. As Rudd elaborated,
"The idea, the trajectory, the goal, and the blueprint of it all, is really Edgar and Joe. It's their story. We changed some scenes, we added new sequences, we changed some characters, we added new characters. If you took the two scripts and held them up together they'd be very different—but the idea is all theirs."
4. Prior to Evangeline Lilly being cast as Hope Van Dyne, many actresses were linked to the role including Rashida Jones, Bryce Dallas Howard and Emma Stone. Jessica Chastain was reportedly offered the role but turned it down as she didn't want to just be a "boring civilian"...
"Here’s the thing with me . . . If you’re going to be in a superhero movie, you only get one chance. You’re that character forever. So why do a superhero movie and play the boring civilian?
Whatever it is, I want a fight scene. I could be an incredible villain. I could be a hero. I want a cool outfit, and I want to kick ass."
Evangeline Lilly did get to suit-up in the sequel Ant-Man & The Wasp, but she also very nearly walked away from the project at the same time Edgar Wright left as she felt Marvel were "big bullies". At that time she still hadn't signed her contract for Hope Van Dyne. It took a meeting with Paul Rudd and the full revised script, which Lilly was pleased to discover had increased her character's role, for her to finally sign on the dotted line and understand the reason behind the Marvel/Wright split...
"I saw with my own eyes that Marvel had just pulled [Edgar Wright's] script into their world, I mean, they've established a universe, and everyone has come to expect a certain aesthetic [and] a certain feel for Marvel films. And what Edgar was creating was much more in the Edgar Wright camp of films. They were very different. And I feel like, if [Marvel] had created Edgar's incredible vision — which would have been, like, classic comic book — it would have been such a riot to film [and] it would have been so much fun to watch. [But] it wouldn't have fit in the Marvel Universe. It would have stuck out like a sore thumb, no matter how good it was. It just would have taken you away from this cohesive universe they're trying to create. And therefore it ruins the suspended disbelief that they've built."

5. To get in shape for the role, Rudd worked with trainers and cut alcohol, fried foods, and carbohydrates out of his diet. Rudd stated that in preparation for his role, he...
"basically didn't eat anything for about a year ... I took the Chris Pratt approach to training for an action movie. Eliminate anything fun for a year and then you can play a hero."
6. American actress Hayley Lovitt makes a nonspeaking cameo as Janet van Dyne/Wasp. Lovitt was cast for her "saucer-like, Michelle Pfeiffer eyes", since Pfeiffer was always Peyton Reed's dream casting for Wasp. Pfeiffer would, of course, be cast as the character for the sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp.

7. Garrett Morris, one of the original Saturday Night Live cast members, has a small cameo in Ant-Man as a taxi driver. This wasn't just a random cameo casting, rather a nod to the first person to ever play a live-action version of Ant-Man on screen.

In a 1979 SNL episode hosted by Superman: The Movie's Margot Kidder there was a sketch titled "Superhero Party" featuring Kiddor as Lois Lane, Bill Murray as Superman, Jane Curtin as Lana Lang, John Belushi as The Incredible Hulk and Garrett Morris as Ant-Man...

8. The voice of Spongebob Squarepants, Tom Kenny provides the voice of a toy rabbit that Scott gives to Cassie.

9. Posters for "Pingo Doce," the Brazilian soda company Bruce Banner worked for in The Incredible Hulk, can be seen in the San Francisco scenes.

10. Taking us almost back to the beginning of this article, whilst promoting the release of Ant-Man, Paul Rudd guested on Howard Stern's radio show where the host revealed to Rudd, and the world, that back in 2000 he had tried to buy the rights to Ant-Man...
"I was a huge Ant-Man [fan], In fact, I was telling Robin [Quivers] earlier in the morning, about 15 years ago I had a meeting with Marvel. I tried to buy the rights to Ant-Man because I said that's a cool franchise. I really tried, and I met with some of their dudes." 
Marvel went with the Artisan Pictures deal at the time, but the mind can only wonder just how a Howard Stern Ant-Man movie would've turned out!

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