Marvel is using the tiniest town in Canada to promote Ant-Man

16 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Ant-Man’ cast would mostly sneak into stuff if they were ant sized.

I mean, I’m not a complete doofus and neophyte at my comic book heroes. Both an entertaining and eminently disposable superhero movie, Ant-Man rounds out Marvel Studios’ much-vaunted ‘Phase Two’ of its masterplan to maintain world domination of mainstream cinema.Stop me if you’ve heard this one: A major Walt Disney release from one of its most vibrant sub-divisions is debuting a comparatively risky little project. Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lily, Michael Pena and director Peyton Reed admit that they’d use that power for access to fun stuff — hey, who wouldn’t? — but Douglas redeems them all.

Let’s get one thing straight upfront here: is not the genre-bending crowd-pleaser that last year’s Marvel smash Guardians Of the Galaxy refreshingly turned out to be. But in its way is a Universal/Comcast Corp. sequel coming off a stunningly large opening weekend and with the promise of vibrant legs in its second frame. Peyton Reed: As a fan, I was sort of watching and reading: “I’m psyched to see Ant-Man, I can’t wait!” And then the thing happened, and all of that preceded me. In short, thanks to some catchy comedy stylings and a breezy, easygoing take on its hero’s origin story, Ant-Man will simply show you a good time and then show you the door.

Based on a comic-book character that debuted in print over 50 years ago, charts the microscopic misadventures of a wisecracking white-collar crook named Scott Lang (a breakout for long-serving comedy specialist Paul Rudd). I could – with a decent pint and a tailwind – explain to you exactly and at great length why Batman Begins is a very fine film, while The Dark Knight Rises is a tedious load of old bollards. I had known Kevin since 2003; I had developed The Fantastic Four for about a year at Fox, when Kevin was a junior at Marvel, and then later I came in and pitched on Guardians [of the Galaxy]. Unable to hold down a normal job but committed to providing for his young daughter, Lang reluctantly re-enters the criminal realm by joining in a job organised by his kooky ex-cellmate Luis (a scene-stealing Michael Pena). Lang does that by donning a Pym-invented Ant-Man super suit, which allows him to shrink in scale but increase dramatically in strength. “It’s one of the reasons I wanted to do the project,” says Lilly, who is pregnant with her second child, promoting Ant-Man. “Life is short and I want to have fun when I work.” Mind you, there were a few hiccups along the way.

However, after completing a complicated safe-cracking job that comes up empty, Scott learns he has become the unwitting linchpin in a grand scheme designed by veteran molecular scientist Doctor Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). One of them was the replacement of original Ant-Man director Edgar Wright with Peyton Reed over “creative differences” with the Marvel team. “Well, it was something that was intentional, and it was bit of hangover from Edgar Wright,” Lilly says of Hope’s attitude and look. “We had these discussions about Hope, and that was Edgar’s vision that she was a film noir chick and I loved it.” “I had never heard of Ant-Man when they called me,” admits Lilly. “I thought they were pulling my leg. The famous creator of “the Pym particle” — a miraculous bit of tech that can reduce the size of anything (or anybody) to the most minute proportions imaginable — Hank has a heist in mind for Scott that might just save the world from oblivion. The initial tracking pegged it at $65m, but frankly the reviews were mostly “it’s okay” and I think they lost a little ground by completely skipping Comic-Con.

I thought that or they were making Ant-Man up because they had run out of a roster of superheroes in the Marvel archives.” After her usual in-depth research, she began to shape her performance first with Wright and then with Reed in and around the Atlanta, Ga. locations. “Somebody once told me I have over-commitment issues.” “It intrigued me to study the Marvel movies,” Lilly says. “The stories and structures are great, and they know how to build a good character arc, and they don’t take it all too seriously.” “It was the most exciting thing for me about the role,” says Lilly. “And you know, of course, while we were filming, and during post-production, there was a lot of buzz on the Internet – is Evangeline playing the Wasp, and is she a superhero? “And I just couldn’t have felt more comfortable or more happy saying, ‘Actually, she is just a really capable, very powerful force to be reckoned with’ … my super-suit was my power suit that I would go to work in as a high level scientist.” “If you stay through the credits of (Ant-Man), there’s a chance you’ll see something,” Feige says. “We have plans for her in the future and we see that not so subtly in this film.” While Hank has prevented his super-shrinking research from reaching the public domain, an evil former protégé, Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), is on the brink of fully developing his own weapon of mass reduction. I’m not sure if it was possible for Marvel to just bring the film to Comic-Con for a free preview screening, but that might not have hurt at least in terms of keeping it in the national dialogue in the week before release. It was their idea to key off that Marvel Premiere issue, “To Steal An Ant-Man,” about the introduction of Scott Lang, and make it a mentor-pupil story. The self-deprecating sense of humour at work here (obviously the work of Rudd, who had a hand in the screenplay) carries a long way as a viewing experience.

The inventor of the suit is the requisite benevolent-scientist-who-hid-his-invention-from-those-who-would-use-it-for-evil, here played with a kind of weaponised avuncularism by Michael Douglas. This is important, as the novelty of watching so much small-scale action unfold in incongruously confined settings (the first big sequence kicks off in a bathtub) will invariably wear off for some onlookers. Though we are often straining to keep our eyes focused on Scott’s minuscule misadventures in full flight — sometimes it’s though we are looking at a computer-animated blur — the massive gravity of his micro-mission is never lost on the viewer. If it can manage even a 48% drop (about on par with Despicable Me 2 and a bit larger than the 41% drop for Despicable Me on this weekend in 2010, it gets to $60m for the weekend which puts it awfully close to potentially making Ant-Man the first Marvel movie not to debut at the top of the box office in its debut weekend. However, as an energetically crafted and unapologetically fun exercise in outsized escapism, it can stand tall with the likes of Thor and Captain America.

I wished for flight myself, with enough strength to rescue Megan Walsh from any earthquakes or alien invasions should happen to befall our Standard 3 class at Insoll Avenue Primary in Hamilton. Now obviously if Ant-Man over-performs a bit and ends up closer to $70 million and/or Minions does a usual sequel drop of closer to 60% than 50% then this will all be a moot point. But as a longtime member of the “rank doesn’t matter” club, I felt the need to offer something of a preemptive defense just as I did with Inside Out when it faced off against the second weekend of Jurassic World. There’s the section where Scott goes in to steal the suit, and McKay had called in this securities expert, and we sat with him and talked about how you would get into a safe.

Last year’s space epic had the good luck to be “the one you’ve been waiting for” after an entire summer of mostly lackluster and/or indifferently received live-action summer tent poles. Wright might not be a superhero purist in the mould of Alan Moore or Frank Miller, but he can tell a damn good joke, and he gets geek culture as well as anyone on the planet.

But for the record, because I think this needs to be said, Ant-Man is not an automatic flop if it doesn’t open at number one, nor is it an automatic flop even if it doesn’t top $60 million this weekend. First and foremost, at a cost of $130m, Ant-Man is Marvel’s cheapest film ever, besting the $140m budgets of Iron Man and Captain America: The First Avengers.

Next to Rudd and the aforementioned Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly (The Hobbit) has a nice turn as Douglas’s daughter, while Corey Stoll (House of Cards) does similarly well as the chief villain. I don’t think Minions is going to drop 72% this weekend, so Ant-Man is facing a very different kind of box office champion than Captain America faced. It will be all too easy to spin a second-place Ant-Man as a sign of Marvel’s eventual downfall and/or general superhero fatigue, especially with Avengers: Age of Ultron being pegged as a disappointment in some quarters for merely grossing $1.388 billion worldwide.

And as we slowly start to get what amounts to a year-round tent pole season, situations like this will become more frequent, so we’re going to have to take this into account. So no, Ant-Man‘s success isn’t predicated on its rank this weekend, nor is the potential under-performance (under $400m worldwide?) of Ant-Man likely to have any impact on Marvel’s future for the next few years. If anything, having a “franchise-starter singular hero origin story” that doesn’t go crazy will be good for the company, as it will allow expectations to readjust before the glut of said films (Dr.

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