The next evolution of the Marvel Cinematic Universe brings a founding member of the Avengers to the big screen for the first time with Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man.” Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, master thief Scott Lang, also known as Ant-Man (played by Paul Rudd), must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (played by Michael Douglas), protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.
Even before “Ant-Man” was released, it generated a lot of publicity for its behind-the-scenes drama when writer/director Edgar Wright abruptly exited the project, reportedly because of “creative differences.” Peyton Reed replaced Wright as director of the movie. Here is what Rudd, Douglas, Reed, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and “Ant-Man” co-stars Corey Stoll (who plays villain Darren Cross/Yellowjacket) and Evangeline Lilly (who plays Hank Pym’s estranged daughter Hope van Dyne) at the “Ant-Man” panel at 2014 Comic-Con International in San Diego.
Peyton, how many times have you attended Comic-Con?
Reed: This is my 20th anniversary. 1994 was my first year that I was at Comic-Con. I’ve been every year since then, minus a couple of years when I was shooting.
And weren’t you a member of a punk band?
Reed: I was a drummer for a time for a time in the ‘80s in a punk band called Jonny Quest. And in addition to being a drummer, I was in charge of drawing the flyers for the shows. We did a show in 1988 and I drew sort of a rip-off of “Avengers No. 1” where all of the band members were members of the Avengers. Of course, Ant-Man was an original Avenger, and I drew myself as Ant-Man.
Feige: Peyton did not tell us this when we met. It wasn’t until long after he had been working on the film that he brought this out. I just told Paul [Rudd] and Michael [Douglas] about this yesterday.
Paul, is this your first time at Comic-Con?
Rudd: This is my first time here.
Lilly: They call that a Comic-Con virgin.
Rudd: I’m a Comic-Con virgin. I’m popping my Comic-Con cherry. It is as advertised. This is unbelievable.
What does it feel like to step into the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
Rudd: 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 kind of tough to wrap my brain around it.
For more info: “Ant-Man” website