Muted First Ant-Man Trailer Hints At Troubled Production

Tom Butler - do not use
·Senior UK Writer

The first trailer for Marvel’s ‘Ant-Man’ arrived overnight and it’s fair to say the reception has been muted. The general buzz online is that the trailer is fairly underwhelming - which is probably a first for the hit-making studio. Watch it again below.


Most first Marvel trailers arrive with a bang - consider the rapturous reception for the ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ teaser back in October. But poor little ‘Ant-Man’ seems to have arrived with an inferiority complex.

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Part of the problem is the lack of awe-inspiring action that usually appears in early Marvel trailers and we suspect the reason for this lies in the film’s troubled production.

Original director Edgar Wright walked from the project at the eleventh hour citing creative differences and ‘Anchorman’ director Adam McKay was brought in to freshen up the script, presumably to add Sex Panther gags for star Paul Rudd.

Peyton Reed was installed to direct just three months before the cameras rolled after several directors including ‘Zombieland’s Reuben Fleischer were linked.

These last minute hitches delayed the production, pushing the shoot back from June to late August, and principal photography was completed on December 5. That means Reed and Marvel have just over 7 months (224 days to be precise) to deliver a finished film.

Compare and contrast with Marvel’s other 2015 film ‘Age Of Ultron’, which having wrapped in August last year has relatively luxurious near-9 months turnaround time (262 days exactly) from wrap to curtains up in late April.

A film’s natural marketing cycle usually necessitates the release of the first trailer at around 6 months out from release (the year-early ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ trailer being the exception to the rule), so Marvel needed to get the hype train rolling for ‘Ant-Man’ sometime this month, regardless of what they had ready.

This tight turnaround time for ‘Ant-Man’ means that Marvel’s marketers probably had very little in the way of completed footage (with all the VFX bells and whistles in place) to use in the first trailer which is why it’s much more character focused.

In fact, having seen early ‘Ant-Man’ footage at a Disney preview event last year, we know that most of the VFX seen in this first trailer is actually lifted directly from the test footage that debuted at Comic-Con in July last year.

The shots of the tiny hero mounting a flying insect and running through huge towering computer servers was presumably made as “proof of concept” during pre-production, and were probably overseen by Edgar Wright himself.

Note that outside of that footage of a miniature Ant-Man running amok and riding creepy crawlies, there’s actually very little CGI on show here.

The time-consuming nature of VFX means that we’ll have to wait a while to see any actual action from the film, so if you’re not impressed with the first trailer, we’re sure Marvel has something much more exciting up its sleeve in the coming months.

Seven months is not a lot of time to turn around an effects-heavy blockbuster like this, but if anyone can do it, Marvel can. We expect there will be a lot of late shifts at the VFX houses responsible over the coming months.

'Ant-Man' is coming to cinemas on July 17 (hopefully).

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Image credits: Disney