While we wait to see if ‘Ant-Man’ - Marvel’s newest addition to their big screen oeuvre - will prove a hit, there is already talk of where the material might go from here. And for once, it seems possible they might go back, rather than forward.
An unconventional movie for Marvel in many ways, as reflected by its troubled production history (original writer-director Edgar Wright bailing only weeks before shooting over creative differences, to be replaced by Peyton Reed), this is the first Marvel Cinematic Universe movie to deal with the passing of the torch, as original 1960s Ant-Man Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) taps ex-con Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) to be his successor in the miniaturising super-suit.
The film is known to contain some flashbacks to a younger Pym in action, alongside his wife and crime-fighting partner Janet Van Dyne/The Wasp - and director Peyton Reed says he would be open to making a prequel set in that era.
Reed teels ComicBook.com, “Listen, if we were lucky enough to be able to do a sequel or even a prequel, I’d be way into it. I’ve really fallen in love with these characters. I was always in love with the characters in the comic book world but there’s a lot of story to tell with Hank Pym.”
A 1960s-set prequel would be something very different for the MCU, whose only period piece to date has been 2011′s ‘Captain America: the First Avenger,’ which was set during World War 2. This world has been expanded on in TV’s ‘Agent Carter,’ which follows Hayley Atwell’s spy and SHIELD founder member - also expected to cameo in ‘Ant-Man’s flashback scenes - in the 1950s.
The potential might be there for a fun, comparatively standalone movie with a Sean Connery-era James Bond vibe, not unlike what 20th Century Fox achieved with their own 60s-set prequel ‘X-Men: First Class.’
However, with the notoriously troubled and abusive relationship of Pym and Van Dyne in the comics (of which it remains to be seen how deeply ‘Ant-Man’ will delve into), there would also be the potential for a somewhat darker superhero movie than we’re used to from Marvel.
Still, all such talk is of course premature, as - despite the studio’s apparent Midas touch - it remains to be seen whether or not ‘Ant-Man’ will win over audiences as successfully as Marvel’s other recent movies. However, the film has already been garnering significant praise, notably from ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ writer-director James Gunn, who has declared it to his favourite Marvel movie to date.
‘Ant-Man’ hits cinemas on 17 July - after which, Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang will appear in next year’s star-studded ‘Captain America: Civil War.’
Picture Credit: Marvel