Ant-Man, or “How I Learned to Stop Caring and Start Getting Excited For A Movie Starring A Superhero Who Can Talk To Ants”
Well, it’s working on me at least.
Look, Ant-Man was a movie that I was going to see regardless of how interested I was in it. Marvel Studios has earned my hard earned money. But after seeing the trailer, I’m surprised at how excited I am for it. I’ve never really read much starring the character except for Robert Kirkman’s Eric O’Grady starring Irredeemable Ant-Man series, so my knowledge of Hank Pym and Scott Lang is minimal at best (but nothing that Wikipedia can’t fix). Plus, all the bad behind the scenes press the movie was getting after original director Edgar Wright left made me worried that this might be the first Marvel movie to completely fall apart before hitting the big screen.
But then I watched the trailer, and felt a strange feeling of excitement. Maybe it’s because I know next to nothing about the character. Maybe it’s because I read Nick Spencer and Ramon Rosanas’ Ant-Man #1 this week and surprisingly loved it. Maybe it’s because Scott Lang is doing this not to save the world, but to look cool for his daughter. Or maybe it’s simply because I love Paul Rudd. Whatever it is, something about this trailer really has me excited.
Of course, the Internet has largely responded with a shrug and a “meh”, and are already saying that the movie won’t be much without former director Edgar Wright. Sure, it’s easy to look at this trailer and go “meh, it could’ve been better with Edgar Wright”, but maybe, just maybe, Wright wasn’t a good fight for this. Or, not a good fit for Ant-Man right now. Maybe 8 years ago, when all we had was Iron Man and Incredible Hulk, sure, he was a perfect fit. But now, with Avengers making a billion dollars, and the Marvel Studios brand being almost as synonymous with quality as Pixar is? Forget it. Call me a corporate stooge all you want, but if it came down to the fact that Wright didn’t want to have Ant-Man be tied with the other Marvel films, then maybe the two of them parting ways was the right choice. The graveyards of comic films past is littered with high profile directors that left projects, and as cool as it would’ve been to get JJ Abrams’ Superman or Darren Aronofsky’s The Wolverine, we still got pretty sweet movies despite these directors leaving.
Besides having the gut reaction of “it’s not Edgar Wright”, it’s also pretty ridiculous to start calling this an underwhelming trailer. Sure, it may not have the same “holy shit” moments as the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer or the “what the hell” factor of Guardians of the Galaxy, but the Ant-Man trailer was 100% unexpected, and I honestly think it looks like a ton of fun. After all of their successes, you’d think that Marvel has won some goodwill with the comic nerd public. Marvel already took one comic book property that no one heard of and turned it into a massive success with Guardians of the Galaxy. If they do it again with Ant-Man, they’ll be unstoppable.