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Directed by Peyton Reed. Produced by Kevin Feige. Written by Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, Adam McKay, and Paul Rudd. Release date: July 17, 2015.
While not technically part of Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ant-Man certainly comes across as exactly that. Avengers: Age of Ultron paved the way for a new breed to take over the Avengers, and Ant-Man introduces to us a new superhero in the form of, well, Ant-Man, who isn't exactly the most well-known Marvel character for the general populous. But, then again, neither were the Guardians of the Galaxy, and that turned out stupendously. Ant-Man is a character who has a suit which can shrink him down in size, but gives him a great strength increase, as well as the ability to talk to ants.
Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd): A criminal who is mentored by Hank Pym to use the Ant-Man suit and stop Darren Cross from using similar technology for evil purposes. Formerly married to Maggie.
Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas): A former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who created the Ant-Man suit, as well as a company. He lost the company to Darren Cross, and recruits Scott Lang to help stop Cross from using the technology for evil.
Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly): Hank Pym's daughter - and not a big fan of it - she is also the daughter of Janet van Dyne, also known as "Wasp."
Darren Cross/Yellowjacket (Corey Stoll): A former protégé of Hank Pym, he takes over his mentor's company and creates a suit similar to the Ant-Man suit. The film's villain.
Paxton (Bobby Cannavale): A police officer. Lang's friend despite now being married to Maggie.
Luis (Michael Peña): Lang's cellmate and member of his heist team.
Dave (Tip "T.I." Harris): A member of Lang's heist team.
Maggie (Judy Greer): Lang's ex-wife. Paxton's current wife.
Why Should You Care?
I've been really excited to see Ant-Man for a long time, although for reasons beyond "it's a Marvel movie; I have to look forward to it." Ant-Man was originally being written and directed by Edgar Wright, whom people will know best for the Cornetto trilogy and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. However, behind-the-scenes conflict led to him departing from the project. His replacement? Peyton Reed. What has Peyton Reed done? Bring it On and Yes Man. Hooray?
So, we get to see what Reed's version of Ant-Man will wind up being. Will we be able to feel Wright's fingerprints all over it? Will it feel like a studio-directed film, where Reed is just there to be a "yes man" (no pun intended)? When a movie has a troublesome production, the result is usually interesting to watch unfold, even if it isn't necessarily good.
But, hey, Paul Rudd is the first actor in a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie to share a screenwriting credit, the cast looks fantastic, the trailers haven't been terrible, and it's gotten decent - if not fantastic - early reviews.
You also need to see it if you're invested in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They're all obligatory at this point; missing one is almost a crime. What Marvel and Disney have done here is create must-see movies, almost regardless of quality. You have to see how it fits into this huge puzzle and you need to be there for whatever mid-credit revelations there are. While Ant-Man may not wind up as the best movie in the series, it's one that has a lot of things about which to be intrigued.
If you want more of Matthew "Marter" Parkinson, you can follow him on the Twitter @Martertweet and check out his weekly movie podcast.