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5 Reasons Everyone Needs To Stop Worrying About Ant-Man

With yesterday's "Ant-Man" trailer release we got our first look at the final film in Marvel Studio's Phase 2. Though your average movie watcher won't realize this, "Ant-Man" has been in development just shy of a decade. First announced in 2006 at a comic con panel to drum up support for it's fellow soon-to-be icons Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk, Ant-Man's final build up has been met with criticism, judgment and outrage over the exit of it's original development team led by fanboy demi-god Edgar Wright. Will it be Marvel's first face plant? Would Edgar Wright's version been better? Is the world ready for Paul Rudd to be the handsome leading action star he should've always been?! YES...well, I mean, probably.

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5. We've already had Iron Man 2

Cakes and Comics / Via

Iron Man 2 and the next entry on this list represent the two extremes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU for short). Iron Man 2 was Marvel's first big experiment in a cohesive world. It was also Marvel's first big stumble: with forced and uneven storytelling, character overload, and an over reliance on world building instead of the story it was attempting to tell. I've always been forgiving because it was the first time it had been done at this scale, (and had the added bonus of Sam Rockwell's amazing performance) the movie itself is mediocre at best. Since IM2, Marvel has seemingly understood the necessity to let the world and it's characters speak for itself and allow the filmmakers themselves to dictate the ebb and flow of the characters, sometimes to wildly fun and imaginative new heights and sometimes with debatably questionable villain usage (I'm talking about Iron Man 3, of course and it's treatment of the Mandarin. Though the Marvel One-Shot "All Hail the King" seems to right this "wrong").

4. We've already had Guardians of the Galaxy

Cakes and Comics / Via

Did you read Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy before it's bewildering inclusion in the Phase 2 line up a few years ago? If you said yes, you are a LIAR! Well, maybe not, but fans of this intergalactic space crew were few and far between. Rebooted and reimagined more times than DC has tried to correct the New 52 since 2011 (that's right DC...burn), the Guardians of the Galaxy looked like the studio's first big gamble. Also recruiting gore-hound and lovable goof ball James Gunn (most known for indie films), seemed to be as left field as you could get. But it worked and it worked HARD. People don't throw the, "it's like Star Wars" mantra around often (even seemingly for films called "Star Wars"), so it was a shock when this film ended up the biggest hit of the summer. This also showed us that Marvel films need not be purely "Super-hero" stories. GOTG let things get weird and the MCU is better for it.

3. We need to let go of Edgar Wright and what could have been.


I don't need to say this, but I will: I love Edgar Wright. From his interesting, kinetic use of a camera to that never quite full wispy beard and his lovable countryside english accent, Wright is the type of filmmaker we all imagine talking pop culture with over beer (me, something American and terrible; him, something micro brewed and classy). But let's be real, the film Edgar has been working on since before "Hot Fuzz" is NOT the film needed for a cinematic world already in motion. Also if you want to be a jerk (and I guess that would be me) Edgar has yet to bring in a film over 32 million at the box office. If you want to be an even BIGGER jerk (still me I guess), I have to point out that his films also have a sort of downhill trend in popularity, though in his defense we're talking a low number of 82% on Rotten Tomatoes for Scott Pilgrim...which isn't so bad. If it's true that Wright was too married to his original plan for the character, which no longer fit the flow of the MCU, then they had a right to release him. As a story-teller he shouldn't have to limit his story to the structure of a universe, but it's up to the care takers of that said universe to protect all of the work that has come before and will continue afterward. Edgar Wright is simply one of the best filmmakers alive at this point and I will always see his movies in theater (which I have made it a point to do so far). So while we wait for whatever adventure he promises to take us on next, let's not hold that against a movie that may not have needed his special kind of awesome anyway.

2. The current creative team

assorted / Via ME

Paul Rudd is not only the star of Ant-Man, he is also it's co-writer (a first in MCU history). The other writer is veteran Adam McKay (mostly known for his comedy work). Rudd and McKay have been working together since their duel comedic break-out "Anchorman" which redirected Rudd from rom-com obscurity to raunchy comedy hits. Though Adam McKay seems like an odd choice, few remember that McKay's 2010 hit "The Other Guys" was actually prep work for a preposed "The Boys" adaptation ("The Boys" is an ultra violent, darkly funny satirical work about superheroes in the real world. It's somehow a more bleak version of "The Watchmen"). Then there's Peyton Reed, the director, best known for middle of the road hits like "Yes Man" and "The Break-up". Peyton is a secret fanboy delight: he directed every episode of "The Weird Al Show" and "Upright Citizen Brigade", the truly underrated "Down with Love" and was actually originally set to adapt "The Fantastic Four". The film was set in the '60s, completely ignoring an origin with the Four already a team. Fox of course decided Tim Story's 2005 "Fantastic Four" outing was a better idea (for those that don't know, it wasn't). Reed also isn't unaware of the shoes he's filling and I trust he has the ability to bring us something fresh, along with the rest of the aforementioned creative team, that will deliver. Hopefully.

1. Because Marvel Studios has done pretty well so far

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I don't believe anybody wants this movie to fail (except for Dan, but Dan sucks and shouldn't be listened too) and of course the team behind it wants it to be a hit. As the often repeated saying goes, "nobody tries to make a bad movie", I believe with this level of talent and care this won't be the case. Marvel has yet to give us a unanimously agreed upon BAD movie and this one doesn't seem like it will become the first. With it's promise of a cool bad guy (it should stated that Corey Stoll is a great actor), awesome back story (60's superheroes), and Marvel's personal brand of humorous levity, Ant-Man is set-up for another fun Marvel Night at the Movies. In a world for extraordinary people, it'll be nice to see a Paul Rudd-type step up to the plate. It's very easy to think about what could have been, but we need to embrace what is: a geek friendly director making a film written by a geek friendly writer, with a charming geek friendly lead. Also remember that Wright's spirit will be intact, because any studio knows to keep what works. Marvel has switched directors before (remember when everyone was clamoring for the idea of a Jon Favreau's Avengers) and creative shifts are a norm in film. I'm not saying I'm not nervous, I'd be crazy not to be, but I've got faith that Marvel can take us somewhere new and exciting again. Also, I care about Ant-Man...seriously who thought that would happen?!

Cody Robison is currently doing some secret work with a major comic-book company out of New York City.
Follow him on twitter @cody_robison

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