As studios reveal their slate of upcoming films, it’s clear that superheroes rule the box office. If you don’t read comic books, you may not be familiar with all the new characters coming your way. Here, we break down Ant-Man for you.
1. Paul Rudd is Ant-Man
Rudd, mostly known for appearing in comedies like This Is 40 and This is The End, is a surprising choice to play a superhero. We’re hoping this casting choice indicates there will be a lot of humor in the film.
2. Ant-Man is a former criminal
This affiliate of the Fantastic Four actually stole the Ant-Man suit in an attempt to save his daughter, Cassie, from a deadly heart condition. In the movie, his human name is Scott Lang.
3. Ant-Man’s comic book history
In the Marvel comic books, Ant-Man was originally the superhero persona of Henry Pym, a scientist and inventor who created a potion that allowed him to shrink to the size of an insect. Pym eventually retired from being Ant-Man and passed the torch to both Scott Lang and Eric O’Grady. Michael Douglas will play Pym in the film. The character of Eric O’Grady doesn’t appear at all.
4. Evangeline Lilly will play Pym’s daughter, Hope
Remember Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel in The Hobbit? Now, she’s appearing in Ant-Man, but will be called Hope in the movie, not Cassie, like in the comic book.
5. Ant-Man’s arch rival is Yellowjacket
Though Yellowjacket was a former alias for Henry Pym, the filmmakers decided this wasp-like character would make a great villain. Actor Corey Stoll, best known for House of Cards and The Strain, will play Yellowjacket, whose human name is Darren Cross.
6. The film has been in development since the ’80s
When creator Stan Lee pitched the idea of making Ant-Man into a film, executives at New Line Cinema passed on the project, saying it was too close to the 1989 film, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.
7. Jessica Chastain turned down the role of Hope
The actress currently has five films in post-production, so it’s no surprise that busy Jessica couldn’t take the role due to scheduling conflicts.
8. Director Peyton Reed replaced Edgar Wright
While British director Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) was all set to take the helm of Ant-Man, he just couldn’t see eye to eye creatively with Marvel. The almighty studio replaced him with Peyton Reed, best known for Yes Man and The Break-Up.
9. Iron Man and Transformers influences
The helmet worn by Ant-Man was inspired by the helmets of Iron Man and the Autobot Transformer, Bumblebee.
10. Hank Pym was too controversial to be the protagonist
Marvel decided that Pym’s character from the comic books wouldn’t go over well with a family audience. In the comics, Pym had a split personality and abused his girlfriend, Janet. Pym gets a makeover in the film and plays a more supporting character.
Ant-Man will be released in July, 2015.