That is what seems to be the theme behind all of those behind Marvel’s Ant-Man. In fact, at a recent press conference for the film, the word “different” was uttered 15 times. With pundits keep waiting for “superhero fatigue” to set it, the cast and crew behind Marvel’s Ant-Man wanted to do something, well, “different”.
As Marvel Studios producer Kevin Feige said, “This is our 12th film in the Marvel cinematic universe, so it felt time to do something even more unique and even more different.”
Even director Peyton Reed discussed Marvel’s desire to keep moving forward, “they really don’t want to repeat themselves and they encourage these movies to be really idiosyncratic…It was allowed to be weird, and that was fantastic.”
While Marvel wanted to accomplish something different with this film, the actors were motivated by adding something new to their repertoire as none of them had done a superhero movie before. As Paul Rudd said about his excitement for the role, “I liked the challenge, I thought it would be an exciting adventure, and I enjoyed the fact that when I was cast people went, huh, really? “
Of course the legendary Michael Douglas didn’t need to prove himself to anyone. But perhaps his 14 year-old son led him to portray the original Ant-Man, Hank Pym. As Douglas recounts, “My 14 year-old’s reaction was like an agent. He said, ‘You know, Dad, this could be a whole new audience for you.’ So I took that to heart and here I am.”
Another thing that makes Ant-Man special is the scale. While Avengers: Age of Ultron had this massive scale with an entire city rising into the sky, the climax of Ant-Man takes place in a much more intimate setting. The challenge for the filmmakers was to make a film, that inherently takes place on a smaller scale, have the same thrills and excitement as Marvel’s other films. Luckily, they found a way to succeed by focusing on the thrill of the heist and our emotional connections to the characters.
But what really makes the film different is the family dynamic. After all, Ant-Man is the first superhero with a child to have his own movie. (Sorry Hawkeye). Director Peyton Reed commented on this when he said, “one of the strengths of the movie I think is it’s these dual stories about these two fathers and their daughters, and in various different ways they are not a part of their daughters’ lives, and they have to by the end of the movie repair those relationships.”
Paul Rudd continued on that theme saying, “In regard to the father-daughter aspect, it was the thing that I hung the whole thing on. You know, you can have a movie that has amazing effects, and this certainly has that, and brilliant visuals, a lot of action, humor, whatever, but whenever you see something that you can connect to, that’s emotionally resonant, it stays with you in a very different way. I think that’s the key to any movie and that’s what I thought about throughout this whole film. This is what the movie is about.”
Ant-Man is in theaters now. And if early box office predictions are any indication, the film's success will be one way that Ant-Man is NOT different.