ANT-MAN Has Started Filming

It's actually happening. 

Marvel has issued a press release announcing the commencement of filming on Ant-Man, a movie we all kind of thought was going to get canceled just a couple of months back. The production is currently in San Francisco, which is where they're shooting exteriors, before going to Atlanta for the bulk of filming. 

The release doesn't mention who wrote the script, which is probably because Marvel is waiting until the WGA arbitrates correct credits. I can't imagine a situation where Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish don't get a credit - the basic structure of the story seems to still be theirs', as indicated by this synopsis:

Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

That basic premise - Pym and Lang teaming up to pull a heist to get Pym Particles out of bad guy hands - is unique to the Wright/Cornish script and not from the comics at all. Credits for adapting material can be tricky and weird, but when a writer creates truly new situations/relationships they usually get credit. The question is who else gets their name on this one. I'll be following with some interest. 

Meanwhile the press release also reveals a large number of actors who were previously unannounced, including rapper TI, Judy Greer and John Slattery. Readers of Latino Review will know how Slattery is being used - there's a flashback to earlier SHIELD days featuring Howard Stark, who is a rival of Hank Pym. Pym hates Stark, seeing him as a weapons-monger who makes the world a worse place. Who will Greer be playing - Lang's ex-wife? 

Also new to the cast: Gregg Turkington, best known by his comedy name, Neil Hamburger. Bobby Cannavale has joined the cast, and I'm guessing it's in the role Patrick Wilson vacated - the new husband  to Lang's ex-wife, and the cop who arrested the con man back in his con man days. Although is Lang still a con man? The script revisions that drove Wright off the project really softened his con man nature. The synopsis does indicate it's been put back in place. And Wood Harris, aka Avon Barksdale from The Wire, has joined the film as well. Harris and TI could be guys with criminal pasts who hang out with Michael Pena's character and get involved in some hijinks. 

I hope this all works out. Peyton Reed, who has taken the thankless task of directing this troubled film, is not just a good guy, he's a really good filmmaker who has never had the chance to indulge his profound nerdy side. This is a guy who respects the Silver Age history of Ant-Man in a way that a lot of other directors wouldn't; this isn't a guy who took the job just to work. If Peyton Reed had been the first director announced for Ant-Man we'd all be ecstatic. 

In the end I want a good movie. I'm bummed that Edgar Wright got kicked around by Marvel, seemingly a victim of pre-Guardians of the Galaxy jitters, and I wish I could see his movie. But I can't, so now I'm rooting for Ant-Man to be the best movie it can be.