It’s been arguably Marvel’s most contentious production since Iron Man, but Ant-Man is finally gearing up to start filming in the next few weeks. By now you know the story: Edgar Wright developed the film for several years, set his cast, was prepping to shoot, and then ran into creative differences with Marvel Studios that led to his exit from the project. Peyton Reed is now at the helm of the superhero adaptation with Paul Rudd in the lead, supported in the cast by Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, and Corey Stoll. One of the key points of contention between Wright and Marvel was reportedly the film’s connection to the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe, as the studio wanted to see more threads between Ant-Man and the other films that make up the MCU.
As filming is about to get underway, possible spoilers have surfaced by way of some earlier drafts of the script that reveal which characters from the MCU were/are poised to make an appearance in Ant-Man, and the answers may surprise you. More after the jump, though be warned that these details contain potential spoilers for Ant-Man.
The folks over at Latino Review, who were the first to break the details surrounding Wright’s exit from Ant-Man, have discovered which characters not related to Ant-Man were poised to make appearance in the film—at least according to early drafts of the script. Apparently a prologue sequence in the first act of Ant-Man involves Hank Pym (Douglas) having a meeting at S.H.I.E.L.D. where he crosses paths with Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper), Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), Armin Zola (Toby Jones), and somewhat surprisingly, a young Alexander Pierce.
The latter character of course made his first appearance in the MCU in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, as played by Robert Redford. He was revealed to have close ties to HYDRA, and as Marvel’s new TV series Agent Carter aims to hint towards the early infiltration of S.H.I.E.L.D. by the sinister organization, one imagines this Ant-Man prologue sequence would have had HYDRA undertones as well.
It’s unclear which drafts of the Ant-Man screenplay included this prologue. Wright co-write his version of the film with Joe Cornish, but in an effort to address issues Marvel had with the Wright/Cornish script, the studio apparently had one of its in-house writers take a stab at a version of the screenplay more in line with what Marvel Studios wanted. That was apparently the last straw that led to Wright departing the project, and then recently Adam McKay was hired to do script work in preparation for Reed’s version of the film.
Rudd recently told us that he and McKay have been working together on the Ant-Man screenplay nearly every day for the past month so there’s no telling how much the script has changed since this early version with the S.H.I.E.L.D. scene, but this feels very much in line with Marvel’s approach to the MCU, so I wouldn’t be surprised if a version of it still existed in the final film. Moreover, the prospect of introducing young Alexander Pierce could be a neat addition to the MCU mythology—maybe even in the Agent Carter series, perhaps?
Time will tell if this prologue sequence still stands in the final film, but out of context, I actually think it sounds like a nice nod to the MCU without being too obtrusive. One thing’s for sure: it’s going to be very interesting to see what the final writing credits look like on Ant-Man. The film opens in theaters on July 17, 2015.
If you missed any of our Ant-Man coverage from Comic-Con, peruse the links below:
- Corey Stoll Talks ANT-MAN, Playing Yellowjacket, the Script, Working With Michael Douglas and More at Comic-Con
- ANT-MAN Director Peyton Reed Talks Stepping Into Edgar Wright’s Shoes, the State of the Script and the Film’s Villains at Comic-Con
- Paul Rudd Talks ANT-MAN Script at Comic-Con; Reveals He’s Been Working with Adam McKay ‘Every Day for Six Weeks’
- Kevin Feige Talks AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, ANT-MAN, DOCTOR STRANGE, the Future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Plans for Thanos, and Much More
- ANT-MAN Comic-Con Panel Recap: Paul Rudd Takes the Hall H Stage to Introduce a New Addition to the Marvel Universe and Preview Footage