Ant-Man has an outstanding cast that stars not only Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas, but it has a deep bench that includes Corey Stoll, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, and Judy Greer. The film also stars the excellent Bobby Cannavale, who took time at the Danny Collins press day to talk about his role in the upcoming Marvel film.
Obviously, Cannavale couldn’t go deep into the plot details, but he did reveal that he’s playing a new character:
You’re going to be in Ant-Man also, is Paxton a new character or someone from the comic book series?
BOBBY CANNAVALE: Yeah. He’s a new character. I mean the whole story is pretty new because the origin story of Dr. Hank Pym who’s the original Ant-Man, that’s Michael Douglas’s character, and so Paul’s (Rudd) character is sort of a protégé. The whole story is really new so he’s a new character.
He then elaborated that it was freeing, and reiterated Greer’s comments from last month about the actors having room to improvise.
Is that freeing to you to have a new character yourself rather than someone who’s existed in decades of comic books?
CANNAVALE: Yeah. Sure. I mean at least I think that’s true because nobody ever came up to me and said, “Hey, you need to dye your hair red” or something. That was a really cool experience, because as big as that movie is and really as big a production as that was, the actual work in the scenes were really fun. It felt like we were on an indie film. Rudd is one of my oldest friends. Most of our scenes are together, like me and Paul and Judy Greer. And so, both those actors are really good improvisers. Adam McKay and Paul did a big rewrite on that script. So the scenes themselves felt like an indie film. It really felt like a comedy that we were doing. And then, of course, you have those big scenes. I spent so much time in front of a blue screen and that was just a trip for me. I’m not used to that kind of thing. But it was really a good combination of bringing a real off-the-cuff sensibility to a big, huge action movie. That was really fun and I think that probably happened because Guardians of the Galaxy was such a success. So it didn’t feel like I was working in a really serious superhero movie. It didn’t feel like Thor or something like that.
It’s not too surprising that Ant-Man will head in a comic direction. Marvel movies have never shied away from comedy, but comedy has always been in a particularly prevalent aspect of Ant-Man. It’s not like Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish were going to write a deadly serious screenplay about a guy who can make himself tiny and ride around on ants. Then when you put the movie in the hands of director Peyton Reed, Paul Rudd and co-writer Adam McKay, you have a film that could be the most comedy-heavy Marvel film to date. And with such a talented cast, it will hopefully get a lot of laughs.