Paul Rudd is looking pensive in the first photo from “Ant-Man,” Marvel’s upcoming superhero adventure due for release next year.
Production on “Ant-Man” kicked off this week in San Francisco, with Rudd starring as reformed thief Scott Lang, the second superhero to take the name Ant-Man.
In the film, Lang must help his mentor Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) protect the secret behind his Ant-Man suit, which enables its wearer to shrink in size while enjoying increased strength.
The movie, which will also shoot in Georgia, features Evangeline Lilly as Pym’s daughter Hope Van Dyne, while actor Corey Stoll will play Darren Cross, a former ally of Pym’s who becomes the villain known as the Yellowjacket.
A shadow of uncertainty fell over the film earlier this year when original “Ant-Man” director Edgar Wright abruptly departed the project he’d steered toward the screen for years. In a statement, Marvel and Wright insisted the split was amicable and related to creative differences.
Peyton Reed, whose previous credits include “Bring It On” and “The Break-Up,” was then hired to helm Marvel’s upcoming superhero release.
The film’s cast also includes Bobby Cannavale, Michael Pena, Abby Ryder Forston, Judy Greer, David Dastmalchian, Wood Harris, John Slattery, Gregg Turkington and T.I.
Although the movie had not yet begun filming, Marvel and Reed screened a short bit of footage last month at San Diego’s Comic-Con International featuring Douglas speaking in voiceover, helping guide Rudd’s Scott through a tricky escape.
While it seems unlikely that diminutive hero will appear in Marvel’s other 2015 release, Joss Whedon’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” there is a comic book connection — in the comics, Pym is the creator of Ultron, an automaton that becomes a supervillain.
“Ant-Man” is set for release July 17, 2015.
– Gina McIntyre | @LATHeroComplex
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