Although the film’s journey to the screen hit a snag in May 2014 when would-be director Edgar Wright — who had been attached to the blockbuster since 2006 — suddenly departed, his replacement, Peyton Reed, said he’s ready for round two. “If we’re fortunate enough to do another ‘Ant-Man’ movie, I would love to do it,” he said.
Embracing his larger-than-life star status, Paul Rudd was the final star to file into the Dolby, charging down the carpet like a true Marvel action hero. But preceding Rudd was a littering of Hollywood oddities including two attendees in unicorn masks, a brief appearance from a rogue drone capturing the action from the sky, and a giant ant farm greeting fans at the entrance to the theater.
In typical fashion, the Marvel universe was sworn to secrecy and hesitated to spill about the franchise’s future. “All I know is that I had to sign up for three films, as does anybody,” said Evangeline Lilly, sporting a prominent baby bump. “And I hope they use me for two more.”
Reed elaborated on Lilly’s role in “Ant-Man” as Hope van Dyne, the kick-ass daughter of Dr. Hank Pym. “Her arc in the movie is every bit as important as Ant-Man’s,” Reed said. “She’s a very powerful hero in her own right.”
Popular on Variety
Excluding Bobby Cannavale, the entire cast attended the premiere, among them Michael Douglas, Corey Stoll, Judy Greer, Michael Pena, T.I., David Dastmalchian and the adorably gap-toothed 7-year-old Abby Ryder Fortson. Marvel legend Stan Lee, Disney’s Alan Horn and producer Kevin Feige also attended, as well as a host of special guests including comedian Paul Scheer, Ty Simpkins, Blake Anderson and Chris Hardwick.
Douglas seemed to enjoy soaking up the buzzing atmosphere. “It feels like the 1980s,” he said. “You have a movie that actually has a backlog of fans. They really follow this stuff.” The actor said he joined the fanatics by doing his research in order to commit to his character. “They sent me about two years of Avengers, Ant-Man comics, and (I learned) about the whole history of Hank Pym.”
To Douglas, the film’s sense of humor is one of its strongest assets, something Stoll emphatically seconded. “I think it’s the funniest Marvel movie,” said the actor who plays Darren Cross, a power-hungry antagonist ridden with daddy issues. “It’s like the perfect summer movie. The action is super-fun, but there is a real heart at the center.”