There’s a certain expectation that comes along with each and every Marvel movie. No matter what hero is featured or what the story entails, it’s a slam dunk both critically and at the box office. Even the franchise’s consensus weak film, Thor: The Dark World, scored a 65% on Rotten Tomatoes while raking in $644 million worldwide. Even with doubts surrounding the viability of featuring a talking raccoon and a living tree monster in Guardians of the Galaxy were silenced following a huge release. If there’s one thing Marvel Studios does well, it’s pump out a entertaining blockbusters.
Avengers: Age of Ultron, despite its notably controversial portrayal of gender roles and the treatment of Black Widow, was at its core a fun, exciting superhero romp. But with each success, we’re always left to wonder when will Marvel will finally slip up and deliver a dud. Many believe that question will finally be answered when the Paul Rudd-led Ant-Man hits theaters this July. Others still promise that we’ll be pleasantly surprised come opening weekend. What this all means is difficult to know, but we can be assured of one thing: It won’t be like any Marvel movie we’ve ever seen.
The production process alone for Ant-Man paints a picture of something entirely different. After working on the movie for years, Edgar Wright saw himself removed from the project due to creative differences with the studio. Shortly after this, Paul Rudd brought in Adam McKay to lend an assist on finishing a screenplay currently credited to seven separate writers, while superhero newcomer Peyton Reed stepped in on the directorial side. Reed’s credits to date include Bring It On, The Break-Up, and Down With Love, making Ant-Man a massive departure from his previous body of work. The sum total is a creative team that’s never delved into the world of comic books.
In many ways though, this works in favor of what amounts to one of Marvel’s stranger heroes. Ant-Man’s powers alone seem odd: Armed with a suit created by scientist Hank Pym, our titular hero has the ability to shrink down while retailing his full-sized strength. Compare that to the abilities of the Avengers we know and love (super-strength and god-like control over lightning, among others), and what we have is a potentially intriguing juxtaposition to Ant-Man’s flashier MCU counterparts.
More important than all of this though, is the fact that Ant-Man represents the first real risk Marvel Studios has taken since releasing the very first Iron Man movie back in 2008. They’re way out on a limb here, in featuring a lead actor and writer more known for their comedies, and a director who’s made his name in Hollywood working on rom-coms. Along with the fact that much of the original screenplay still contains elements of Wright’s story, there’s a good chance the finished product won’t look anything like Marvel’s previous offerings.
It’s been awhile since Marvel Studios has found themselves in a position to swing and miss on a movie. Yet here we are, weeks out from Ant-Man‘s debut with no idea as to whether or not people will actually flock to theaters on opening weekend. Regardless of what happens though, it at the very least shows a willingness to do something different. But will the gamble pay off?
Follow Nick on Twitter @NickNorthwest
More From Entertainment Cheat Sheet:
- Marvel vs. DC: Which is the Better Comic Book Universe
- 5 Things We Learned From the New ‘Ant-Man’ Trailer
- How ‘Jurassic World’ May Beat Out Both ‘Avengers’ Movies
Want more great content like this? Sign up here to receive the best of Cheat Sheet delivered daily. No spam; just tailored content straight to your inbox.