God Bless Stan Lee. Ever since the 88-year-old comic-book godfather discovered the fast-paced joys of Twitter, he’s been a veritable fountain of colorfully candid discourse, giddily yakking about all Marvel latest projects and gracing his thousands of followers with a heaping daily spoonful of self-effacing good humor.
Yesterday on his Twitter feed, Lee dropped a few nuggets of newsworthy gold in regards to the loooong-gestating “Ant-Man” feature film:
“To make up for my previous grievous error, here’s a little item that may have escaped you. Marvel is prepping a movie starring– Ant-Man!”
“I had lunch with the cool, young director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) and, as you’d imagine, we had fun discussing the tiny hero.”
Now, the mention of Wright is no real surprise, as the quirky director has been attached to the project for a few years now. He’s a great choice, given the tone of both “Shaun” and “Hot Fuzz,” and will hopefully veer a little outside of the box and figure out how to blend the character’s inherent comedic value with the conventions associated with a blockbuster superhero picture. His irreverent sensibilities could allow for a really fresh, clever take on what has become something of a formulaic genre (albeit a consistently fun one).
With that said, what exactly does Lee mean when he says Marvel is “prepping” the film? As far as we’ve heard, the studio’s slate is pretty busy these days, with “Thor” currently underway, “First Avenger: Captain America” in active pre-production and “The Avengers” in the pipeline, so I’m having a hard time figuring out where “Ant-Man” would fit into their short-term future plans. Could the diminutive hero wind up in the post-“Avengers” summer 2013 slot? It’s certainly possible, but the vagueness of Lee’s post leaves a lot to be desired in terms of solid confirmation. Personally, I’m just taking this as an encouraging affirmation that the project is still holding together, and I’ll wait until the studio releases a concrete statement regarding their plans for mini-adventurer Hank Pym before getting too excited.
Perhaps more interesting, though, was Lee’s comment regarding some other caped avengers:
“Ant-Man is just one of the many wild treats Marvel has planned for you, such as Iron Fist, Dr. Strange, Black Panther and more, more, more!”
Of course, like “Ant-Man,” these characters have also been stuck in the pits of Development Hell for eons. Former-Darth Maul Ray Park has been attached to “Iron Fist” for close to a decade now, while “Black Panther” was first envisioned as a vehicle for Wesley Snipes before being rumored to appear in the scrapped third “Fantastic Four” film. As for “Dr. Strange,” the studio’s also been chatting him up for some time now without any obvious movement on the project.
No, as for “Ant-Man,” I suspect that Lee is really just telling us all what we want to hear — that one day in the not-too-distant future we’ll get to see these heroes on the silver screen. As to when that day will be remains, for now, anyone’s best guess. Excelsior!
As an added bonus to this story, here’s a short clip of Edgar Wright discussing his plans for “Ant Man” at the 2006 San Diego Comic-Con:
Follow Cam Smith on Twitter at http://twitter.com/camspcepisodes.