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Director Edgar Wright has quietly completed an Ant-Man test reel, Heat Vision reports, raising hopes that the diminutive Marvel superhero is finally inching closer to the big screen.
Although the project was announced in 2006 as part of Marvel’s initial film slate, alongside Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk, Ant-Man was placed on the back burner as the studio’s focus shifted to the “Phase One” build-up to The Avengers. Wright and co-writer Joe Cornish, whose involvement with the property actually predates Marvel Studios, have given periodic script updates over the past couple of years, with studio President Kevin Feige pledging repeatedly in recent months that Ant-Man is “as close as it’s ever been.”
But now the movie really may be close. Wright reportedly spent a little less than a week in mid-June shooting footage to test the potential tone of Ant-Man, and to decide how well the character’s powers translate onscreen (the timing probably explains the photo the director posted in May). Heat Vision notes test reels aren’t uncommon for movies that “fall into the stylized or risky categories,” such as Zack Snyder’s 300 and Jonathan Liebesman’s Battle: Los Angeles.
Wright has described Ant-Man as “essentially a high-tech spy heist film with somebody with a very particular power,” with a level of comedy on par with that of Iron Man. “The idea is to make a high-concept genre film where it’s within another genre,” he said in 2010. “His suit and its power is the big gadget and it takes place in the real world. I just wanted to do something that was slightly different than the superhero origin film. I felt that between that and the various mad scientist, crazy doctor films that we’ve all seen, this would be a way into an origin that was slightly different.”
Even if the test reel meets with Marvel’s approval, Wright won’t be jumping into Ant-Man right away. Instead, he’ll begin work in September on The World’s End, the conclusion of the comedy trilogy that reunites the director with Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz collaborators Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.