This weekend, Ant-Man hits theaters, setting a new high for the impressive power of Marvel’s ability to take even the smallest (no pun intended), least well known, and mostly inconsequential superhero title and make it into a blockbuster.
Yes, I said it, Paul Rudd will probably be the latest face of Marvel’s greatness as the proverbial Ant-Man. (For the record, the actual film contains two, er, Ant-men. Michael Douglas plays Hank Pym, and Rudd plays Scott Lang, both technically bearers of the Ant-Man name in the Marvel universe.) At this point, it doesn’t seem to matter that the Marvel universe has more famous members who haven’t been fleshed out fully yet; Marvel can throw anyone out there and it sticks.
A second Fantastic Four film update?
The launch of a Guardians of the Galaxy series with a former fatboy as the leading man?
Why not make a film about a superhero whose greatest power is shrinking to the side of an ant? (Don’t get me started on the fact that in some incarnations, Ant-Man can grow to the size of Giant-Man. Seriously, the Avengers wiki says, “When he shrinks and uses his insect-controlling helmet, he is called Ant-Man. When he grows, he is called Giant-Man. And when he shrinks and grows, he’s Yellowjacket.” Um, yeah.)
Is there anything Marvel can’t do?
One has to wonder if there’s anything we can expect Marvel not to make a movie about in their repertoire. It’ll probably end up developed into a Netflix show if it doesn’t make the cut, but even there, Marvel is cleaning house. Daredevil rocked and there’s more coming.
But what would happen if we actually saw the biggest bully on the block (Marvel/Disney, that is) get serious about its characters and their backstory?
Would there be a world where we could deal with the spousal abuse between Ant-Man and The Wasp?
Would Gambit (Channing Tatum, for those who haven’t heard…) deal with the racism and socialism that he wrestles with as a New Orleans native and a mutant?
Seriously, I’d like to see them get a little bit deeper. But I might have to settle for the soul-searching ways of Netflix’s Daredevil (a Catholic with guilt issues) and the tortured relationship of FOX’s Magneto and Xavier. Marvel just doesn’t have to try too hard to please us.
As co-editor of ScreenFish, Steve Norton, says, “Marvel could sell a movie about a purple gum drop and still make $65M opening weekend.”
Now, there’s an idea.