Released in 2015, Ant-Man tells the story of cat burglar Scott Lang, played by the always-lovable Paul Rudd, who finds himself in the possession of a super-suit that allows him to shrink in scale and pull off a heist to save the world.
Here are a few things you might not know about Ant-Man.
1. Ant-Man 2.0
Scott Lang was not the original Ant-Man. His mentor Hank Pym was. However, in the comic books, his character developed a few personalities, one of which abused his girlfriend. Deeming him “no longer family-friendly,” the studio opted to go with Scott Lang and put Hank Pym in the mentor role, because when you abuse women, you can’t be a superhero.
2. Yippee Ki-Yay Mister Falcon
Falcon wasn’t originally in the story, but after Paul Rudd and Adam McKay saw Captain America: Winter Soldier, they fell in love with the character and insisted he be in Ant-Man.
3. Kids Say the Darnedest Things
When Paul Rudd told his nine-year old son that he was playing the titular character in Ant-Man, he responded with, “Wow, I can’t wait to see how stupid that’ll be.”
4. The Fountain of Youth
For the flashback scenes, the filmmakers used VFX to make the 70-year old Michael Douglas and 57-year old Martin Donovan look younger. Usually men use younger women to feel younger, but computers work too.
5. Wall Street: The College Years
After seeing himself as the younger version of himself, Douglas joked that he would love to do a prequel to one of his earlier films.
6. That White Gold
Douglas mentioned that he would like for his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, to play the role of Janet Van Dyne, Pym’s wife and the original superheroine Wasp. The role went to Michelle Pfeiffer. You can’t always get what you want. But, we gotta say, Michelle Pfeiffer is an excellent consolation prize.
7. That’s How You Get Ants
Michael Douglas turned 70 while filming Ant-Man. To help him celebrate, the crew got him a birthday cake in the shape of a film reel decorated with ants that we hope were made of icing.
8. He Bought the Farm
To inspire himself for the film, Rudd bought a massive ant farm and observed how they worked together. He still has it.
9. Flipping Out
Knowing that he would have to do flips, rolls, and other acrobatic feats, Rudd enlisted the help of a gymnast coach so he would be as convincing as possible.
10. Strong Like Ant
Rudd got in such good shape that they had to alter the Ant-Man costume to account for his new physique.
11. The Wright Stuff
Writer Edgar Wright insisted that Marvel not use Ant-Man or Wasp until he had finished the movie. This is the only reason they weren’t seen in The Avengers. That, and there were already two billion superheroes in that movie already.
12. Out of the Mouse House
Edgar Wright was the one who proposed the film to Marvel back in 2003. He shot a test reel, hired a cast, and was very close to start shooting. But he dropped out of the project after he ran into “creative differences” with Disney.
13. No Marvel Movie is an Island
One of the major factors that led to his departure was the fact that Wright wanted the film to be a standalone work, with no references to the other films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Of course, Marvel had other plans. Giant plans (re: Civil War).
14. Pew Pew!
The sound effects for the laser fired from Yellowjacket’s suit are the same as those used for the main gun on Star Wars AT-ATs.
15. Think of the Children!
Douglas says that he took on the role of Hank Pym so his children (aged 12 and 14) would be able to see him in a movie. We guess Fatal Attraction isn’t suitable for family movie night.
16. Can’t Spell Astonish Without Ant
Darren Cross jokes that the idea of a shrinking human sounds like a “tale to astonish.” Ant-Man made his debut in the comic “Tales to Astonish” issue #27. Yay for inside references!
17. The First Chair
Darren Cross shrinks a chair as part of a demonstration. A chair was also the first thing that Hank Pym shrank.
18. A Stark Difference
In the comics, Hank Pym is actually the one who creates Ultron. Of course, Tony Stark does so in the movies because, y’know, drama.
19. Tiny and Shiny
The ants in the movie were generally inspired by Saharan silver ants, which possess longer legs, can use their front legs as arms, and also have a fur coat that make them look shinier and armored.
20. Behold the Noble Ant
The ants’ movements were slowed down so they seemed more noble and not, y’know, ant-like.
21. Live From New York
Garret Morris, who played a cab driver in the film, was the first actor to ever portray a live-action Ant-Man in a 1975 sketch from Saturday Night Live.
22. We All Scream
The filmmakers considered having Scott work at a Chipotle and then a Jamba Juice before finally settling on Baskin-Robbins, after realizing that the bright colors would nicely offset the darkness of the opening prison scene.
23. Now Buscemi, Now You Don’t
Michael Douglas was actually the second choice for the role of Hank Pym. The filmmakers originally wanted Steve Buscemi.
24. Short Film
The movie was filmed in 1.85:1 aspect ratio rather than the customary 2.35:1 for most Marvel films to reflect the short stature of the title character.
Paul Rudd tried to prank Michael Douglas by flashing him during a monologue (trying to emulate the famous Sharon Stone scene in Basic Instinct), but the prank totally backfired when his “junk” got caught in the waistband of his boxers. Paul tried to reach down to readjust, but during the struggle it looked like he was pleasuring himself during Douglas’ monologue.
Michael Douglas just stopped, completely straight-faced, and said “What are you a [redacted]ing pervert?”
As which point, a sheepish Paul Rudd had to backpedal and explain, “I’m so sorry, I was just trying to Basic Instinct you. I thought it’d be great.”
Thankfully, Michael Douglas heard the explanation, shrugged, said “Oh, well OK then,” and got back to work.