EXCLUSIVE: Writer/director Joe Cornish talks 'Ant-Man'

Saturday, 09 July 2011 16:19 Written by  Jami Philbrick
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EXCLUSIVE: Writer/director Joe Cornish talks 'Ant-Man'

With the success of Thor earlier this summer, Captain America: The First Avenger opening in a few weeks, and The Avengers currently in production, it looks like Marvel Studios’ plan to bring several of their characters to the big screen in one unifying Marvel Universe is really going to happen. Many fans doubted that they could pull it off since it meant creating four different successful film franchises and then combining them into one.

They were off to a good start with ‘2008s Iron Man, which set the tone for the Marvel film universe with Samuel L. Jackson’s appearance as Nick Fury and made over $500 million worldwide. They hit a minor bump in the road with the re-boot The Incredible Hulk, which debuted the same summer as Iron Man. Even with a cameo by Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, The Incredible Hulk only managed to make a little over $250 million worldwide. Not letting this ruin their plans, Marvel continued with Iron Man 2 in 2010, which introduced Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and earned over $600 million worldwide. Thor, which introduced the God of thunder and gave us a brief glimpse at Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), has already earned over $400 million worldwide, and Marvel has high hopes for Captain America: The First Avenger’s upcoming release, which will introduce Steve Rogers alter ego and pave the way for The Avengers next summer.

One Marvel character and founding member of The Avengers who will not appear in the upcoming movie is Ant-Man. There have been rumors for years that the character might be getting a big screen makeover from directors Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World), and Joe Cornish (Attack the Block), who are penning the script. But with delays in pre-production due to scheduling, they were unable to get the origin story film off the ground in time and the character had to be taken out of the running to appear as a member in the initial Avengers film. But it seems like the tiny hero may still make the leap from the page to the silver screen thanks to the success of the recent Marvel films and the buzz that the two directors have been receiving, respectively, from their last projects.

For the uninitiated, Ant-Man was created in 1962 by comic book legends Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Dr. Henry “Hank” Pym was a biophysicist and nanotechnology expert who discovered a chemical substance that would allow him to shrink his size. Armed with a helmet that could control ants, Pym became the pint-size mystery-solving super hero Ant-Man, and along with his wife Janet Van Dyne (the pixie-like Wasp) eventually became founding members of The Avengers.

I recently caught up with writer/director Joe Cornish while he was out promoting his new film Attack the Block, which opens in theater on July 29th. The movie was produced by his friend and colleague Edgar Wright and marks Cornish’s directorial debut. While we were chatting, I took the opportunity to ask the filmmaker if he is still working on the script for Ant-Man with Wright and what the current status of the project is. “Yeah, Ant-Man is still going,” confirmed Cornish. “Edgar and I were writing on it only the day before yesterday,” he admitted. I followed up by asking if they were doing a lot of rewriting on the script. “Yeah, we’re just drafting and drafting,” he said. Finally, with Wright's busy schedule, I wanted to find out if Cornish thought that Edgar would still end up directing the movie. “Yes,” Cornish answered. “I’m just a humble writer on that one,” he said in closing.

Attack the Block invades theaters on July 29th!


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