With all of the hype surrounding Avengers: Age of Ultron, Spider-Man coming home to Marvel, the laundry list of characters scheduled to appear in Captain America: Civil War, and the ever expanding world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it feels like Ant-Man is the forgotten step child. It’s one of two Marvel movies coming out this summer, but there isn’t much connection between them. Even though the Ultron promos make it pretty clear that Tony Stark creates Ultron, many of us expected Hank Pym, who creates him in the comics, to show up in that movie at least for a moment, but that’s apparently not happening, and Joss Whedon explains why.
The Age of Ultron director sat down with Empire to talk about what is surely going to be one of the biggest films of 2015, and the subject of Hank Pym came up. Whedon essentially blames Edgar Wright (not in a mean way), who was originally slated to direct Ant-Man before differences with the studio led to a split, saying:
Of all the heat I’ve ever taken, not having Hank Pym was one of the bigger things. But the fact of the matter was, Edgar had him first and by virtue of what Edgar was doing, there was no way for me to use him in this.
In the end, Whedon came up with something that will probably make more sense in the grand scheme of the movies than having Hank Pym create Ultron. He says:
I also thought it was a bridge too far. Ultron needs to be the brainchild of the Avengers, and in the world of the Avengers and the MCU, Tony Stark is that guy. Banner has elements of that guy—we don’t really think of him as being as irresponsible as Tony Stark, but the motherfucker tested gamma radiation on himself, with really terrible, way-worse-than-Tony-Stark results.
It didn’t make sense to introduce a third scientist, a third sciencetician, to do that. It was hard for me, because I grew up on the comics, to dump that, but at the end of the day, it’s a more interesting relationship between Tony and Ultron if Tony was once like, ‘You know what would be a really great idea?’ They’re doing what they always do – which is jump in headfirst, and then go, ‘Sorry, world!’ But you have to make it their responsibility without just making it their fault.
There are going to be comic book fans out there who don’t like this move, but as far as the progression in the movies goes, this does make sense to have Tony Stark create Ultron. It’s easy to see how this will push things towards the events that we’ll see unfold in Civil War, which sees a wide rift form between superheroes, especially between Captain America and Iron Man. From the trailers, we’ve already seen glimpses of this brewing tension in Ultron. Ant-Man and Hank Pym play a substantial part in the Civil War storyline in the comics, so that could very easily be a way to bring the character more into the cinematic fold.
We’ll have to wait and see how this unfolds, but it should be a lot of fun to watch. Avengers: Age of Ultron opens everywhere May 1, while Ant-Man follows on July 17.