We get it. Ant-Man changed a lot from it's first draft to its very last, with director Edgar Wright leaving the project after nearly a decade of pre-production work and Peyton Reed coming into replace him. The Marvel adventure was a hit, topping the box office during it's debut last weekend. Though, it is the studio's second lowest opener, earning just slightly more than 2008's The Incredible Hulk. Because it has gone through so many changes leading up to its release, fans have wondered what got tweaked throughout the course of the film's long prep time. Peyton Reed has offered some insight into that, revealing what the alternate opening and ending contained. We also have a strange new TV spot that showcases a deleted scene.
It's hard to imagine the film doing any better or worse at the box office with Edgar Wright attached. While it would have been a decidedly different film, one that didn't include any Avengers cameos, one has to imagine it would have been packaged and sold the same way. And while Edgar Wright is a sell for genre fanboys, he's not necessarily a household name. Edgar Wright is still credited as a writer and executive producer on the finished product. But Peyton Reed has unveiled one of the key elements from Wright's initial script that just didn't make the final cut.
Talking with Cinema Blend, the director explains that the original draft had a much different opening sequence. We would have seen a very young Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) in action as Ant-Man, firmly establishing him as one of the first Avengers. That scene, as anyone who's seen the movie, has been lost to the annals of film history, and would have worked in setting the original Ant-Man up as a James Bond type character. Peyton Reed explains.
"It was basically a standalone sequence where you really did not see it was Hank Pym. He was retrieving some microfilm from this, originally Cuban general and then it because a Panamanian general... It really was designed in those early drafts to be almost like a Bond movie standalone scene in the beginning. It was going to show the powers. You never saw Ant-Man, it almost felt like an Invisible Man sequence, and it's really, really cool... It started to feel tonally disconnected from the movie we were making and story-wise, and it also kind of set a standalone adventure, but it didn't just connect to the rest of our story."
The earliest drafts of Edgar Wright's script had this scene set in 1960s Cuba. That would later change to Panama, and the timeline would bump up to the 80s. Jordi Mollà was set to play Panamian General Castillo, and Pym's role in serving with SHIELD would have been expanded. The footage was actually shot. But Peyton Reed eventually decided against including it in the finished film. Though it could eventually wind up on the Blu-ray special features. About the scene, Peyton Reed had this to say.
"We actually ended up shooting that sequence and cut it together and it's fantastic, but the more we got into editing, it just felt too disconnected to the rest of the movie. It felt like vestige of those earlier drafts, which as a standalone thing was really cool. We actually talked at one point about releasing like a standalone, Hank Pym as Ant-Man. Who knows if that will still happen."
Instead of this scene, we get an opening prologue that explains Hank Pym's presence in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We do get to see some of young Pym in archived video footage, but some speculate that the cut scene may have injected the opening of the movie with more energy. While the scene could show up on a future home video release, it's unlikely that a 'director's cut' will ever be released. Ant-Man doesn't only have an alternate opening sequence, it also has an alternate ending, which shows Martin Donovan's villain Mitchell Carson getting away with some of the Cross particles after Yellowjacket has been defeated. About the scene, Peyton Reed had this to say.
"At the end of the movie he gets away and has these Cross particles, and there was a sequence where Ant-Man has an encounter with him. But then for a couple reasons, it felt like maybe we should leave those particles out there. In that original thing, he took Martin Donovan out and got the particles."
The film seems to be setting up Mitchell Carson as an important player in Ant-Man 2, though no sequel has been announced or confirmed by Marvel or Disney just yet. In Ant-Man, Carson is described as an Ex-Head of Defense at SHIELD. And he is currently in the business of taking down governments. Some speculate that Carson is partnered with Hydra, and his presence may be felt in Captain America: Civil War. It's already known that Paul Rudd is reprising his Scott Lang character in that franchise sequel. One deleted scene we won't have to wait for on the Blu-ray and DVD finds Scott Lang and his crew of criminals enjoying their winnings after rigging the lottery and manipulating some dice at a casino. This happens just after Scott tries on the suit for the first time. In the finished movie, he returns the suit to Pym right away and doesn't reveal his superhero powers to his gang until the third act of the movie. What do you think? Would any of this have increased your enjoyment of the movie?