Although “Ant-Man” is poised to crush its competition at the box office this weekend, that doesn’t change the fact that the hero is one of the lesser known do-gooders in the Marvel universe.
But fear not, filmgoers! TheWrap is prepared to take you inside the microscopic world of this larger-than-life superhero.
Check out 7 fascinating facts about Ant-Man below.
1. There Are Actually Three Ant-Men
Paul Rudd plays Scott Lang/Ant-Man in the film, but he’s actually the second person to take up the helmet. In the comics, Dr. Hank Pym (played in the film by Michael Douglas) discovered what would become known as Pym particles, which allowed him to alter his size at will. He incorporated the particles into the original Ant-Man suit, which was eventually stolen by Lang, a professional thief. Pym agreed to let him keep the suit if he used it only for good.
However, in the comics, S.H.I.E.L.D agent Eric O’Grady steals the suit after Lang’s death, which led to his own Ant-Man series called “The Irredeemable Ant-Man.”
2. Ant-Man is Also a Family-Man
Scott Lang may have stolen the Ant-Man suit from Hank Pym, but he did it for all the right reasons; Lang needed the suit to help his daughter, Cassie. In the comics, he used the suit to rescue Dr. Erica Sondheim, the only person capable of curing Cassie of her terminal illness, after Sondheim was kidnapped by the diabolical Darren Cross (played in the film by Corey Stoll).
3. Ant-Man Doesn’t Just Refer to His Size
Although the hero can shrink himself down to the size of an insect, his moniker also refers to his ability to mentally control ants. Dr. Pym designed the Ant-Man helmet, allowing him to enlist the help of the tiny soldiers in his fight against evil.
Though it hasn’t played out this way in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ant-Man was one of the founding members of the superhero team The Avengers. In fact, it was Pym’s idea to create the team. And while Pym’s storyline hasn’t factored into the MCU to date, we do know that Paul Rudd is reprising his role in “Captain America: Civil War.”
4. Ant-Man Is Also Giant Man
When Pym wasn’t busy shrinking himself down to the size of an ant, he also mastered the ability to make himself larger as well. Tired of finding himself overshadowed by his fellow Avengers, Pym decided to alter Pym Particles so that he could grow to gargantuan heights. No word yet on whether Rudd’s Scott Lang will make use of this ability during his tenure in the MCU.
In the comics, Scott Lang got set up with Jessica Jones, a former superhero and private investigator living in New York. This storyline seems particularly interesting in light of the fact that Marvel is currently shooting a Jessica Jones series starring Krysten Ritter. We know that another Jones flame, Luke Cage (Mike Colter), will appear in Season 1 of the show. Given Rudd’s strong television pedigree, could a crossover be in the works?
7. Being a Hero Runs in the Family
Dr. Pym was previously involved with Janet Van Dyne, also known as the superhero Wasp in the Marvel comics. In the film, Pym has a strained relationship with his daughter Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly). She nevertheless assists Pym and Lang, and just may get to take on the Red Queen mantle that she adopted in the comics.
The Evolution of Marvel Movies: From Dolph Lundgren's 'Punisher' to 'Ant-Man' (Photos)
"Howard the Duck" (1986) - In this Marvel-meets-George-Lucas sci-fi comedy, a human-size duck is propelled to Earth from outer space as the result of a scientific mishap. Emphasis was placed on special effects and portraying Howard as a less cynical duck than that in the comic.
"The Punisher" (1989) - Dolph Lundgren donned a signature skull shirt for a violent adaptation of the story of vigilante Frank Castle, a.k.a The Punisher
New World Pictures
"Fantastic Four" (1994) - Legend has it that Roger Corman produced this low-budget adaptation so that a producer could retain the film rights to the comic. Though never released theatrically, it is available on YouTube.
"Generation X" (1996) - Hoping to capitalize on the popular “X-Men” animated series of the '90s, “Generation X” was a TV movie that aired on Fox about a school for the gifted run by Emma Frost and Banshee.
"Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D." (1998) - David Hasselhoff donned Nick Fury’s eye-patch long before Sam Jackson in this made-for-TV-movie that premiered on Fox.
Fury Productions/Fox Network
"Blade" (1998) - Wesley Snipes headlined as a half-man, half-vampire fighting against an evil bloodsucker intent on taking over the world
Marvel/New Line Cinema
"X-Men" (2000) - Hugh Jackman achieved international fame as Wolverine in the story of the famed Marvel superhero team
Marvel/Twentieth Century Fox
"Hulk" (2003) - Ang Lee's much maligned story of Bruce Banner (Eric Bana) as he struggles to control the raging monster within himself
"Daredevil" (2003) - Ben Affleck earned plenty of scorn for his portrayal of the blind defender of Hell's Kitchen. Nevertheless, the film earned almost $180 million globally
"The Punisher" (2004) - Thomas Jane took over as Frank Castle in this ultra-violent vigilante tale that also starred John Travolta
"Elektra" (2005) - Jennifer Garner reprises her role as Elektra Natchios, an international assassin, in the spin-off from the more successful 2003 film, Daredevil.
Twentieth Century Fox
"Man-Thing" (2005) - Marvel tried its hand at horror with the “Man-Thing,” loosely based on Stan Lee's swamp monster comic from '71. It features a swamp-monster whose touch burns people who feel fear.
Lions Gate/Artisan Entertainment
"Ghost Rider" (2007) - Nicolas Cage and Eva Mendes starred in the story of a motorcycle daredevil (Cage) who sold his soul to the devil.
"Iron Man" (2008) - The movie that launched the MCU into the stratosphere starred Robert Downey Jr. as billionaire Tony Stark, a weapons manufacturerer who decides to defend the innocent who are caught in the path of the very weapons he once designed
"The Incredible Hulk" (2008) - Edward Norton took over the role of Dr. Bruce Banner in the setup to the eventual "Avengers" crossover
"Captain America" (2011) - Chris Evans took up the red, white, and blue shield of the First Avenger as he fought against Hydra head Red Skull (Hugo Weaving)
"Thor" (2011) - Chris Hemsworth played the hammer-wielding god of thunder as he battles his brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), for control of the mythical realm of Asgard
"The Avengers" (2012) - The superhero team assembled for this blockbuster as they fought to prevent an alien invasion of Earth. Mark Ruffalo took over the role of Bruce Banner from Edward Norton
"Guardians of the Galaxy" (2014) - Chris Pratt proved himself to be an action superstar as Peter "Star-Lord" Quill in this intergalactic sensation that grossed almost $775 million
"Avengers: Age of Ultron" (2015) - The Avengers assemble once again as they try to stop Ultron, an A.I. built by Tony Stark that wants to destroy humanity
"Ant-Man" (2015) Paul Rudd plays a thief just out of prison who stumbles on a suit that shrinks him to microscopic size -- all the better to prevent Corey Stoll's evil executive from using the same technology for warfare.
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