The choice of Paul Rudd (This Is 40) to play the hero in Ant-Man brings with it the actor’s particular brand of comedy, poking fun at the overlooked hero as well as bringing to life Ant-Man’s unique powers. To top that there’s Evangeline Lilly (TV’s Lost) playing Hope Van Dyne, the daughter of the feisty female superhero Wasp, who gives Scott Lang (Ant-Man’s alter ego) a solid punch in the face. Diverging away from the typical helpless damsel being saved by a heroes in a cape, Hope van Dyne is a breath of fresh air as she is the one training Scott Lang.
Then of course there is the villain, Darren Cross – also known as Yellowjacket – played by Corey Stoll (Netflix’s House of Cards). Cross seems to be your run-of-the-mill bad guy set on creating a new “secret weapon.” This seems reminiscent of Iron Man 2’s Justin Hammer trying to create the super-soldier, though by the end of the trailer Cross makes it more of a personal vendetta, while also being a part of the jokes, so he may break away from the traditional bad guy mold. Marvel fans will have to decide for themselves what place Yellowjacket holds amongst the Marvel supervillains.
Ant-Man has always been one of the lesser-known heroes, so it will largely be up to Rudd’s performance to bring him into the mainstream. Marvel’s done it before with Guardians of the Galaxy and Star-Lord; we’ll have to see what happens for Ant-Man July 17th.