Ant-Man and Avengers: Age of Ultron Trailers – What’s the Future of the MCU?

Marvel has given us several trailers this week, including the teaser for Ant-Man, a film that had been stuck in development hell for nearly a decade. And while fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe were excited enough to see that, Marvel then dropped a new trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron. Considering that these are the next two MCU films to come out, together the trailers leave a lot of questions about the direction that the cinematic universe is headed. Unfortunately, the trailers don’t leave equally lasting impressions.

First, let’s take a look at the trailer for Ant-Man. The trailer gives us a brief overview of the characters, including the first footage we’ve seen of Paul Rudd as Scott Lang, the titular Ant-Man. Evangeline Lilly makes brief appearances as Hope Van Dyne, the daughter of Janet Van Dyne and Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man who’s being played my Michael Douglas. The trailer doesn’t really reveal much beyond what we already knew – Scott is given a chance to change his criminal ways and become a man who really deserves his daughter by donning the mantel of Ant-Man. And while I will admit that I’ve never been an Ant-Man fan, what the teaser trailer has given us so far is alarmingly boring. A man who has made mistakes is offered a second chance by a vaguely paternal mentor figure who uses the protagonist’s emotional connection to his family to call him to heroism. This basic plot summary could describe Ant-Man, the recent Star Trek franchise, the Zorro films, and countless other action films; it seems like dangerously familiar ground.

Ant-Man Trailer

That’s not to say that there aren’t things about the trailer that have definitely got promise. The best thing about Ant-Man so far seems to be Paul Rudd, who is able to give the trailer a few funny moments. If Ant-Man gives Rudd the chance to really utilize his comedic chops, then it could really stick out as unique in the MCU. This is also the first time Marvel has shown audiences any shrinking sequences, and luckily the brief glimpse we’ve seen doesn’t look ridiculous. The fact that Scott has already been shown riding a flying ant in the trailer gives me another reason to hope that this movie might be as weird as it can be. After all, Ant-Man is one of the stranger heroes that Marvel has attempted to put on the big screen so far. His powers aren’t as instantly iconic or fantasy-worthy as Iron Man’s, Captain America’s, or Thor’s. Scott Lang is a regular guy who can shrink to the size of an ant – not what your average five year old would pick as his favorite super power. However, if Marvel embraces the weirdness, Ant-Man could possibly show us something new – which is what I hope given that the rest of the plot in the trailer looks rather generic.

The trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron however offers a sharp contrast to the overall bland Ant-Man teaser. Continuing the momentum from The Winter Solider, Age of Ultron is decidedly dark. Ultron, Tony and Bruce’s (accidental?) creation is wreaking havoc, and the Avengers don’t seem to be able to stop him. To make matters worse, hero is fighting against hero, the Hulk seems to be on the loose, and the pair of super-powered Maximoff twins are teamed up with the bad guy. For the first time, we seem to have a problem that the heroes can’t even solve together.

Avengers: Age of Ultron Trailer

Even though the Avengers franchise is the biggest tentpole of the MCU, Age of Ultron already promises to be a bit strange. The new trailer offers glimpses of a strangely dressed woman standing in a cave and Andy Serkis looking suspiciously like Ulysses Klaw – possible hints of Black Panther and the nation of Wakanda? It also shows us several moments that look like they take place in temples, possibly hinting at the introduction of magic and spirituality that films like Doctor Strange will soon be brining to the MCU. And perhaps most intriguingly, Age of Ultron seems to finally be providing some backstory for Natasha Romanoff, who can be seen being forced onto a gurney. This second outing for the Avengers seems to be doing everything right in that it’s doing things that are very different. We’re really exploring characters who aren’t named Tony Stark and seeing intriguing indications of the weirder parts of the Marvel universe.

All in all though, it’s clear that Avenegers: Age of Ultron will be offering something new to the Marvel universe and shaking things up in a huge way. So it begs the question – how is Ant-Man going to fit into the MCU? Particularly when the so far it seems like that film would fit more neatly into Phase 1 than the upcoming Phase 3?? For now howevrer, the only thing that Marvel fans really know is that everything is about to change. Scott Lang could very well become part of the team that can protect the world from the threats currently overwhelming the Avengers, but he’ll have to prove himself to audiences first. And while it’s clear that Marvel has at least one solid movie coming out in 2015, I really hope that it ends up being two.

Caitlin Orr

Caitlin Orr

A southern native, I graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2013 with a bachelor's degree in Media Arts. Over the past several years I've had the opportunity to write and shoot a number of short films. My biggest passions are writing and talking about movies with anyone who will sit still long enough to listen - something my family and friends can attest to! Some of my favorite filmmakers include Christopher Nolan, Stanley Kubrick, and Wes Anderson. Now located in Nashville, you can usually find me in my off hours hiking, baking, or watching more movies.

You Might Also Like