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.
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
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.