Ant-Man may be a member of the Avengers in the comics, but his big-screen debut seems to have more in common with his distant Marvel cousins—the oddball space heroes of Guardians of the Galaxy. Both Ant-Man and director James Gunn’s sci-fi comedy center on nontraditional heroes whose stories are told through quick, sharp wit that gives each a noticeably quirkier edge than some of their Marvel superhero counterparts (consider the more traditional Captain America series, for example).
At the Ant-Man premiere, which was held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Monday in advance of its July 17 release—and saw Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Judy Greer, and more in attendance—the filmmakers and its famous fans weighed in on the parallels between the two.
The film’s composer, Christophe Beck, said the respective settings of the films were very distinguishing. “I think the biggest difference in the way the movies feel is that the world Guardians lives in is wholly artificial,” Beck said. “It’s space, it’s other planets. Ant-Man lives in the real world in a real city in a time we’re all living in now. I think that really gives the stories a very different flavor.”
Peyton Reed, who directed Ant-Man, acknowledged differences between the films, but said the connection is undeniable. “They’re comedies that have different tones, but what [Ant-Man] shares with Guardians is that it’s a deeply weird movie in the best possible way,” said Reed, who noted that each Marvel film has a different vibe.
“Ant-Man sort of allowed us in these action sequences to put them in weird places,” Reed continued. “There’s a scene that takes place in a bathtub, and there’s a fight that takes place in someone’s briefcase. What other movie would you be able to do that in?”
Talking Dead host and Nerdist founder Chris Hardwick echoed Reed’s sentiments, and even likened both films to a certain big-screen treatment of NYC’s famous web slinger, circa early 2000s. “It’s [like what director Sam Raimi] did with Spider-Man,” Hardwick said. “Sam just has that level of humor that permeates everything. It adds a nice dimension to a movie that really could just be like ‘Bam, bam, bam! Action, action! Bad guys get beat up!’ It adds a nice layer to the film that is really engaging and important and fun. The concept of Ant-Man, it’s obvious that they’re having fun with it.”