When Marvel’s Iron Man was first released in 2008, one of the things that made the film so enjoyable was how unfettered it was by the trappings of world-building. Set more or less in the real world, it had one job to do: tell the story of Tony Stark, and his evolution from rich genius jerk to rich genius jerk who could be heroic when he felt like it. Then, however, came the idea of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in which “Phases” of interconnected superhero films would be released, with each phase culminating with the release of an Avengers film. A neat idea, though it positively crippled Iron Man 2 with the weight of setting up all of the other sub-Avengers films.
That said, Edgar Wright fans, you may breathe a sigh of relief—just as the first films of Phase One (Iron Man) and Phase Two (Iron Man 3) were more or less “standalone” films with very, very few connections to the outside Marvel universe, so too will the first film of Phase Three (Wright’s Ant-Man) be “pretty standalone.”
In a recent interview doing press for The Word’s End (read our review here), Wright noted how Ant-Man began as a project before all of the interlinking MCU films took hold, and the screenplay more or less reflects that:
I think it’s just doing its own thing in the accepted history but it’s still part of the other movies and always was. In the time I’ve been working on it other things have happened in the other movies that could be affected in this. It is pretty standalone in the way we’re linking it to the others. I like to make it standalone because I think the premise of it needs time. I want to put the crazy premise of it into a real world, which is why I think “Iron Man” really works because it’s a relatively simple universe; it’s relatable. I definitely want to go into finding a streamlined format where you use the origin format to introduce the main character and further adventures can bring other people into it. I’m a big believer in keeping it relatively simple and Marvel agrees on that front.
So, relieved, Wright fans?