Cannavale Discusses Going Off Script. Fans love comic-books for their colourful characters, deep mythologies and genre defying story telling. Hollywood loves comic-books because their film adaptations translate to billions of dollars in revenue at the box office. In a span of 15-years Hollywood has went from treating comic-book movies as an experiment to making them the economic foundation of their business models. Once a movie studio establishes a successful cash cow, they milk it to death, before leaving its cold withered husk out to rot. While it initially appears that more and more comic-book movies is a victory for comic-book fans, in actuality, the trend is a sign of Hollywood’s risk aversion and the industries inability to stray from what they deem to be a winning formula.
Marvel’s announcement that Edgar Wright would be directing their Ant-Man film offered comic-book fans a sign of hope that they would be getting a big budget superhero movie that would be breaking the genre’s increasingly rigid mould. Even though he was a member of the original incarnation of The Avengers, Ant-Man is “C” level character with a silly set of powers that many felt would not translate to the current Marvel cinematic universe. By attaching Edgar Wright and his unique comedic voice to such an out of place character, the film suddenly made a lot more sense. Fans became giddy thinking about all the possibilities for Wright’s fresh take on the superhero genre. When Marvel announced that Wright would no longer direct the film, many fans saw the move as a sign that Ant-Man would be heading back into familiar superhero origin story territory. Fortunately, a recent interview with one of the film’s actors Bobby Cannavale, may offer fan’s some hope that Ant-Man still contains the spirit of Wright’s artistic vision.
Cannavale on the film’s unique comedic elements,
The actual work, the scenes with me and Paul Rudd, and Judy Greer and Michael Pena, felt like an indie film. It felt like fun. Peyton Reed [and the studio], they weren’t mercurial about the script. They weren’t mercurial about the humor, at all. They let us be in charge of that. We improvised a lot. Judy Greer’s very funny. Paul’s very funny, he’s a great improviser.
The rewrite of the script that Paul did with McKay, and I’ve worked with McKay before, lent itself to that. You could see that there’s a funny scene and we could actually riff off of that, and that felt impressive to me in this big huge blockbuster film. It made me feel kind of good, that it felt like Marvel was going for something different. It didn’t feel like Thor. It felt more like Guardians of the Galaxy, which I really enjoyed and I thought brought a certain levity to a superhero movie that I had never seen before.
No one can question the comedic chops of the film’s director Peyton Reed (Bring It On, The Break Up), screen-writer Adam McKay (SNL, Anchorman) and star Paul Rudd (This Is 40). It’s reassuring to hear that the taskmasters at Marvel were comfortable letting the cast deviate from the script in order to play off of their natural comedic instincts. The comic-book movie genre is sorely lacking in diversity. Should this movie turn a huge profit, we may see a wider range of superheros in our summer blockbusters. Here’s to hoping that Ant-Man succeeds where The Green Hornet and My Super Ex-Girlfriend failed.
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Source: Comic Book Resources