Scott Lang (Marvel Cinematic Universe)

fictional character from the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Encyclopedia from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Scott Lang
Marvel Cinematic Universe character
Paul Rudd as Ant-Man.jpg
Paul Rudd as Scott Lang in Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
First appearanceAnt-Man (2015)
Based on
Adapted by
Portrayed by
  • Paul Rudd
  • Jackson Dunn (young)
  • Lee Moore (old)
  • Bazlo LeClair (baby)
  • Loen LeClair (baby)
In-universe information
Full nameScott Lang
AliasAnt-Man
Occupation
Affiliation
SpouseMaggie Lang (ex-wife)
Significant otherHope van Dyne
ChildrenCassie Lang (daughter)
OriginSan Francisco, California, United States
NationalityAmerican

Scott Lang is a fictional character portrayed by Paul Rudd in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film franchise, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name and known commonly by his alias, Ant-Man. In the franchise, he is a thief-turned-superhero under Hank Pym and Hope van Dyne / Wasp, fighting crime as Ant-Man.

As of 2021, the character is a prominent figure of the MCU, having appeared in four films: Ant-Man (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019), as well as in the Disney+ animated series What If...? as an alternate version.[1] Lang witll return in the upcoming film Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023).

Concept, creation and casting

The character of Ant-Man was originally created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby, first appearing in Tales to Astonish #35 (September 1962). The persona was originally the brilliant scientist Hank Pym's superhero alias after inventing a substance that can change size. Pym decided to become a superhero after his first wife was killed by corrupt secret police agents during the Cold War. Hank discovered a chemical substance, which he called Pym Particles, that would allow the user to alter his size. He armed himself with a helmet that could control ants and would shrink down to the size of an insect to become the mystery-solving Ant-Man, solving crimes and stopping criminals.[2] Pym shared his discovery with his new girlfriend Janet van Dyne, who became his crime-fighting partner The Wasp.[3] The duo would become founding members of the Avengers, fighting recurring enemies including Pym's own robotic creation Ultron.[4] Scott Lang was a thief who became Ant-Man after stealing the Ant-Man suit to save his daughter Cassandra "Cassie" Lang from a heart condition.[5] Reforming from his life of crime, Lang soon took on a full-time career as Ant-Man with the encouragement of Hank Pym.[6] He became an affiliate of the Fantastic Four,[7] and later became a full-time member of the Avengers.

In the mid-2000s, Kevin Feige realized that Marvel still owned the rights to the core members of the Avengers, which included Ant-Man. Feige, a self-professed "fanboy", envisioned creating a shared universe just as creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby had done with their comic books in the early 1960s.[8] In 2005, Marvel received a $525 million investment from Merrill Lynch, allowing them to independently produce ten films, including Ant-Man. Edgar Wright had begun developing a live-action film based on the Marvel Comics superhero Ant-Man with Joe Cornish in 2006.[9] However, in May 2014, Wright and Marvel Studios issued a joint statement announcing that Wright had exited the movie due to creative differences.[10] According to Wright, he had been hired as writer-director but became unhappy when Marvel wanted to write a new script. In 2017, he said: "The most diplomatic answer is I wanted to make a Marvel movie but I don't think they really wanted to make an Edgar Wright movie ... having written all my other movies, that's a tough thing to move forward. Suddenly becoming a director for hire on it, you're sort of less emotionally invested and you start to wonder why you're there, really."[11]

Paul Rudd at 2014 ComicCon, for Ant-Man.

Wright was replaced by Peyton Reed as director, with Adam McKay and star Paul Rudd rewriting the screenplay. Wright and Cornish received both screenplay and story credits, with Wright also credited as executive producer.[12] Regarding Rudd's casting, producer Kevin Feige said, "Look at that origin of the petty crook who comes into contact with a suit and does his best to make good, and then look at someone like Paul Rudd, who can do slightly unsavory things like break into people's houses and still be charming and who you root for and whose redemption you will find satisfaction in".[13] Director Peyton Reed compared Lang to George Clooney's character Danny Ocean from Ocean's Eleven, saying, "He's a guy trying to create a new life for himself and find redemption". Rudd signed a multi-film contract with Marvel, with Feige saying it was "three [films]-plus-plus to appear in other things".[14]

Characterization

The character's first onscreen appearance finally came in 2015, with the release of Ant-Man.[15] The film depicts Lang as a former systems engineer at VistaCorp and petty criminal who becomes the successor to Hank Pym as Ant-Man, when Pym allows him to acquire a suit that allows him to shrink in size but increase in strength.[16][13][17][18][19] Lang then undertakes the journey of a petty criminal becoming a hero by fighting Darren Cross / Yellowjacket.

In Captain America: Civil War,[20] Lang is recruited to fight alongside Captain America's team of the Avengers, against Iron Man's faction of the Avengers and the Sokovia Accords. During the ensuing battle, he reveals that not only can he shrink using the Pym Particles, but he can also grow to giant-sized proportions, although doing so puts great stress on his body. Ant-Man director Peyton Reed had discussed the character and the way that the Ant-Man production had shot certain sequences with the Russo brothers, saying, "As we were doing [Ant-Man] and we were in post and they were getting ready to head out to Atlanta to do Civil War, we had a lot of conversations ... It's important because there's this continuity that has to happen in this universe".[21] On the decision to have Lang grow in size to become Giant-Man in the airport battle, Feige said, "It was just a great idea to turn the tide of the battle in a huge, shocking, unexpected way. We have a lot of ideas for [Ant-Man and the Wasp], none of which are contingent upon revealing Giant-Man, so we thought this would be the fun, unbelievable unexpected way to do that".[22] Anthony Russo added that the transformation was the continuation of Lang's character arc from Ant-Man, saying "He's just really impressed with Captain America, he just wants to deliver and he figures out a way to deliver where he might actually tear himself in half but he's willing to do it and it works".[23] At the beginning of Spider-Man: Homecoming, it is shown that Peter Parker shot video of the Berlin Airport fight, including a glimpse of Ant-Man in his giant form from a different angle.[24]

Rudd next reprised his role as Ant-Man in Ant-Man and the Wasp.[25] In April 2017, director Peyton Reed stated that Scott Lang / Ant-Man also features his other moniker of Giant-Man, first introduced in Captain America: Civil War, with a new tech-suit.[26] Following the events at the end of Captain America: Civil War, in which Lang escapes from the Raft prison, director Peyton Reed said that "he's a fugitive in most of the first Ant-Man movie. He's just a bigger fugitive now".[27] In the film, Lang is under house arrest for the surveillance of agent Jimmy Woo after the events of Captain America: Civil War. He is released at the hands of Hope van Dyne / Wasp, who has a relationship with him, to help Dr. Pym in creating a bridge to the quantum realm to find Janet van Dyne, and faces the criminal Sonny Burch and the villain Ghost at the hands of Bill Foster. Rudd was interested in Lang being a regular person rather than "innately heroic or super", driven by his desire to be a responsible parent.[28] In the post-credits scene, while trying to collect quantum particles from the quantum realm, he is trapped there after Janet, Hank and Hope disappear because of Thanos' actions in Avengers: Infinity War.

Rudd reprised his role in Avengers: Endgame.[29] In a key scene in the film, in which attempts to send Lang through time instead drastically change his age, Lang is portrayed by twins Bazlo and Loen LeClair as a baby, by Jackson A. Dunn at age 12, and by Lee Moore at age 93.[30] This was Moore's final film before his death in August 2018.[31] Markus McFeely explained that adding Lang helped with implementing time travel into the film, saying, "we had access to him in the second movie, and the fact that he was bringing a whole subset of technology that did have something to do with a different concept of time was like a birthday present".[32]

In November 2019, it was reported Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is to be helmed again by Peyton Reed with Paul Rudd expected to return as Ant-Man/Scott Lang.[33]

In the comics, Hank Pym's Ant-Man is a founding member of the Avengers, whereas in the MCU, Pym is initially distrustful of the Avengers, Stark in particular. No iteration of Ant-Man becomes involved with the Avengers in any capacity until Lang teams up with Steve Rogers during the events of Captain America: Civil War, and Lang does not become an official Avenger until the events of Avengers: Endgame. Furthermore, in MCU continuity, Stark and Bruce Banner, rather than Pym, create Ultron.

To get in shape for the role, Rudd worked with trainers and cut alcohol, fried foods, and carbohydrates out of his diet.[34] Rudd stated that in preparation for his role, he "basically didn't eat anything for about a year ... I took the Chris Pratt approach to training for an action movie. Eliminate anything fun for a year and then you can play a hero".[35]

In Captain America: Civil War, Rudd's suit "is streamlined and more high-tech" than the one seen in Ant-Man.[36]

Fictional character biography

Early life

Scott Lang graduated from MIT with a degree in engineering, but turned to a life of crime to punish a corporation that had swindled its customers. While in prison, his wife Maggie leaves him with their daughter, Cassie.[a]

Becoming Ant-Man

In 2015, upon his release from prison, Lang moves in with his old cellmate and best friend, Luis. He visits Cassie unannounced, and is chastised by Maggie and her police-detective fiancé, Paxton, for not providing child support. Unable to hold down a job because of his criminal record, Lang agrees to join Luis and his crew, committing a burglary. Following a tip, Lang breaks into a house and cracks its safe, but only finds an old motorcycle suit, which he later tries on, accidentally shrinking to the size of an insect. Terrified, he returns the suit to the house, but is arrested, and then broken out of jail by the homeowner, Hank Pym. Hank reveals that he had previously operated as the superhero Ant-Man and had manipulated Lang through an unknowing Luis into stealing the suit as a test. Hank wants Lang to become the new Ant-Man to steal the Yellowjacket suit from his former protégé, Darren Cross, who has reverse-engineered Hank's Pym Particles technology. Hank and his daughter Hope van Dyne train Lang to fight and to control ants. Hank reveals that Hope's mother, Janet, disappeared into a subatomic Quantum Realm while disabling a Soviet nuclear missile. Hank warns Lang that he could suffer a similar fate if he overrides his suit's regulator.

Sent to steal a device from the Avengers Compound, Lang briefly fights Sam Wilson, who believes he is an intruder. Lang, along with his crew and a swarm of flying ants, infiltrates Pym Technologies' headquarters as Cross hosts a ceremony at the building to unveil his perfected Yellowjacket suit. Lang and Hope dispatch Hydra agents at the event and detonate explosives, imploding the building. Cross dons the Yellowjacket and takes Cassie hostage to lure Lang into a fight. Lang overrides the regulator and shrinks to subatomic size to penetrate Cross' suit and sabotage it to shrink uncontrollably, killing Cross. Lang disappears into the Quantum Realm, but manages to reverse the effects and returns to the macroscopic world. Out of gratitude for Lang's heroism, Paxton covers for Lang to keep him out of prison. Seeing that Lang survived and returned from the quantum realm, Hank wonders if Janet is alive. Later, Lang meets up with Luis, who tells him that Wilson is looking for him.

Assisting Steve Rogers

In 2016, Lang is recruited by Wilson to help Steve Rogers, who has gone rogue in the wake of the implementation of the Sokovia Accords. Clint Barton and Wanda Maximoff pick Lang up and take him to join the rest of Rogers' team at Leipzig/Halle Airport in Germany, where they are found by Tony Stark, Natasha Romanoff, James Rhodes, T'Challa, Peter Parker, and the Vision. During the fight, Lang becomes Giant-Man, using his suit to grow to enormous size, allowing Rogers and Bucky Barnes to escape, though he is eventually defeated by Parker, and he, Wilson, Barton, and Maximoff are captured and sent to the Raft floating prison, until they are broken out by Rogers. He and Barton negotiate deals with the U.S. government to turn themselves in, receiving a term of house arrest in exchange.

Working with the Wasp

In 2018, while Lang is on house arrest, having unknowingly become quantumly entangled with Janet van Dyne, receives an apparent message from her. With only days left of house arrest, Lang contacts Hank about Janet despite their strained relationship due to his actions in 2016. Hope and Hank kidnap Lang, leaving a decoy so as not to arouse suspicion from FBI agent Jimmy Woo. They work to build a stable quantum tunnel so they can take a vehicle to the quantum realm and retrieve her and arrange to buy a part needed for the tunnel from black market dealer Sonny Burch, who realized the potential profit that can be earned from Hank's research and double-crosses them. Wasp fights off Burch and his men until she is attacked by a quantumly unstable masked woman. Lang tries to help fight off the woman, but she escapes with Hank's lab, which has been shrunk to the size of a suitcase. Hank's estranged former partner Bill Foster helps them locate the lab, where the "Ghost" captures the trio and reveals herself to be Ava Starr. Her father Elihas, another of Hank's former partners, died along with his wife during a quantum experiment that caused Starr's unstable state.

Foster reveals that Starr is dying and in constant pain as a result of her condition, and they plan to cure her using Janet's quantum energy. Believing that this will kill Janet, Hank refuses to help them and escapes with Hope, Lang, and the lab. Opening a stable version of the tunnel, Hank, Hope, and Lang are able to contact Janet, who gives them a precise location to find her but warns that they only have two hours before the unstable nature of the realm separates them. Lang returns home before Woo gets there, while Hank and Hope are arrested by the FBI, allowing Ava to take the lab. At home, Cassie tells Lang she wants to be a superhero too, but Lang tells her he would not do that to her. He breaks Hank and Hope out of custody and they recover the lab with Luis arriving in helping Lang and Hope transport the lab, however, a fight with both Starr and Burch and his men breaks out. Hank and Janet return safely from the quantum realm, and Janet voluntarily gifts some of her energy to Ava to temporarily stabilize her. Lang returns home once again, in time for a now suspicious Woo to release him at the end of his house arrest. Later, using a smaller quantum tunnel in Luis's van, Hank, Janet, Hope, and Lang plan to harvest quantum energy to help Ava remain stable. However, while Lang is in the quantum realm, Hank, Janet, and Hope disintegrate due to the Blip, leaving Lang trapped.

Assisting the Avengers and the Time Heist

In 2023, Lang is released from the quantum realm after a rat activates the quantum tunnel and finds himself in a storage warehouse. After leaving, he is confused upon seeing a post-apocalyptic San Francisco and rushes to Cassie’s house. He finds Cassie alive, except only five years older than the last time he'd seen her. After learning what happened, he drives Luis's van to the Avengers Compound and explains to Rogers and Romanoff that he experienced only five hours gone. Theorizing the quantum realm's nature of existing outside reality could allow it to serve as a means of time travel, the three go see Stark at his house asking for his help in a plan to steal the Infinity Stones from the past and use them to undo the Blip, but he refuses. The three then meet Bruce Banner at a diner and he agrees to help, however, they are unsuccessful in trying to time travel, with Lang being sent through different time periods of his life.

However, Stark later relents and arrives to work with Banner to build a quantum time machine. Once Thor, Rocket Raccoon, Nebula, Rhodes, and Barton return to the Avengers Compound, they formulate a plan. Banner, Rogers, Stark, and Lang travel via quantum realm to New York City in an alternate 2012, but while Rogers and Banner retrieve the Mind and Time Stones respectively, Stark and Lang's attempt to steal the Space Stone goes awry. Lang returns to the present with Banner, while Stark and Rogers go back to the 1970s and retrieve both the Space Stone and additional Pym Particles. Reuniting in the present, Stark, Banner, and Rocket fit the Stones into the Stark Gauntlet, which Banner uses to reverse the Blip. An alternate Thanos and his warship then arrive and attack the Compound. Lang, having shrunk to save himself after the bombing, becomes Giant-Man to save Rocket, Banner, and Rhodes. He then participates in the final battle against Thanos and his army, while reuniting with a restored Hope on the battlefield. Afterwards, Lang along with a restored Hank, a restored Janet, and Hope attend Stark's funeral. He then returns home and spends time with Cassie and Hope outside Cassie's house.

Alternate versions

An alternate version of Scott Lang appears in the animated series, What If...?, with Rudd reprising his role.

Zombie outbreak

In an alternate 2018, following Janet van Dyne and Hank Pym's return from the Quantum Realm, Lang is attacked by the pair, who have been infected with a zombie virus. Later, Vision finds the zombified Lang and takes him to Camp Lehigh, New Jersey, where he experiments on him with the Mind Stone and cures him; however, Vision was only able to preserve Lang's head in a jar. When a group of survivors arrive at the camp, Lang is aided by the Cloak of Levitation and escapes with Peter Parker and T'Challa to Wakanda.

Reception

A display of a model of the Ant-Man suit at a McDonald's store

The consensus of review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reads, "Led by a charming performance from Paul Rudd, Ant-Man offers Marvel thrills on an appropriately smaller scale – albeit not as smoothly as its most successful predecessors."[37] Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter remarked, "Although the story dynamics are fundamentally silly and the family stuff, with its parallel father-daughter melodrama, is elemental button-pushing, a good cast led by a winning Paul Rudd puts the nonsense over in reasonably disarming fashion."[38]

For Ant-Man and the Wasp, the critical consensus on Rotten Tomatoes reads, "A lighter, brighter superhero movie powered by the effortless charisma of Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly, Ant-Man and The Wasp offers a much-needed MCU palate cleanser."[39] Simon Abrams of RogerEbert.com felt that the film managed to juggle its many subplots while giving Rudd's Lang some decent character development.[40] Peter Travers, writing for Rolling Stone, gave the film 3 out of 4 stars and praised Rudd and Lilly,[41] as did Manohla Dargis at The New York Times, who praised Rudd, and felt Lilly found "her groove" in the film,[42] while Stephanie Zachareck, writing for Time, thought the film had reasonably fun action and stand-out moments between Rudd and Abby Ryder Fortson as daughter Cassie, but felt the focus on Lilly as a better hero than Rudd was "just checking off boxes in the name of gender equality."[43]

Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times also praised the cast, especially Rudd and Fortson,[44] while Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post called the film "instantly forgettable" and criticized its plot, but still found the film enjoyable, particularly praising Rudd along with the action and effects.[45]

Accolades

Year Film Award Category Result Ref.
2015 Ant-Man Teen Choice Awards Choice Summer Movie Star: Male Nominated [46]
2016 Critics' Choice Awards Best Actor in an Action Movie Nominated [47]
Saturn Awards Best Actor Nominated [48]
MTV Movie Awards Best Hero Nominated [49]
2019 Ant-Man and the Wasp Teen Choice Awards Choice Action Movie Actor Nominated [50]
Avengers: Endgame

See also

Notes

  1. ^ As depicted in Ant-Man (2015).

References

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External links

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