Ever since it was announced that the first Pinewood Atlanta Studios production would be a "mega-blockbuster," as said by developer Jim Pace, its been wondered what that first project will be. While people in the know locally and across the pond at Pinewood's home base have been tight lipped, it looks like the first project may be Ant-Man, based on perhaps one of the lesser known Marvel comic book heroes.
The news was actually first reported in the Latino Review, a publication that takes a latino perspective on movies and pop culture, by Kellvin Chavez back in November. Chavez said that a source at Marvel confirmed that, due to a lack of space at Pinewood's UK Studios, the production would be moved to the new studios in Fayetteville. The report form Chavez aligns with some local rumors also pointing to Ant-Man as the secret identity of Pinewood's first ever production.
Unless you really know your comic book canon, you may be wondering who Ant-Man is. The brilliant scientist character first appeared in a comic in 1962, and later would appear as his super hero alter ego Ant-Man, who uses a special suit to shrink down as small as an ant and can also talk to insects. The character, though lesser known, is beloved by many Marvel fans. He's also a useful choice because his characters fits into the world of The Avengers, which has become an incredibly successful franchise for Marvel Studios (the first film has grossed $1.51 billion world wide) that brings together characters from other major Marvel film franchises such as Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, and Captain America.
Ant-Man will be directed by Edgar Wright, best known for his work directing and collaborating with Simon Pegg on comedies including Shuan of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World's End.
Comedic actor Paul Rudd has been rumored to be playing the lead role. Rudd is known for his roles in the Anchorman films, Role Models, and The-40-Year-Old-Virgin among others.
Ant-Man was originally slated to film at Pinewood Shepperton near London, but an attempted expansion of those studios has been blocked by the district council of South Bucks, where the studios are located, due to concerns about developing on lands reserved for farmland or forest. Apparently Pinewood ownership will continue to push for that expansion, but in the meantime Ant-Man had to be taken off the shooting schedule as projects like the new James Bond film and Star Wars: Episode VII took priority.
Ant-Man is slated for a July 2015 release.
Andrew Smith, Director of Strategy and Communications for Pinewood, said "as a matter of policy, we do not comment on what is being filmed at any of our studios."