We all know that the juggernaut that is Marvel Studios is releasing an Ant-Man film. Who’s Ant-Man? Well…
Ant-Man is the name of several fictional characters appearing in books published by Marvel Comics. Ant-Man was originally the superhero persona of Henry Pym, a brilliant scientist who invented a substance that allowed him to change his size. Henry Pym was created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby and first appeared in Tales to Astonish #27 (Jan. 1962); his first appearance as Ant-Man was in Tales to Astonish #35 (Sept. 1962).
The film is slated to have Michael Douglas as Henry Pym with Paul Rudd playing the role of Scott Lang. Already even before it gets out the gate, Ant-Man has had some problems. Edgar Wright wrote the script along with Joe Cornish and was slated to direct but left in May of this year siting creative differences.
There was a way to save the film, though I don’t know if that could be done now. The first is merely with the title. Ant-Man is pretty meh. He’s a scientist who can shrink to the size of an ant.
Now, in the comics, Ant-Man, or Hank Pym, is married. He’s got a girlfriend. Janet Van Dyne. This can eliminate all of the romance aspects that Hollywood seems to like to inject into films. Hank and Janet are dating (or hell, even have them married). For those who don’t know, Janet Van Dyne is a superhero who is called the Wasp. Wasp is much more fierce sounding than “ant” (because, let’s face it, wasps are vindictive assholes). I know, in the comics Janet Van Dyne was killed (there was some comic where it showed a cannibalistic Blob eating her intestines, which was horrible and not really needed) but here’s where you can shelve all of that bullshit and set things right.
Call the movie Ant-Man & Wasp, because how many Marvel movies have a female character in the title? I’ll wait. You can list them off. And I’m talking the current Marvel franchise of movies. You can’t, can you. None. There is not one. And Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy don’t count.
Okay, so we’ve set up a duo instead of a singular individual (Iron Man, Captain America, Thor), and while the previous movies did have other heroes in the plot (War Machine, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Falcon) none of those characters shared title time with the main character (it was Captain America: Winter Soldier, not Captain America & Falcon: Winter Soldier, after all). This could be a small, positive change, and it would be a progressive step. Plus, married couple! That’s different thus far.
Oh, but there’s more differences!
Make them a black couple!
Comics continuity be damned! Nick Fury was made black, so why not make Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne black, too. And for the record, a black woman could totally have a Dutch last name. It’s called fucking marriage! Her parents could very well have been mixed. Or her grand parents. Use your fucking imagination! You could even take it a step further and have a Latina actress play the role. And even mention that she’s Latina! But don’t carry over the stereotypical baggage! A black, Latina-Dutch woman. It’s fucking possible!
“Oh, but there’s just not enough black actors to play the role.”
Shut up whiney fanboys. First, take a step into the 21st Century, you useless douchenozzles! There is literally over 1000 black actors in Hollywood. And thousands more world wide. And they are not all named Will Smith or Denzel Washington! We’ve had black actors portrayed thus far in the Marvel movie franchises, War Machine, Falcon, Nick Fury, but they’ve all been the secondary characters to the lives of the main character. And hold the phone! What’s this? Not a single female character has been portrayed as a woman of colour! And I’m not counting Zoe Saldana because she’s portrayed as a green skinned alien.
There has been a lot of kick ass female characters that have come up in the Marvel movie universe. Peggy Carter, Pepper Potts, Jane Foster, Black Widow, Maria Hill, Lady Siff, and a few others (that I can’t name at the moment). Add Janet Van Dyne to that list, and make her a woman of colour. We’re already looking at the next Avengers movie adding Scarlet Witch to the fold, so that’s another woman. And there’s two more dudes (well, okay one dude and a robot).
Why not take this step, Marvel? Why not do this? Be bold! Be different! Right now, you are at a place where you can do no wrong. Yeah, you had a throng of sniveling fanboys bitching about Idris Elba as Heimdahl, but you gave them the (figurative) middle finger and stayed the course. Do this with Ant-Man, and you could have something amazing, just by taking a big risk. A big risk in a positive direction.