"Ant-Man" must be the ultimate underdog movie, because it has had an uphill battle from the beginning. Those struggles don't even consider that while other Marvel heroes shoot arrows and use lightning, actor Paul Rudd's main powers include controlling ants and shrinking so small that Thomas the Tank Engine toys look intimidating. (But if Hydra is hosting a picnic anytime soon, they're going to be in trouble.) Beyond that, original director Edgar Wright left the project, the script has gone through numerous rewrites and Rudd's son even told him, "I can't wait to see how stupid that'll be."
The journey of one "Ant-Man" theory has been equally inspirational. It showed up on Reddit under "ShittyFanTheories," but, unlike most of the terrible ideas there, this one actually makes sense. Everyone seems excited about it. Commentors called it "amazing," and "Ant-Man" director Peyton Reed even told The Huffington Post he "loved" it too.
The theory: Ant-Man has actually been in all Marvel movies, but he's so small that no one noticed.
The theory comes from Redditor The_Last_Castoff. He explains:
Ant-Man has been running around trying to help in every Marvel movie, but he is stuck in Ant mode so no one can see him.
In the Marvel comics, Ant-Man is actually a founding member of the Avengers, so it would make perfect sense for him to have been involved in -- or at least observing -- the action in some way. He doesn't even have to be "stuck in Ant mode" for this to work. He just wouldn't reveal himself.
This could mean Ant-Man helped the Avengers stop Loki in New York, he could've had a hand in defeating Malekith in "Thor: The Dark World" and he might've even helped Captain America take down Hydra in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." Also, given his aforementioned ant powers, this would explain to Hydra why all their company picnics have been so terrible.
Is this really possible though?
HuffPost asked "Ant-Man" director Peyton Reed, who replaced Wright last year, for his thoughts on the idea, and he was as excited as anyone. "I love that theory," laughed Reed. "I think it’s a funny theory. I’m not quite sure that the timeline works out, but I like the idea of it."
If the theory is true, Reed wasn't giving anything away. The director's enthusiasm was encouraging, but his thoughts about timing are a legit concern.
In the movie, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) is the inventor of the Ant-Man technology and takes Scott Lang (Rudd) under his wing to be the new Ant-Man. Given that scenario, it's unlikely that Rudd would have been involved with any avenging, since "Ant-Man" is said to take place after the events of "Avengers: Age of Ultron." Still, that doesn't mean Douglas' character couldn't have been involved.
There's even possible evidence of this in the first trailer. Douglas tells Rudd, "I've been watching you for a while," and he appears to have some sort of tricked-out observation station. (Like, seriously, has West Coast Customs been pimping that out or something?)
With all that technology, are we really supposed to believe the original Ant-Man has not been observing the Avengers as well? Or even possibly doing some of the avenging himself? Adding some support, Lego reportedly has toys featuring both Lang and Pym in the Ant-Man costume, so it does seem like we'll see Douglas suit up as Ant-Man at some point.
Nothing is certain yet, but if you rewatch the other Marvel movies and start noticing that a bunch of Thomas the Tank Engines keep getting knocked over, all bets are off.
"Ant-Man" hits theaters July 17.