Warning: This post contains SPOILERS for Captain America: Civil War. If you have not seen the film, go see it before reading the following post.
In the build up to Captain America: Civil War, there was plenty to be excited about. Both Black Panther and Spider-Man were making their debuts, reviews were extremely positive, and there was plenty of talk about the airport fight. It was described as a splash page by many of those involved in the film, and even though TV spots and trailers showed glimpses of the fight, there was a good amount that was left out.
Right before that terrific scene starts, Paul Rudd makes his return as Ant-Man, but when the fight is nearing the conclusion, he breaks out a new and surprising power. This is the birth of Giant-Man! You would have thought that Marvel and director Peyton Reed would want this transformation to happen for the first time in Ant-Man and the Wasp, but in an interview with io9, the team involved talked about bringing Giant-Man to life. Based on what Kevin Feige tells them, if we did not see it now, we may have had to wait past Ant-Man’s sequel to see it happen.
Feige: 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 2, none of which are contingent upon revealing Giant-Man, so we thought this would be the fun, unbelievable unexpected way to do that.
Not everyone was on board for this inclusion, however. The overall tone of Civil War is more mature than other Marvel films, but still holds the fun moments that are familiar to fans. Even with the fun nature of these films, Marvel was still weary to put this in because of just how strange it is. Screenwriters Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus say it is all thanks to the Russos for making it happen.
McFeely: The brothers [directors Joe and Anthony Russo] had to fight for it. They had to go to the studio and say, ‘No it’s not silly, it’s cool.’
Markus: Some people are like ‘What does Ant-Man do in a big fight? Well, he can become the most powerful thing. It will be awesome and it is a literal escalation of the fight.
McFeely: It’s a comic book movie! In the grounded Winter Soldier, it’s Three Days of the Condor except in the middle there’s a talking robot that tells you HYDRA has been there the whole time. And a lot of people went, ‘That’s a little much.’ No, it’s a comic book movie! That’s okay. Same thing here, except it’s Giant-Man.
Giant-Man’s inclusion in the fight is fantastic thanks to how they use his size and powers to keep Team Iron Man busy. Even though no one on that team has any secret or shocking powers like Tony hopes for, it’s his newest recruit that comes up with a solution to taking Lang down. The youngest Spider-Man yet takes a page from “that old movie” Empire Strikes Back and follows Luke’s strategy to taking down AT-ATs. Feige knew this would happen if the Sony deal went through, but the direct reference was something the Russos made sure was included.
Feige: We knew if we got Spidey we could have him do the AT-AT thing.
McFeely: The brothers really wanted to put it in there. We get a little queasy about referencing other movies. They don’t, and they were right.
This moment is certainly one that will go down as one of the most iconic and memorable scenes in MCU history, thanks to it’s sheer length, the first appearance of Spider-Man, and Giant-Man’s transformation. Let us know what you thought about the scene and Giant-Man in the comments below!
Captain America: Civil War is currently out in theaters.