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Tuesday November 13th 2018

Ant-Man | 2015

Ant-Man film location: Buena Vista Avenue, Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco
Ant-Man location: Dr Pym’s Victorian Gingerbread house: Buena Vista Avenue, Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco

It’s not as out-there as Deadpool but this addition to the Marvel universe is engagingly quirky and we can only dream what the long-gestating Edgar Wright version would have been like.

Gaining the astonishing ability to shrink to the size of the titular insect, and with the ability to control various species of ants, con-man Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) has to redeem himself by helping Dr Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), protect the secret behind his Ant-Man suit from the threat of Pym’s ambitious protégé Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), who’s bent on developing the technology for military purposes.

With ‘Pym Technologies’ being a high-tech company, San Francisco and the Silicon Valley area are a natural setting for the story.

But although there is some scene setting in San Francisco, the film was largely made in Atlanta, Georgia, where the production was the first production based at the new Pinewood Atlanta Studios, 461 Sandy Creek Road in Fayetteville.

After being released from ‘San Quentin’ prison, Scott Lang is driven back to San Francisco by chum Luis (Michael Pena) along the spectacular curves of Conzelman Road in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area just north of the famous bridge.

Ant-Man film location: Riviera Hotel, Jones Street, Tenderloin, San Francisco
Ant-Man location: Scott stays at the 'Milgrom Hotel': Riviera Hotel, Jones Street, Tenderloin, San Francisco

The fictitious ‘Milgrom Hotel’, where Scott stays with his friend Luis (a nod to Marvel artist Al Milgrom) is the Riviera Hotel, 420 Jones Street at Ellis Street in the down-at-heel Tenderloin District. Just across the road is the (real) Ellis Food Center grocery store, 398 Jones Street, outside which Scott sits in his van contemplating his dire finances after Luis tempts him with a lucrative heist.

Ant-Man film location: Jones Street, Tenderloin, San Francisco
Ant-Man location: Scott contemplates his future: Jones Street, Tenderloin, San Francisco

The robbery turns out to be of Dr Pym’s home and Scott finds himself in possession of the mysterious hi-tech suit. Pym’s quirky Victorian Gingerbread house is 601 Buena Vista Avenue West at Java Street, alongside Buena Vista Park near the famed Haight-Ashbury district. Like many of the film’s interiors, its rooms were recreated back at Pinewood Atlanta.

The huge, minimalist block of ‘Pym Technologies’ is the Old Georgia Archives Building, 330 Capitol Avenue SE Atlanta. Built in 1965, the 14-storey building is clad in marble and dubbed the ‘White Ice Cube’.

The archive was moved to a new building in 2003, and the old building has been empty since. It will have been familiar to Paul Rudd as it also stood in as the HQ of news company 'GNN' in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. Sadly, it’s due for demolition in 2016.