It's always a good time and a fine line when you get to interview a director right after the screening of a new film. When we interviewed Director Peyton Reed after we screened Ant-Man and the Wasp, we were only the second group of people who had screened the movie.
SPOILER ALERT: This interview contains spoilers for Ant-Man and the Wasp. If you haven't seen the movie yet, grab a ticket and come back in a few days or you'll be sorely disappointed.
The movie's now been out for a few days, so we all know there are some epic moments in it, especially that mid-credit scene. Dammmn.
Peyton walked in our room, and boy, did we have questions. No holding back, we asked about *that* mid-credit scene right out of the gate.
“Separate them in your mind,” Reed told us. “It was not completely planned in the beginning. We knew we were gonna have to deal with that thing at some point, in some way. Actually, we weren't sure at the beginning. We knew that our movie was gonna take place, it sort of not only a sequel to Ant-Man but also to Civil War because we couldn't ignore what Scott Lang did in that movie. But we weren't always sure how we were gonna fit into the larger timeline with regards to Infinity War. Somewhere during the process, this idea occurred to us of like, ‘Oh, well we could do something like that.' And it seemed to work for us tonally, and sort of allows us to do our very stand-alone movie but then have it fit into the larger Marvel happenings.”
On the look of the Quantum Realm
Peyton Reed talked about the fact that there was a concerted effort in the first Ant-Man and in Dr. Strange to start embracing that psychedelic aspect of the Marvel Comics, which has always part of the Marvel Comics since the '60s but had not really been explored in the MCU. Reed said it was fun to design the look and feel for Ant-Man and the Wasp, while still tying them to other films in the MCU.
“There are different dimensions, and hopefully, they're all gonna sort of serve different purposes in the future,” Reed said. “With regards to our movie, it was something where we were trying to figure out what we were gonna show, and how we were gonna deal with the plots around it. We had to key off what we saw in the first movie, but we wanted to show the audience a little more.”
“It takes place in our world, not in Outer Space or Asgard or something like that. It had to sort of have a reality to it, too, so it was a huge challenge to sort of start to visualize the concept around it but really, really fun.”
On Morrissey's Music
Did you know Peyton Reed played drums in a Morrissey/Smiths cover band? It was called “Louder Than Bombs” and the played in Los Angeles just for fun. They quickly learned there was another similar cover band, as people came to see the show and would say things like, “Wow, you're kind of like the other Smiths cover band, ‘Sweet and Tender Hooligans'.” They went and saw that cover band, and thought they were way better than theirs.
“And they were all Latino kids and that I sort of learned that Morrissey, who's from Manchester had a huge following in Los Angeles. And because of his particular singing style, but also because now, I started to write and embrace LA Culture, and it really occurred to us as something that Luis would know about and be into, and particularly the idea that his Grandma, she only plays Morrissey. It just seemed like one of the kinds of crazy things that Luis would mention in the course of his conversation,” Reed explained in almost a Luis-style of storytelling. “And that as one of the things we were talking about, how we were gonna do it in this movie. How are we gonna do a version of what we did with Luis in the first movie that doesn't repeat it? And so when the writers came up with the idea of the truth serum thing? Yeah, and that was really fun.”
On Cassie and the Young Avengers
Peyton Reed said that he knows everybody is aware from the first Ant-Man and now in the Antman and The Wasp, who Cassie Lang is in the comics, and that she does become a hero.
“I think we wanted to definitely start laying some groundwork for that possibility. I don't know what specific plans are but I really liked the idea. It's fun to work with Abby 3 years later now. And I always love in movies when you see particularly a little kid and you see it there…see how she has sort of grown. And I like the idea that you have these glimpses where she goes toe-to-toe with Agent Woo.”
“And then she covers for her Dad and she's got that side of Scott, that's a little mischievous and everything, but she's a tough kid. And I really love the idea of doing that intimate scene where she's talking about maybe he needs a partner, and in her mind, it's her, and him having to say that you know, of course, you could do it, but I'd be a terrible father if I allowed you to do it. I think that's one of the things that I liked the most in the movie is that Scott, the evolution of the Scott/Cassie relationship. It helps that Abby is so good. She's such a really focused young Actor, you know, and it's sort of rare.”
“And she has great—Paul is a huge part of it—they just have a really nice chemistry together, and he's able to relax her; it's a nice dynamic, but because really, Fathers and Daughters is a real thematic, it certainly was in the first one and we wanted to progress that in this movie, whether it's literal Fathers and Daughters, like Hank and Hope and Scott and Cassie or more figurative like Bill Foster and Ava. I like the idea of furthering that theme.”
Ant-Man and the Wasp is in theatres now.
Thanks to Walt Disney Studios for bringing me to Los Angeles on an all-expense paid trip. As always, all opinions are my own.