Recently I got to visit the Pinewood Studios set of Ant-Man and the Wasp and see a scene filmed with Director Peyton Reed. It was a fun day to see what happens on the set of a movie, but we also then had the opportunity to interview Peyton Reed, who's so excited to be back on the sequel to Ant-Man. Read on to see what we learned during our Peyton Reed Interview.
On the family theme of Ant-Man and the Wasp
Peyton Reed talked to us about his admiration for Scott Lang as a character. The family theme threaded throughout both Ant-Man and Ant-Man and the Wasp is one of the strengths of the films within the MCU.
“Scott Lang is just a normal guy who's made bad decisions in his life, and he keeps trying to make the right decision. And he keeps having these setbacks.”
Scott doesn't have superpowers naturally; Ant-Man is all about the suit. At the end of Ant-Man, we see the Wasp suit. We get to finally see Wasp in action, and see them as a partnership. Unlike the first movie that takes place mainly in Hank Pym's house and Pym Tech, this movie takes place mainly in San Francisco.
Ant-Man and the Wasp are the protectors of Hank's Pym Technology, so Hank is a little cranky that Scott has gone off and used that tech in Captain America: Civil War and drawn attention to that tech. It's exposed it to Tony Stark, which is basically Hank's works nightmare.
“I liked the idea that that could give us a really clear jumping off point in terms of what that did to Scott and Hank's relationship, and also Scott and Hope's relationship. ‘Cause the movie's absolutely about Hope and Scott attacking… being heroes in very different ways,” Reed said.
“And then also the notion of will they or won't they be successful as a duo. Which is a kind of different thing in the MCU. I guess you have Captain America and Falcon as a partnership, but this is a very different partnership. We decided to call the movie Ant-Man and the Wasp because it's very much about both of them. And it's very important to represent both of their points of views equally in this movie. And that was really, really fun, because it's part search and rescue movie. It's part, you know. There are elements of a romantic comedy in it. And it's sort of a family movie because it is still all about parents and their children. And without giving too much away that thematic even informs our villain and our antagonist in the movie.”
On Cassie Lang and the Young Avengers
In the comics, Cassie is a Young Avenger. Reed shared with us about a scene in the movie where Scott and Cassie have a real heart-to-heart discussion about what's going on in their lives and about his struggle. He wants to do the heist so he can be a part of his daughter's life, but many of the superheroes are full-time heroes. They don't hold down 9-5 jobs with families.
But then what happens in Civil War puts him back in a tough position. Scott's big dilemma is wanting to be there as a dad. Cassie has a slightly different point of view on things, once she kind of starts to become aware of what's going on with her dad.
The addition of the villain Ghost
Reed shared with us a little bit about the new villain in Ant-Man and the Wasp, Ghost, who is based on a Marvel comic villain. In the comics, Ghost, played by Hannah John-Kamen, started out as an Iron Man villain and was a man. Reed wanted a female antagonist in this movie. Reed said he stops shy of calling her a villain and she's really more of an antagonist, though she's the perceived villain of the movie.
Reed said Ghost is “An antagonist who you really see the root of what happened to this woman, which was a girl, and how it's informed the rest of her life, and her own dilemma…she has a very strong point of view. And I think the audience is really gonna relate to her as well. It's a very complicated set of dynamics that I'm not at liberty to discuss in detail. But it was important to do something that wasn't just a sort of arch villain, someone who's tied into the history of the VanDyne dynamic.”
On building practical sets
So many movies now are created in all-digital environments. They do it extremely well. The majority of Marvel movies include. Reed really wanted Ant-Man and the Wasp to be more tactile because he believes that you get more in terms of the actors reacting to something real. “And you build it, obviously, to shoot it. But you still have physical limitations that the camera has to move around. The actors have to navigate around.
He said this was maybe the biggest set that's ever been built for a Marvel movie. Possibly The Sanctum Sanctorum from Dr. Strange could have been larger. But this was a complicated set and there were issues. Relative to budget, it cost a lot but he said he was glad he fought for it. And who doesn't love the real-life Easter Eggs rather than digital add-ins?
“It was amazing to have…There's all these scale cues that are built in that. If you're trying to imagine them, and it's just a sea of green; it's harder. I can certainly direct them to do that. But it's so much easier for them if they can physically see these things, and react to this space. I like the idea of these types of hero movies. My personal aesthetic is, I like that they take place in a version of the real world and that the heroes and the powers are the bizarre things. There's a lot of whimsy in the design of that lab, because you walk around, and there are, Wonderbread clips to hold cables, or there's a giant clothespin. He's taking these found objects like LEGOs and Erector set pieces.”
We talked about the Hotwheel, which is Hyundai's newly redesigned Veloster with a fab paint job and a few Pym Tech additions that is featured in the movie. Reed really wanted the car done to scale and said if he's done his job right, everyone is going to want one. Watch for my write up about the Veloster in this movie coming soon on AGirlsGuidetoCars.com.
Thanks to Walt Disney Studios for bringing me to Atlanta on an all-expense paid trip. As always, all opinions are my own.
Ant-Man and the Wasp flies into theatres July 6, 2018.