‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ Director Peyton Reed: The Future Of The MCU

If you’ve not yet seen Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp, there are some spoilers ahead!

Ant-Man and the Wasp director Peyton Reed created a film that is making audiences laugh, cry, then gasp in repetitive waves. After seeing the film – even after having seen it twice before its opening weekend – I felt much like I did after Avengers: Infinity War.

I’m coping.

I thanked him for the film, as anyone might have, but then I had to ask… What the hell?

Interview with 'Ant-Man and the Wasp' director, Peyton Reed

Peyton Reed’s Plans For That Mid-Credit Scene

A few might have expected the ending, but no one was truly prepared for it. More specifically, the mid-credit scene that has shocked anyone who’s seen the film so far.

It was not completely planned in the beginning,” Reed said about Marvel’s 20th film and his second go at the Ant-Man film franchise.

We knew we were gonna have to deal with that thing at some point, in some way.” he said, referring to the way in which he tied together Ant-Man and the Wasp and the events of Infinity War.

'Ant-Man and the Wasp' director Peyton Reed talks about the mid credit scene that shocked everyone

Actually,” he admitted, “we weren’t sure at the beginning. We knew that our movie was gonna take place – it’s sort of not only a sequel to Ant Man, but also to Civil War because we couldn’t ignore what Scott Lange did in that movie.

If you’ll recall in Captain America: Civil War, Scott Lang as Ant-Man assisted Captain America when the Avengers separated into two separate factions as a result of the Sokovia Accords. This meant that their side – the side against the Accords – was operating outside of the law. As such, Lang was arrested following after being freed from the Raft by Captain America and was placed under house arrest.

We weren’t always sure how [Ant-Man] was gonna fit into the larger timeline with regards to Infinity War. Somewhere during the process, this idea occurred to us of like, ‘We could do something like that.’

Last year, when I visited the set of Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp, the biggest secret we had to keep was the fact that we got to tour Hank Pym’s lab. Now, after seeing the film weeks before anyone else, that seemed like a much easier secret to keep compared to the ending.

Visiting the set of Ant-Man and the Wasp the day it wrapped filming

It seemed to work for us tonally,” Reed said, “and sort of allows us to do our very stand alone movie but then, you know, have it fit into the larger Marvel happenings.

Into The Quantum Realm With Peyton Reed

There was a concerted effort in the first Ant-Man, and in Doctor Strange, to kind of start embracing that psychedelic aspect of the Marvel Comics,” Reed said, “which was always part of the Marvel Comics since the ’60s, but had not really been explored in the MCU.

Reed said that in the Marvel Comics, there are different dimensions and hopefully, they’re all gonna sort of serve different purposes in future MCU films.

With regards to our movie,” Reed explained, “it was something where, in trying to figure out what we were gonna show and how we were gonna deal with the Quantum Realm, we had to key off what we saw in the first movie, but we wanted to show the audience a little more.

“It was really fun to sort of design what that could look like dramatically; how it would work, but then it also had to fit into the rest of our movie which is, compared to some of the other Marvel movies, a little more grounded.”

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It takes place in our world not in outer space or on Asgard or something like that. So it had to sort of have a reality to it, too, so it was a huge challenge to sort of start to visualize the Quantum Realm, but really, really fun.

Peyton Reed Has Heard Of Morrissey

When you watch Ant-Man and the Wasp, especially more than once, you’re gonna notice some Morrissey references.

They’re the only songs on the juke box during Luis’ amazing story, there’s one or two songs that play during the film, and Scott Lang’s ringtone is even a Morrissey song.

So, how that came about was, for a very brief time, years ago,” admitted Reed, “I played Drums in a Morrissey/Smiths cover band called ‘Louder Than Bombs.’ We played a few shows here in Los Angeles just for fun.”

Marvel Studios Ant-Man and the Wasp | Luis (Michael Peña) | Photo: Ben Rothstein, ©Marvel Studios 2018

Reed said that as people came to see the show, they were often being compared to another Smiths cover band, ‘Sweet and Tender Hooligan’.

I was like wait another cover band?” Reed recalls, laughing. “And we went and saw that cover band, who were way better than our cover band.

Reed said that made him realize that in LA, and among the Latino population, Morrissey had a large following, mostly because of his singing style, but also because his writing is now, more than ever, starting to embrace the LA culture.

It really occurred to us as something that Luis would know about and be into and particularly the idea that his Grandma only plays Morrissey. It just seemed like one of the kind of crazy things that Luis would mention in the course of his conversation.

Did Peyton Reed Help Bring Awareness To Stature?

I think that everybody is aware, like from the first Ant-Man and now in the Ant-Man and The Wasp, of who Cassie Lang is in the comics and that she does become a hero,” Reed said.

I think we wanted to definitely start laying some groundwork for that possibility,” he confirmed. “I don’t know what specific plans there are, but I really liked the idea.

Ant-Man and the Wasp director talks about Cassie Lang becoming Stature in the MCU

I think Abby [Ryder Fortson, who plays Cassie], is fun to work with three years later now,” Reed said. “And I always love in movies when you see, particularly a little kid and you see it there, what was she 6 in the first movie and 9 now or 10, and 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 Wu.”

Ant-Man and the Wasp actress Abby Ryder-Fortson at the Ant-Man premiere

And then she covers for her Dad and she’s got that side of Scott, you know, that’s a little mischievous and everything, but she’s a tough kid,” said Reed. “And I really love the idea of doing that intimate scene where she’s talking about maybe need a partner and in her mind, it’s her. And [Scott] 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… the evolution of the Scott/Cassie relationship.

Reed told us that Paul Rudd and Abby Ryder Fortson have amazing chemistry, both on- and off-screen. That Rudd is able to relax her, creating a “nice dynamic” between the two of them. 

We wanted to progress that in this movie,” Reed said, “whether it’s literal fathers and daughters – like Hank and Hope and Scott and Cassie – or more figurative like Bill Foster and Ava, as Ghost. I like the idea of furthering that theme.

The Ramifications Of Ant-Man and the Wasp in The MCU

Oh, I have to be so careful,” Reed said, thinking about what to say when we asked him about the future of the MCU. “It’s so rare now to see a movie that you know nothing about. It’s kind of a lost art.

As far as what happens next in the MCU, Reed said there are things that are predetermined that many of the directors have talked about. Then, there’s a list of things that have been discussed that fall under the ‘Possibilities’ category – the “wouldn’t it be cool if…” realm of MCU possibilities. 

I think one of the fun things about the Marvel Universe is, I think, Kevin [Feige] has a larger plan, but that plan is extremely fluid,” Reed said. “People always ask ‘What did you have to do in this move to play off the other thing?’ and his general philosophy, at least with the Ant-Man movies, has been, make them as stand alone as possible and anything you guys decide to do, whoever the Directors are in the next movie, they’re gonna have to deal with the ramifications, which is kind of nice.”

'Ant-Man and the Wasp' director Peyton Reed tells us what's next for the MCU

But there’s a fluidity,” Reed added, “and I think it’s the idea of like whatever makes for the best character arcs and the most interesting and maybe surprising thing, wins.

“I know things that I want to do with those characters and stories that I want to tell… I mean obviously, in this movie, it excited me as we talked about putting Wasp at center stage and really telling that story. Does she need him as a partner? Are they gonna be able to work as a partnership? I feel like this movie really answers that question. But then it’s like well what next? And the possibilities are really endless.”

Ant-Man and the Wasp is in theaters now!

*Photos: MomStart.com

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