Interview With Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania Director Peyton Reed
Director Peyton Reed said creating the Quantum Realm was one of the most exciting things to do while making the third Ant-Man movie.
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Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is out in Malaysian cinemas on 16 February 2023. In this third instalment, Scott Lang aka Ant-Man and his family get sucked into the Quantum Realm and goes head to head with the new Big Bad that’s scarier than Thanos.
READ MORE: Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania Kicks Off MCU Phase 5 By Facing Kang [Review]
TRP sat down with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania director Peyton Reed to talk a bit more in-depth about the film (the interview has been edited for length and clarity).
How different is Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania compared to the first two films?
Peyton Reed: In Quantumania, we wanted to mix it up and do something a little bit different. So we very quickly take our characters from the first two movies and yank them out of San Francisco and thrust them down into the Quantum Realm, and further down the Quantum Realm than we’ve ever been in any of these movies.
We really liked the idea of taking Ant-Man and the Wasp and putting them in the most dangerous situation they’ve ever been in, which is, they’re going to face off with Kang the Conqueror. Kang is one of the all-time great Marvel Comics villains who has not made his way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe until now.
For me, that’s a huge thrill and I think this immediately changes the dynamic of this Ant-Man movie where maybe the two most unlikely Avengers, Ant-Man and the Wasp, are going to be the first to encounter Kang and realize what a threat he is not only to Earth-616 but the entire multiverse.
What’s the core or element of the story that you wanted to bring out in this film?
I think one of the things in the third movie that I wanted to do was really answer some of the questions and the things that we had set up in the first two movies. And maybe the biggest one is what did Janet van Dyne do for 30 years in the Quantum Realm?
We come to find out she was doing a lot. She had a full life down there but she hasn’t really shared her life in the Quantum Realm with other members of her family.
We liked the idea that even as this movie, Quantumania, gets huge, we find ourselves wandering around this alien landscape.
We also wanted to keep it intimate and still have a movie that dealt with family dynamics and have them working out their family issues as they’re in the middle of this very intense war that’s going on in the Quantum Realm.
Was it difficult to visualise or create the Quantum Realm? What was the process like?
For me, the most exciting thing about doing Quantumania is that we get to create the Quantum Realm that the audience has not seen yet.
We dipped our toes into the Quantum Realm in the first and second movies just a little bit. In the last movie, when Hank Pym goes down and rescues Janet, that was really sort of the outskirts of the clouds.
We go past that in the movie and discover that there are worlds down there and ecosystems and creatures and beings. There are politics and oppression down there. And of course, as you see in the movie, you’ll find out there’s a very specific reason why Kang is in the Quantum Realm.
Michelle Pfeiffer’s character (Janet van Dyne) has not wanted to talk about her past down there but now since they’re thrust down there, she’s forced to confront her past and so does her entire family.
The team pored over references from electron microscope photography and even heavy metal magazines in the 70s and 80s, to create this very vivid world that is known as the Quantum Realm.
Is there a favourite film detail you included and hope the audience spots it?
I think when you see the movie, there’s an incredible amount of detail in the Quantum Realm and a lot of things that are going on for Marvel, Marvel Cinematic, and comic fans.
There are a lot of little details that you may not be able to catch all of them the first time around.
We introduced a lot of new characters in the Quantum Realm with some of them based on Marvel Comics such as the character Jentorra played by Katy O’Brian.
There’s another character named Veb who is just sort of this red, globby creature who takes a liking to Scott Lang and Cassie Lang.
They’re very strange characters that were really fun to visualise and create specifically for this movie.
Are Ant-Man and the Wasp officially part of the Avengers?
Absolutely. At the beginning of the movie, we see Scott Lang and he’s on a book tour. He has written a book called Look Out for the Little Guy. Basically, he was assigned by the other Avengers to be the one Avenger to write the official story of the Battle of Thanos and also to tell a story about becoming a hero.
I think both he and Hope are official members of the Avengers. The big question is what are the Avengers up to when there’s not really anything specific going on? Scott talks about this in his book tour that if you ever need him, he’s there. So they both consider themselves Avengers.
What can you tell us about MCU Phase 5?
I think one of the things I’m thrilled about is that Quantumania kicks off Phase Five of the MCU. What that means really is our heroes now come into contact with Kang the Conqueror, the biggest and baddest of all the Kangs. He’s the one that all the other Kang variants fear.
He’s not only battling against our heroes throughout Phase 5 but he also has to deal with his other gang of variants who each have different goals and motivations.
It’s almost like a multiversal turf war. At the same time, some of the characters in the past MCU films like Dr Strange and Spider-Man are becoming aware that the multiverse exists, and that might probably be a threat to the Kangs.
It’s thrilling to sort of start this new phase and in particular with Jonathan Majors playing Kang. Jonathan is just a fantastic actor.
We’ve seen him in Loki as He Who Remains but this Kang the Conqueror in Quantumania is an altogether different character.
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