Published On: Mon, Jun 18th, 2018

Director Peyton Reed on the ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ ‘ticking clock,’ setting the film in San Francisco

From Slash Film comes a set visit interview with Ant-Man director/creator Peyton Reed, speaking on the new film, Ant-Man and the Wasp, opening in a couple of weeks.

Among the questions in the interview, Reed talks about the overall theme and driver: “Can you talk about the ticking clock element of the story?”

“Well, in terms of when we first started talking about what Ant-Man and the Wasp would look and feel like and the kind of movie we wanted to make, I definitely started talking about things like After Hours and Midnight Run and these things where there’s a lot of forward momentum and there’s almost a road movie quality to the movie in that way. The first movie, because it was an origin story, a lot of it took place in Hank Pym’s house, and I just wanted to open the movie up and get out and take advantage of San Francisco because that felt like a different texture for the MCU, that Ant-Man sort of occupies this corner of the universe. And we wanted to really get outside and explore those elements and the urgency was really about trying to graft this idea of sort of a search and rescue movie onto that where there was this ticking clock, and for whatever scientific reasons, if they were going to go, perhaps, look for Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), how do you go about doing that?

“And it’s an impossible thing, scientifically, but also, if there’s urgency and there’s maybe a window of time they have to do it, it’s about collecting the people, the things, everything they need to do that. We also liked the idea of having – the first movie really, the template was more of a like a heist movie, and this we wanted to be a little more of an Elmore Leonard vibe where we have villains, but we also have antagonists and we have these roadblocks to our heroes getting to where they need to be and getting what they need for this mission. So a little more chaotic comedy and action in the movie felt like a good next step for Ant-Man and the Wasp. I like when you’re doing a sequel or a next movie, I always like the ones where the starting off point, the jumping off point for the characters, is different than when you left them. And again, I know that everyone who’s ever made a second installment of something refers to The Empire Strikes Back as the gold standard. But as a kid, I was sixteen when that movie came out and I loved that they really leapt ahead. The heroes are somewhere else now and the audience has to kind of catch up to what’s going on and what happened and they’re forwarded in terms of their character, but also in terms of their circumstances and that felt like something we really wanted to do. It also felt like because of what happened with Scott Lang, in the brief time he’s in Civil War, we couldn’t ignore those circumstances.

“And for our jumping-off point, my first questions were, ‘What did Hank (Michael Douglas) and Hope (Evangeline Lilly) know about Scott (Paul Rudd) going off and dealing with that situation with The Avengers? Did they know about it? How did they feel about it?’ And surely, this would have caused some kind of tension at [best] and rift at [worst]  between the characters because Hank Pym’s very clear in the first movie about how he feels about Stark and how he feels about The Avengers and being very protective of this technology that he has. So that seemed like a really ripe sort of place to start in terms of the character development.”

Check out the full Slash Film interview HERE

The film’s villain has been cast, Hannah John-Kamen, who was recently seen in Ready Player One, a gender-swap casting for Ghost. Also joining the film is Laurence Fishburne as Dr. Bill Foster. In the comic books,

Fishburne’s Foster acquires the ability to grow into a giant-sized baddie named Goliath. Now the new footage links Foster to Hank Pym, but there’s more there to unravel.

Walton Goggins (Tomb Raider reboot, Justified) plays a weapons dealer/manufacturer named Sonny Burch. Burch is the new head of Cross Industries and like Yellowjacket before him, definitely appears as if he has his sights set on Hank Pym’s technology.

Now the action of the new film actually takes place BEFORE Infinity War, but audiences should expect a tie-in, particularly to that dramatic ending. There was one quick line about Scott Lang’s “house arrest” after Civil War to excuse away his absence.

The new film was written by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, Rudd, Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari and also stars Michael Peña, Bobby Cannavale,  Judy Greer, Tip “T.I.” Harris, David Dastmalchian, Abby Ryder-Fortson, and Randall Park.

Ant-Man and the Wasp opens in theaters on July 6th.

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