**I received an all expense paid trip thanks to Disney and Marvel Studios. All my opinions are my own and not swayed by outside sources. Photo credit to Louise Bishop and Disney pictures.**
So I have to ask- How many of you saw Ant-Man in theaters this weekend! I hope all of you are saying YES because then you know how truly awesome Ant-Man is. Ant-Man opened #1 in the box office this weekend and I hope if you answered NO, you will run to your local theatre and see it. It opened to critically acclaimed reviews even from the biggest Marvel fans in the Marvel Universe. If you are not sure whether to see it, maybe I can convince you you will my Ant-Man review.
For any Marvel fan out there, you know that what makes these movies phenomenal is the director, in this case Peyton Reed, and of course the biggest name in the Marvel universe, the Marvel president, Kevin Feige. I had the absolute privilege of interviewing these two spectacular gentleman, and it was truly a dream that came true right before my very own eyes. Both of them were so endearing and we could tell from the small time we spent with them, that they live and breathe Marvel. Without either of them, the Marvel Universe would not be!
The first question we had for them was how this movie was different from the past movies they worked on, especially with the comedic elements?
” Scott Lang, his one goal in the movie is when he gets out of prison to “become a part of his daughter’s life.” That’s it, that’s all he wants. And it’s a really strong, relatable personal goal. Of course he has to go on a crazy journey and achieve a lot of crazy things to become a part of her life but that’s it.
Michael Douglas and Paul Rudd’s characters, they both have daughters and they both have kind of strange relationships. They want to be closer to their daughter. I like that’s sort of a bond that they have. They may not realize that that’s their bond at all, but it is. And with Hank Pym and Hope it’s crucial to the success of pulling off this heist that they have to repair that relationship. Because they’re never gonna to achieve that goal unless they find some peace with each other.”-Peyton Reed
He went on to tell us that he loved that idea and how it was a very strong relatable aspect of the movie. He wanted to make it a feel good, funny movie, with the hopes that people will see it over and over. He wanted to make it funny and he did just that. Ant-Man is hysterical in the best ways possible!
We then were curious how directing this movie was different from the other projects he has done, since it was a very vast departure from his usual roles?
Peyton Reed told us it was a movie he wanted to do for a really long time and it was definitely a big departure. In Ant-Man, there is close to 1600 visual effects which is a huge deal for a movie but it is what Marvel does the best!
“We have Jake Morrison who’s our Visual Effects Supervisor. I spent a lot of time with him and sort of talking about the look of the movie and the realism that we wanted. We were gonna be doing what’s hopefully the definitive “shrinking movie” for 2015. And we really wanted it to look as photorealistic as possible.
And we really had to put the viewer down in that environment. When he shrinks down we were gonna be shrinking the audience down with him. And what would that look like and feel and how are we gonna achieve that? If he was running across a table, I wanted to really feel like the texture of the table and all that. So Marvel just happens to employ the top people in Hollywood for doing that and it was a huge education for me in that regard. It was amazing and the stuff that they are able to pull off is, it’s kind of mind-boggling.”- Peyton Reed
We then all joked about seeing Hawkeye and Ant-Man join forces and Kevin Feige told us that he saw the image of that and loved it. He told us when he sees something he loves, it usually ends up in the movie. I hope that is true because that would be awesome!
Peyton Reed told us that as a comic book lover in his childhood, he loved to draw inspiration from what he saw and read in the books as a child. If he saw something neat he tried to make it work into the movie. Sometimes it did not, but he tried his best to make this movie as true and iconic to his visions.
“I actually did go back and look at a bunch of heist movies like Oceans Eleven and Thomas Crown Affair and things like that. But there’s a certain rhythm that these heist movies have and they’re sort of tropes that appear in these movies. I wanted to be really kinetic and have a lot of movement to it. I think there is a big correlation between how a comedy plays and how you shoot a comedy to how you build tension.It was something that was always there in the original scripts. Edgar and Joe wrote where it was a heist movie structure and there’s something really really fun about that.
When Adam McKay and Paul Rudd came on to write, I really wanted to sort of enhance that and we had a lot of fun with it. We knew there was gonna be a moment where Scott Lang was gonna be tempted to go back into a life of crime. And he had to know that the Tip was solid so he goes to Michael Peña he goes, “Tell me about that Tip.” Now, if you ask Louis about a Tip it might not be a straight answer. We loved the idea and we sort of added that in pre-production as we were writing. This is a fun element of a guy who sometimes goes off point as he tells these stories. And it also kinda helped build Michael Peña’s character as this guy who he has this unsuspected depth to him, he’s a connoisseur of wines and he’s into expressionist art, he cooks waffles for the guy.”-Peyton Reed
He told us that the heist scene was a fun structure to work in. Then the idea came to bring Ant-Man in and face the other Marvel characters, although Ant-Man does not have the experience of some of the others. Immediately this idea was loved by all. Introducing Ant-Man to the other Marvel characters was so fun to shoot in the movie and served the purpose in the plot.
Our next question for them was when creating these films, how do you try to incorporate things to get the women a little more involved and excited about the film as well?
Kevin Feige immediately said that he thinks all the movies have appeal to both women and men, which I happen to incredibly agree on. He told us that after the 12th movie, it should be no surprise that the movie appeals to both genders. He told us in test screenings, the movies are sometimes even rated higher by the women in the audience. Women do make up a huge portion of the fan base now. He mentioned that he does not make movies for either gender, just movies that everyone inclusive wants to see.
” But we do have powerful women in the films because we all have powerful women in our lives. That’s the way of the world. So when it comes to Hope it was a big part of the development of the development of the movie, in particular when Peyton came on board and when Evangeline was about to come on board. There was a lot of questions and the big question was, “Well, why isn’t she in the suit?” She could easily be in the suit. She is clearly in the movie and in the movie we’ve made her more capable than Scott Lang is to be in the suit.
It became the crux of her issues with her dad and her issues with the way of their relationships they had growing up. And that is why it becomes a big reveal in the movie. This is why I’m so adamant about it, leading up to the moment at the very end of the movie where he gets over those issues, and she says, “It’s about damn time.” That was one of my favorite lines in the movie.”- Kevin Feige
Peyton Reed then told us that he loved the idea that the key to Hank Pym’s problem about playing off this heist and solving it was right under his nose the whole time.
SPOILER ALERT!!! *When seeing Ant-Man, please stay through the mid and end credit as there are two credit scenes!*
“Hope is the more capable person at the beginning of the movie and Hank can’t see that yet. In his mind his motivation is he’s trying to protect his daughter and he doesn’t want her to meet a fate that his wife might’ve met in the movie. So he’s being a little overprotective. And throughout the course of the movie, as I said ,the heist is not gonna work unless these two find peace with each other and part of that finding peace is Hank starting to realize how capable she is.
And so by the time we get to the end of the movie there’s a sequence that occurs in the credits but both figuratively and literally , she’s finally allowed to spread her wings and it’s because her dad finally realizes that she has value and he’s sorta able to let go and and accept that she’s a powerful person. But there is a version where if Hank had been a little more enlightened in the first act it would’ve been a 10 or 15 minute movie where.”- Kevin Feige
We then asked why they wanted to do this movie and what made Peyton Reed direct this movie?
As Peyton Reed said earlier int he interview, he always wanted to do a Marvel movie since 2003, when he developed the Fantastic Four and met Kevin Feige for the first time. He pitched on Guardians of the Galaxy, so when Ant-Man came up, he jumped on this chance. He knew the characters from the comics and he was really excited to work with Paul Rudd. He told us he known Paul Rudd for a long time but never had the chance to work with him. When he met with Kevin Feige about this movie, they both were on the “like mind” to what Ant-Man could become.
We were then interested in knowing what the most challenging scenes of making Ant-Man were?
” Paul Rudd’s shirtless scene was very challenging. As strange as it was to watch him work out, to sit and have a really nice lunch and watch him eat one almond for lunch, it was probably the shrinking power by Ant-Man. Essentially Ant -Man has a couple of powers, shrinking, how are we gonna realize the shrinking and make it seem absolutely real? But the second power, he controls ants. I was intrigued by that story and how it’s so absurd as a power and I loved that the movie really answers the audience’s question about, “Well, how can that be cool?” or “How can that achieve anything?”
And I loved that we were able to tell the story of how there are these distinct types of ants and they have specific skill sets. And they’re all based in reality. I love that a kid can see the movie and he’s like, “Oh a carpenter ant, how could that happen?” They go on Wikipedia or they read a book about them and it’s all based in fact on how do these fire ants could make rope ladders and they can make bridges and they actually can. That would’ve appealed to me as a kid, but that was a big challenge is how we create these ants and make them seem like real ants, give them specific qualities and characters.”- Peyton Reed
Peyton Reed said one of the most iconic images in the comic books was Ant-Man on the wings of a carpenter ant and he really wanted it to come to life in the movie. He also wanted to make the relationship between Antony and Ant-Man real and true. I definitely think they did just that in Ant-Man! Both Peyton Reed and Kevin Feige each had their favorite ants too such as the bullet ant for Peyton Reed and Pheidole megacephala ant for Kevin Feige. Kevin Feige likes them because they look amazing and there’s something prehistoric looking about them. He told us that there’s real documentaries about ants. If you go on YouTube there’s an Australian guy who does these travel shows and actually puts his hands in with these ants to see if he will get bitten. When it goes wrong, it goes really wrong! However, this appealed to Kevin Feige and he was very interested in making a movie about ants.
It was great interviewing these two geniuses! If you want to see how they made Ant-Man come to life, be sure to check out Ant-Man in theaters right now! This is the summer blockbuster you do not want to miss!
Here are my other interviews if interested: