To this Marvel fan, ANT-MAN in a nod of reference to the appearance of that famous blue train in the film, is simply the little film that could! Predictions were hesitant for box office success of an obscure superhero, but after seeing the ANT-MAN premiere, I had little doubt that a new generation of ant-riffic fans would soon be filling theaters and applauding this marvelous movie with a whole lot of heart.
Side note: If you haven’t seen the film yet, go now. Don’t hesitate, grab your gear and head straight to the theater as the action in this film deserves a big screen experience and you owe it to yourself to indulge in and enjoy the full impact of cinematic genius ANT-MAN offers!
ANT-MAN Director Peyton Reed said that he wanted the film to be “the definitive shrinking movie for 2015” and it certainly hit the mark! Fans will be “wowed” by the action and tiny landscapes as well as the overall believability factor. I left the theater with that coveted warm-fuzzy feeling that anything was possible and shrinking technology could, indeed, create a superhero capable of saving the world.
Who knew ANT-MAN could be so darn cool?
Director Peyton Reed and MARVEL Studios head Kevin Feige certainly had an inkling that the movie would make cinematic superhero history and their gamble paid off with exceptional box office numbers.
I had the chance to participate in a group interview with these two movie-making legends and am happy to share some of the highlights with you below. Please note there are some SPOILERS, so it you haven’t seen the film yet, you might want to bookmark this page to return later!
What was that like to film a Marvel superhero that was humorous?
PEYTON REED: I think that was one of the things that appealed to me about it in the first place was that, you know, particularly in the context of Marvel movies it was sort of a smaller, more intimate Marvel movie and it did kind of revolve around family. Scott Lang, his one goal in the movie is to when he gets out of prison is 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. You know, of course he has to go on a crazy journey and achieve a lot of crazy things to become a part of her life.
In terms of the comedy, you know, I love the idea that it can have big stakes and have heart. I like the idea, I wanted to make it sort of a tight, fun movie that hopefully is a repeat movie-going experience that makes you feel good and it’s fun. In particular when you have Paul Rudd at the center of it, you know it’s gonna be funny!
KEVIN FEIGE: Peyton showed me something after he got the job; it was a drawing that he had done in high school for a punk bandthat he was in, and it was a pencil-drawn re-creation of ‘The Avengers #1,’ where each of the band members was a different Avenger. Sure enough, Peyton had drawn himself as Ant-Man when he was in high school, so that connection to it was very cool.
Being a heist movie, what did you use for inspiration in directing it?
PEYTON REED: I actually did go back and look at a bunch of heist movies- “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, but 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.
The heist movie idea was a fun structure to work in. Also something that came about was in all the heist movies, you know, they’ve got the plan in place but, “Oh no, there’s just one element that we still have to get.” I think it was Adam McKay who came in and said, “What if that required Ant Man who’s not quite prepared to go in and maybe face this other Marvel character?” I loved that idea immediately and thought that was fantastic. As a kid Marvel characters meet each other and how does this power stack up with this one? And so that was something that was incredibly fun to shoot in the movie and really sort of served the purpose in the plot of he’s thrown into this way before he’s ready to come up against the guy like the guy he comes up against.
I love 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, like, clearly 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. He doesn’t want her to meet a fate that his wife might have met in the movie. So he’s being a little overprotective. And throughout the course of the movie, 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.
What would you say has been possibly the most challenging scene to shoot?
PEYTON REED: Paul Rudd’s shirtless scene was very challenging. [LAUGHTER] 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…no but probably the most challenging thing was 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 wise about 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?”
I loved that we were able to tell the story of these distinct types of ants and specific skill sets. 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 and how do these fire ants 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.
Specifically with the character of Antony we talked a lot about like “Can we create a Lone Ranger/Silver dynamic?” In the comics that’s one of the big iconic images: Ant Man on the wings of a carpenter ant. We wanted to make it real and like really cool and maybe go further and what if they had this kind of nice relationship and then what if something happened to poor Ant-Man. It really appealed to us to create a real sort of relationship between these two and I loved that we were able to do that.
Do you now have a favorite type of ant?
PEYTON REED: I’m a big Bullet Ant fan.
KEVIN FEIGE: Pheidole Megacephala Ant. They look amazing and there’s something prehistoric looking about them.
Disclosure: I received an exclusive trip courtesy of Disney to attend various events including interview sessions.. I’m under no obligation to report anything other than my personal experience, thoughts and opinions.