Behind the Scenes with ANT-MAN Director Peyton Reed & Producer and President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige
Disclosure: This event and trip to LA was an all expense paid journey sponsored by Disney. All thoughts, experiences, opinions and character crushes are 100% my own!
ANT-MAN is in Theaters NOW!
I took my family to see ANT-MAN opening night, I need them to see it asap so that I had more people in my circle to share my excitement about this film with. They LOVED it. I knew that they would. My son said that it was now tied with GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY for his favorite film, and I personally liked it better. My daughter agreed with me, it is now her favorite MARVEL film to date.
After I screened the move in LA last month, I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with ANT-MAN Director Peyton Reed & Producer and President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige. What an awesome opportunity this was, and getting their thoughts and insights into this film was over the top cool.
One thing that I that EVERYONE is saying about this film is that it has a very strong “family” angle and it goes into depth with some child/parent relationships more than any MARVEL film has, and I enjoyed getting their perspective on that. According to Peyton Reed, that was what first appealed to him about this film:
One of the things that appealed to me about it in the first place was that, particularly in the context of MARVEL movies, was that 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, 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 but that’s it.
In terms of the comedy, I love the idea that this movie can have big stakes and have heart but it’s funny. ~Payton Reed
I also liked that it was always a part of the movie that 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.
With Hank Pym and Hope, it’s crucial to the success of pulling off this heist they have to repair that relationship because they’re never going to achieve that goal unless they find some peace with each other. I loved that. I thought that was just a really strong relatable aspect about the movie.
In terms of the comedy, I love the idea that this movie can have big stakes and have heart but it’s funny. I wanted to make it a sort of a tight, fun movie that hopefully is a repeat movie going experience that makes you feel good. In particular, when you have Paul Rudd at the center of it, you KNOW it’s going to be funny.
Another aspect that really stood out with this film, for me and many others, was the strong roll that Hope Van Dyne’s character brings (played by Evangeline Lilly) to the story line. When asked about his thoughts on where women fit into the target audience, this was Kevin Feige’s response:
I think that our movies have appeal to both sexes. And I think people still feel, this is our 12th movie so I’m not sure why it still seems surprising, but in test screenings oftentimes, the movies are rated higher by the the women in the audience than by the men. So when people go, “Oh, you know, these, women don’t usually like these kind of movies,” I go, “Well, that’s not true.” Women really are a huge huge portion of the fan base now.
We all want to see the powerful women in film 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 movie, in particular when Peyton came on board and when Evangeline was about to come on board. The big question was, “Well, why isn’t she in the suit?” She could easily be in the suit. Clearly in the movie we’ve made her more capable than Scott Lang is to be in the suit.
*SPOILER ALERT* I can’t stand spoilers, however this conversation with Kevin Feige is so fantastic that I am going to leave it in here… and if you haven’t yet seen this movie, feel free to skip over this paragraph. *even if you do read the paragraph, you won’t much know what it means, it’s not going to kill the film for you, BUT if you have seen the film, isn’t this so true?? What he says about what happens here? I think I love this line too … it totally brings the entire film together.
So it became the crux of her issues with her dad and her issues with the relationship they had growing up. And why it becomes a big reveal in the movie. This is why I’m so adamant about things leading up to the moment at the very end of the movie where he gets over those issues and she says, which I think is one of my favorite quotes of any of our films, “It’s about damn time.”
We all want to see the powerful women in film because we all have powerful women in our lives. That’s the way of the world. ~Kevin Feige
Peyton Reed added:
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 that he’s trying to protect his daughter, so he doesn’t want her to meet a fate that his wife might’ve met. So he’s being a little overprotective. And throughout the course of the movie, as I said, you know, that 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.
By the time we get to the end of the movie there is 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 is sort of able to let go and accept that she’s a powerful person. So 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.
*my best gift to you it to tell you STAY PAST BOTH THE FIRST AND SECOND CREDITS and tell others around you to do the same, they will thank you, I promise!
Of course, every movie has it’s challenges, and when asked about those, Peyton Reed comically explained:
Paul Rudd’s shirtless scene was very challenging. To sit and have a really nice lunch and watch him eat one almond for lunch, was challenging.
I think I can speak for us all when I say that we are all so grateful that Peyton and the rest of the production team suffered through watching Paul starve himself for the shirtless scenes in the film because they are definitely memorable. We all got a nice laugh about that and then he continued on more seriously:
No, probably the most challenging thing was essentially Ant Man has a couple of powers like shrinking. How were we going to realize the shrinking and make it seem absolutely real? But the second power, he controls ants. I was intrigued by that story wise. 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 about these distinct types of ants and they have specific skill sets. And they’re all based on 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 on facts. That would have appealed to me as a kid, but it was a big challenge about how we create these ants and make them seem like real ants, and give them specific qualities and characteristics.
I loved that we were able to tell the story about these distinct types of ants and they have specific skill sets. And they’re all based on reality. ~ Peyton Reed
I think specifically with the character of Antony we talked a lot about “Can we create a Lone Ranger/Silver dynamic?” Because in the comics that’s one of the big iconic images is Ant Man on the wings of a carpenter ant and it’s potentially kind of silly thing, but we wanted to make it real and really cool and maybe go further with it. Like what if they had this kind of nice relationship. It appealed to us, creating a real sort of relationship between these two and–– and I loved that we were able to do that.
Here’s a sneak peek at ANT-MAN for you:
Make sure to read my ANT-MAN review post here.
ANT-MAN in in theaters NOW!!
In case you missed, make sure to check out my cast interviews! My interview with ANT-MAN stars Paul Rudd & Evangeline Lilly along with my interview with Michael Douglas. My interview with the “ANTourage” threesome of Michael Pena, T.I. and David Dastmalchian and my interview with Corey Stoll who plays Yellow Jacket!
Make sure to follow all of the ANT-MAN excitement in social media:
ANT-MAN Website and Mobile site
Like ANT-MAN on Facebook
Follow ANT-MAN on Twitter
And… if you want THE coolest ANT-MAN souvenir ever, check out this Marvel Legends Infinite Series Ant-Man which you can purchase on Amazon right now for under $20. We ordered this set last week and it is so much fun … I keep finding the teeny tiny ANT-MAN in funny scenarios all over the house, my kids are having a blast with it. Plus, truth be known, I think that I like (love) this action figure just as much as they do!
Because…HEROES DON’T GET ANY BIGGER!