Kevin Feige Explains How They Planned 'Ant-Man And The Wasp' Alongside 'Infinity War,' The Disney Streaming Service And More [Interview]

When a Marvel Studios movie is set to hit theaters, we often times get the opportunity to sit down in a room with the man responsible for it all and ask him anything we want about that film and the future of the company. With Ant-Man and The Wasp, it was strangely different than past conversations with Kevin Feige, as the whole Marvel Universe is in flux following the events of Avengers: Infinity War and this Ant-Man sequel is one of the most standalone stories Marvel has created to date. There is a reason Marvel isn't having a presentation at Comic-Con this year – there isn't much to reveal at this time as it all hinges on the next couple films.

Our conversation began with us talking about Taika Waititi's production office decor of E.T., and continued on through Star Wars rumors, the Quantum Realm, de-aging technology and the idea of using it for prequels, how Marvel planned Ant-Man and the Wasp alongside Infinity War, the possibility of Doctor Strange in Spider-Man: Far From Home, how they plan on marketing the Spider-Man sequel before the release of Avengers 4, how involved with Feige be with the Disney Streaming service, designing sets with theme park adaptations in mind, playing with audiences expectations, and how they shot that after credits scene.

[Note: Peter walks into the room wearing a t-shirt with the above image]

Hey.  How's it going, Kevin?

Greatest shirt ever.  

Thank you.

You know, Taika has that, has a poster that he carries with him in every production office he goes to.

Really?  I did not know that.

I hadn't seen it for probably 30 years until he had that.  It was on his office door on Ragnarok.  It was that colored poster.  'Cause it came with an album or something.  He did an album.

Yeah, that was where it came out, yeah. It's cool that you know that.

Future Star Wars Spin-Off Movies

Before I get to Marvel, I have to ask you one question about rumors.

Sure.

There have been rumors recently that you might be involved in the future of Star Wars.  

No.  Only in my backyard with my action figures.

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Okay.  In Ant-Man and the Wasp, we get to see more of the Quantum Realm.  I was kind of under the impression that time does not go by in the same way in the Quantum Realm as it does here, but...

She [Janet Pym] aged.

She aged.  So I was wondering what's up with that?

Much like quantum mechanics itself, it is all very complicated.  And it is, there are various...if you notice in this film, he talks about she through Scott Lang says meet me in the Wastelands beyond the Void.  There are various levels that we check in on.  So there are many, many different layers to the Quantum Realm.  

So there are layers that time does not pass by?

That's what they've told us.  They've told us that it, time and physics and space work very differently down there.  But that was part of a, that was a big question during the development process.  And as usual, you're the first one to pick on it a little bit, which is... should she have aged or not?  And we felt that new Quantum Realm, we could justify either one.  But that ultimately you wanna have an emotional reunion with Michael Douglas, an emotional reunion with Evangeline Lily and our first instinct had always been specifically now Michelle Pfeiffer from that first movie.  It felt like it should be somebody who's the right age.  As opposed to Michael Douglas with somebody who has not aged.  Or Evangeline Lily connecting with somebody who's not aged.  That just adds another layer of sort of sci-fi weirdness.  Yeah.  And we're not afraid of sci-fi weirdness.  I love it.  But not in that case.

I mean, as evidenced by Guardians and Thor, yeah.

Right.  

Michelle Pfeiffer ant-man

That first scene with Michelle de-aged, I mean, all the de-aging that you guys have done looks incredible, but she looks like she stepped out of a movie from 30 years ago.  It looks so good.  And while I was watching it, I was wondering if you guys ever end up doing like a prequel would you guys use the same, like if you were gonna do an Ant-Man prequel with Hank Pym or Black Widow prequel, would it be Scarlett or would it be Douglas de-aged or would it be a new...?

Well, I think having the option is pretty amazing.  And I think having the technology and even without spoiling anything, Sam Jackson is shooting a movie for us right now that takes, where he's entirely 25 years younger the whole movie [Captain Marvel].  So that'll certainly be the one–

And Coulson, right?

And Coulson.  So that'll be the first one where it's a character for the whole movie, as opposed to a glimpse at a certain period of time.  It's the whole movie.  So it's possible, assuming that works.  It's possible. It's very good when you are starting by the way with somebody like Michelle Pfeiffer or Michael Douglas or for that matter Sam Jackson or Clark Gregg.  All four of them–

Because you have an abundance of reference material or...?

You have all the reference material and they have aged amazingly.  They've not aged like normal humans.  It's like Paul Rudd.  These are–

Paul Rudd looks like he stepped out of Clueless.  I don't understand it.

Yeah.  He somehow can do that effect in real life.  

Fan Watches Infinity War 100 Times

Yeah.  When you were planning this, you were planning it alongside Infinity War.  At what point did you know like this is gonna be a total prequel and we won't really kind of cross the streams –?

The whole time it was, we knew that we wanted to feel like a standalone movie.  We wanted to tonally do a very different movie from Infinity War.  And as [director Peyton Reed] said on the panel today, that it was more interesting for us to deal with the fallout of Civil War.  To deal with what kind of rift that caused.  'Cause they seem to be a good trio at the end of Ant-Man 1.  Hank and Hope and Scott.  But knowing how Hank felt about it, knowing that Wasp was not there in Germany in Civil War, what did that do to the relationship.  And he was in prison and got broken out.  So what, we had to address that.  And it led to this very good notion of the final 48 hours of, final three days of house arrest.  

doctor strange and spiderman

You just announced Spider-Man: Far From Home, the title.

I didn't.

Or you didn't.  The master spoiler himself did.  

Yeah.  It's a fun gag that's half fun and half real.  

I've heard.  

With him and Ruffalo.

Yeah.

Like ha-ha-ha, what did you do?  

I was wondering since this is gonna take place mostly in London or you've insinuated that large–

Shooting in London.  

But there are scenes in London.

Yes.

Peter: And you've also said in the past that the plan for these Spider-Man movies is to kind of have another Marvel cameo in each one kind of like you did with Tony Stark.  

I did?

Ha, I thought you did in some older interview.

It's in the MCU so yeah.  

I'm wondering 'cause London...there is a sanctum there.  Is Doctor Strange gonna be the one in this one?  

No.

No?

I could be coy about it, but no.  

[shocked that he gave a direct response] Okay.

I don't wanna get people excited. But Benedict and Holland have liked the idea of working together.

spiderman homecoming

Yeah.  Well, that'd be fun.  It was my first thought when I heard rumors of Mysterio, so I was like oh it'd be cool to have the magic guy and the magic guy.  But anyways, how are you gonna market these movies with Avengers 4 coming? We've heard that the Spider-Man takes place minutes after Avengers 4.  But you gotta start marketing Spider-Man before Avengers 4 comes out.  So doesn't that pose like an interesting problem?

It does.  I mean, I think much like Ant-Man and the Wasp, which when you see the movie connects and you see how it connects.  In the marketing, we don't show that part.  I think we'll very much feel like a return to the fun of Homecoming and Peter with his class and going places we don't usually see Peter Parker and a new villain and that will be the focus both of the movie but certainly of the marketing.  

In this movie, [Walton] Goggins says he's working for... someone, we don't really get to find out who he's working for.  Is that something that is seeds that are being planted?  Can you give us a tease?

A little bit.  I mean, those are, there are deeply planted seeds and there are less deeply planted seeds.  He says SHIELD and Hydra don't exist anymore, he's working for people that are dangerous people.  

But they're interested in Quantum Realm for some reason.

They're interested in that 'cause it's new.  It's the new thing.  We'll see where that goes.  

disney vault

Disney has a streaming service coming up.  I know largely you and the TV have kind of been separate entities.  If there were to be a Marvel movie for the Disney streaming service, would that be you guys or would that be the Marvel TV people?

There have been, we've started discussing the streaming service.  It's going to be an important thing for the company.  And we're figuring out what our involvement will be in it now.  

I keep on hearing you say post Phase 3 and you've said in the past that there is no Phase 4.  

I think I said that would it even be called Phase 4?  Might be, but what or will it not be?  

What does that mean?

It means we're focusing on finishing Phase 3 and delivering on the promise that we made at the El Capitan so many years ago.  

That was a long time ago now.

And yet all the movies we announced haven't come out yet.  

We still don't even know the title of Avengers 4. When can we expect to learn that?

I think towards the end of the year.  In the fall.  

Ant-Man and the Wasp Trailer Breakdown

When I'm watching this film, I see that whole contraption to enter the Quantum Realm. I know you're a big fan of the Disney theme parks, but I see that I'm like, oh my God, that's like a Disney ride meant to happen. 

The tunnel you mean?

Yeah.

That'd be cool.

When you're designing this stuff, does that ever enter your mind?  Like this could be the perfect...

Always.  I mean, going back to from before Disney bought us.  We used to walk around in Heimdall's observatory on the set of Thor 1 and be like this would be a great, like this could be the queue of a ride and you go on Bifrost.  So that's just the way we think.  Now we can talk with Imagineers who are all starting to put it together.  So it's kind of incredible.

It's finally happening.

It's finally happening.

(These final questions contain spoilers for Ant-Man and the Wasp. Proceed with caution.)

The other interesting thing I think you guys are doing with this, you have 10 years and 20 films and you've built up all these expectations of what a Marvel movie is.  And you've been playing against those expectations. Like in Infinity War, there's not the mid-credits scene and there are gasps in every screening I've seen of it.  And in this film, there's the after credits question mark.  I think you're playing like can you talk about that?  'Cause you guys I think are now having fun with us a little bit.

I think we always have.  I mean, it's always been and I wouldn't say intentionally to pull the rug out or anything.  It's just always been what do we think would be fun?  And just when people think they know what the formula is, we do something different.  Just because we want, 20 films in 10 years, we always wanna shift and we always wanna change and we always wanna do things.  Not having a mid-credits scene in Infinity War was the idea probably four years ago.  Was going back to and then we'll do this and it'll be shocking.  And then the credits will roll and then they'll look for hope and they'll be nothing.  So the first time I saw that was at the premiere when everybody gasped.  

When you filmed that after credits sequence, did you inform those actors they were going to disappear?

Uh, yeah. "Okay.  Step out of frame now.  Why?  No reason."

I mean, you could have done it without them knowing.  You said in an interview this week that this film largely connects with Avengers 4.  And I think it answers where is Ant-Man.  The question that people were asking with Infinity War.  But does this connect to Avengers 4 in any other greater ways that we're not, that people might not be seeing on the first watch?

[Feige makes noise that cant be transcribed or explained]

Can you hint at them?  No.  Okay. Well, thank you so much.

Thanks, man.  Good seeing you.