Ant-Man and the Wasp

Back to the Quantum Realm

As for what that realm will physically look like this time around, at the time of our set visit, that was still up in the air. “We’re still working on exactly where we want to drive it on this one,” says VFX supervisor Steph Ceretti. “We’re going there, but we don’t want to redo the same thing that we’ve done. We want to evolve it and have an experience that is even more immersive in this one…the thing that we did in Doctor Strange [with the “magical mystery tour” sequence] that we will keep doing here is that we want things to be all the time fluid and moving and evolving and being alive. All these environments are not physically solid. They evolve. And they are part of the story and everything kind of melts and changes.”

But the Quantum Realm won’t look exactly the same as anything we saw in Doctor Strange. Broussard tells us full scenes need to take place down there, so not everything will be fluid. “It can’t be a black void like you had a little bit in the first film, so it’s gotta be landscape-y, but how do you make it still feel at scale? How do you make it feel microscopic with the camera treatments and the relationship of the horizon and stuff like that? Figuring all that out has been a bit of a head trip, but it’s pretty cool. It’s not Lawrence of Arabia. It’s not a giant desert because that triggers scale cues in your head, but you still have to feel like it would be scale appropriate if you’re down there, and finding that balance between the small and the epic has been the challenge.”

Ant-Man and the Wasp - Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas

“One Bad Night”

Marvel Studios has made a habit of slotting superhero fare into previously-existing genres (Spider-Man: Homecoming is a John Hughes comedy, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a ‘70s-style political thriller, etc.), so what genre are we going to see explored here? Reed told us there are some romantic comedy elements to the movie, but the more accurate description we heard in terms of genre was what they’re referring to as “one bad night” movies. Allow executive producer Stephen Broussard to explain:

“The first film was a heist film, right? It was kind of this crime movie, and we like that the Ant-Man franchise kind of lives in this crime-adjacent world, and so a lot of the films that we started talking about just as like inspiration – and kind of how we want to approach it and how we want to do something new the same way the heist movie felt new to the MCU – I don’t really know if it’s a genre unto itself but movies that have always been kind of ‘one bad night,’ when something just goes terrible and just kind of spirals out of control. After Hours is a great touchstone. I like Go. Go is a great movie. You know, Adventures in Babysitting for the lighter fare. It just feels like it started so simple but then it kind of just goes up and up and up, and then you have a character trying to race to put it all back in the box before they get caught.”

Ant-Man and the Wasp Trailer Breakdown - Walton Goggins

The Antagonists

There wouldn’t be much of a movie if our heroes were able to go on their mission unimpeded, so what kind of people do they come up against this time? It turns out that the casting of Walton Goggins in this movie has another layer to it: Goggins was one of the stars of FX’s Justified, a modern western based on the works of author Elmore Leonard, and Ant-Man and the Wasp is taking a page from the Elmore Leonard playbook when it comes to its bad guys.

“I’m a big Elmore Leonard fan, in the way that there’s all these sort of colorful characters kind of colliding with one another,” says Broussard. “That feels crime-adjacent, to use that term again, and so we wanted to populate this movie with a lot of antagonists. Not so much people that are like villains or supervillains, but like obstacles in the way. They have their own agendas, their own journeys. They’re not trying to take over the world but they’re clearly standing in the way of our heroes, and Elmore Leonard was such a master at that. The Get Shortys of the world. Everybody is in a circle trying to get somewhere else and just colliding in the middle and that was a huge inspiration for the tone and the framework of where this movie could go.”

As for who those antagonists will be, we know Goggins plays Sonny Burch, who, in the comics, serves as the chairman of a weapons designer firm called Cross Technologies (associated with the first movie’s villain, Darren Cross), but the filmmakers kept mum on what exactly that character’s involvement will be here (or even if he’ll serve the same function in the movie). And we also know that Hannah John-Kamen is playing a new interpretation of Ghost, who, from the sound of it, is one of the most mysterious characters in Marvel Studios history.

Ant-Man and the Wasp Trailer Breakdown - Hannah John-Kamen as Ghost

Who is Ghost?

The comic version of Ghost was created by Bob Layton in 1987, and was primarily an Iron Man villain. This time around, the character is being gender-swapped. I’ll let Broussard take it from here:

“Traditionally in the comics, Ghost was a character of mystery. You didn’t really know the alter ego of that person. You didn’t know their real name. We thought that was a cool opportunity to create a character that was all about mystery: what are the origins, what is the backstory, what are the goals and agendas of this person? It was a great vehicle for the kind of the story you wanted to tell because Ghost in the comics itself was a mystery. So very different from what has come before in the comics, but in ways that kind of – sorry, if it feels like I’m hedging my bets, I’m just trying to police myself here. Suffice it to say that she is on a path and she is on a mission at odds with our heroes on this journey, but of a similar goal, of a similar aim, at the worst possible time for Scott Lang.”

The comic version of Ghost is a skilled hacker with a suit that can turn invisible, and Broussard confirmed that her power set will remain the same in the movie…but that’s about all we know about her. In multiple interviews throughout the day, nobody – not even John-Kamen herself – was allowed to tell us anything more about her. Here’s an example of how part of that conversation went down:

Can you give us any sort of adjective about the movement of your character?

John-Kamen: Yeah. Definitely, uh…(long pause) ghosty. (laughs) That’s all I’m gonna give you.

Enlightening, right? We were even shut down when we tried to ask one of the costume designers about Ghost’s costume. But that won’t stop us from speculating a little about the character in just a minute.

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