Ant- Man bath tub

PETER: This might be a hard one, but what do you think is the most surprising thing that is practical? Or what’s the most surprising thing that we think is practical but is actually C.G.?

PEYTON: Well I think that a lot of the surfaces in the movie, like, you know, there’s a shot where Scott falls through a vent and lands on a carpet and very quickly gets sucked up into a vacuum cleaner. The carpet that we shot, it’s sort of, it’s real carpet and it’s digitally enhanced. And the inside of the vacuum cleaner, we put a camera inside a vacuum bag with dust and we created a fan. But then the next shot is a whole digital thing. So we wanted to mix up practical and digital in ways that kind of, you know, if you’re an effects nerd would keep you guessing as to how we did it.

Peyton Reed Ant-Man interview

PETER: Well it is seamless. How do you think the project changed from when you came on and Edgar and Joe’s draft to what actually made it on the screen? Like what do you believe you bring to the project that wasn’t there before?

PEYTON: Well, you know, the whole core of what Edgar and Joe created, the idea of doing Ant-Man as a heist movie structure, the idea of making Hank Pym the elder statesman, the mentor and Scott Lang the pupil and also driving toward a third act where the big battle took place in a little girl’s bedroom. That’s all Edgar and Joe conceptually. When I came on, Adam McKay and Paul started rewriting and we all worked together and, you know, we added concepts like the quantum realm. I wanted to get to a third act where we’d see him shrinking all through the movie, but let’s take it a further step. Embrace that sort of Silver Age psychedelic era of Marvel Comics. I also wanted to bolster sort of like the heist language in the movie. These, there’s a couple times where Michael Pena’s character Luis is giving these tips. That didn’t exist in the early drafts of the script and we added it and the idea that he’s gotta provide the credible sort of source of his information, but he gets off track. And he’s a little A.D.D. and so stylistically that was something that I brought to the movie. We also added a scene where Scott has an encounter with another character from the Marvel Universe. A sort of trial by fire.

PETER: Yeah, I know Edgar and Joe’s draft did not have many connections with the Marvel Universe.

PEYTON: Right.

PETER: And there’s that scene, but there’s also other scenes that have some people we recognize.

PEYTON: Yeah.

Ant-man and falcon

PETER: How did that come about? 

PEYTON: You know, one of the things I wanted to do sort of with the script was I wanted to deepen Hank Pym’s character a little bit. Particularly knowing that we had Michael Douglas playing Pym. I mean, Pym in the comics realm is a incredibly complicated character. Douglas has made a career of playing these characters with a very big gray area. And sort of, you know, some morally dubious characters. And I really wanted to lean into that. I also wanted to have Wasp be a presence in the movie. Both the original Janet Van Dyne Wasp and also driving toward Hope sort of picking up the mantle of her Mother. And in order to do that, you know, that was something that McKay and I talked about as well is let’s see a flashback where we see Wasp that didn’t appear in any of the Edgar and Joe drafts. I also wanted to really bolster the idea of Scott Lang and particularly with Scott, with Paul playing him, this MacGyver aspect of him when he breaks in.

PETER: Oh yeah. That whole fingerprint thing’s kind of cool.

PEYTON: Yeah. And that was something that McKay and I came up with. We met with this security guy who talked about how do you get into these things. And McKay wrote and I boarded out this whole thing of how he’s very simply with these kitchen items gonna get into that thing. And same with breaking into the safe. McKay had this security expert come in and we were talking about how would you break into a safe if you weren’t an expert safecracker? And we talked about types of metal that reacted to liquid nitrogen. And McKay wrote that and that was something we brought to the movie as well.

PETER: How out of all the Avengers that you could have included in here did you go to Falcon? Like what about that?

PEYTON: Wow. That again was something that McKay and I bonded on. Or McKay we know is hilarious, but he’s a huge comic nerd. And it’s like we knew in the structure of a heist movie we wanted to add those tip montages. That’s a trope in those movies. But we also wanted to add this sort of okay, the heist is in place, everything’s ready, but oh shit, we need this one extra element. How do we get it? This sort of trial by fire where in order to get this object that was crucial for the heist, Pym had to send Lang into a situation that he might not be equipped to deal with. It was McKay’s idea to do it. And it was McKay’s idea, we talked about who could it be? And Falcon made sense. First of all, I love that character in Winter Soldier. I love Anthony Mackie. I was a fan of Falcon in the comics. And it made sense. And it made sense because I had two big things when I came into Ant-Man. I was like I wanna make a movie that’s under two hours. I want it to be really tight and taut and have the structure of a heist movie, but the rhythms of a comedy and start with a little bit of a slow burn, but once it catches fire, just keep going. But I also wanted to, I wanted a movie that stood on its own if you’d never seen another Marvel movie. Beginning, middle and end. If you have seen the Marvel movies, there are going to be elements that are enhanced by it. But that Falcon scene was absolutely organic to the story, because that thing had to succeed in order for the heist to be pulled off.

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