This article contains spoilers for Marvel’s Ant-Man.
After we wrapped up our spoiler-free interview with Ant-Man’s director Peyton Reed, we had a few minutes left to pick his brains about the facets of the film that have been shrouded in secrecy until it’s release.
The film’s two post-credits stings and sizeable cameo were our discussion points. If you’re looking for a spoiler-free article about the film, you can check out our plot-details-lite interview here.
Now that the film has come out, we’ve decided to set our brief spoilery discussion free. Be warned, then – below our faithful spoiler guardian Daphne the squirrel lies an ant’s nest of spoilers…
Recently there’s been a tendency for spoilers to appear in trailers. Were you surprised that Marvel wanted to reveal Anthony Mackie’s involvement in Ant-Man before the film came out?
It was something that we discussed a lot. And I have a love-hate relationship with spoilers. As a filmmaker, you want to protect these secrets, because you just want an audience to have a sense of discovery when they’re watching the movie.
At the same time, there are so many movies coming out all the time, particularly the summer. It’s such a crowded marketplace – you want to give an audience every reason in the world to go see the movie. Falcon was something that we talked about a lot, about keeping secret for a while. But then, I think the decision came down about “let’s just, sort of, sneak him out there a little closer to the time.”
And people still don’t know, sort of, how he appears in the movie, but it really feels like, you know, we love Anthony Mackie, we love that character from Winter Soldier, we know that Paul [Rudd]’s gonna be in Civil War. And why not? It’s fun to tease.
And also, I feel like, I was telling someone earlier that, when I was a kid, in 1980, The Empire Strikes Back was about to come out. And, two weeks before the movie opened, the paperback novelization came out, and I read it, so I knew the big secret – two weeks before it came out!
And I went to see Empire Strikes Back, opening night, and the big moment happened, and I enjoyed it. It did not diminish my enjoyment of that revelation one bit. So again, I have a weird love-hate relationship with spoilers. I like to think that people who don’t want to know will choose not to read those article but, they usually do, don’t they?
Yeah, they just might…
Their curiosity gets the most of them! But again, I think that, hopefully, they may know he’s in the movie, but they don’t know what’s going to happen or how it’s gonna happen, and that’s something they’ll still be able to enjoy.
Moving onto the two credits stings…The first one, with the introduction of Wasp 2.0, was that always going to happen at that point of the movie, or was there talk of bringing her in for the final fight or anything like that?
It was something that was never really in the original versions. And, we, you know… that was an important end to Hope’s arc in this movie. So, it was really always planned to be at the end of this movie. But her arc is every bit as important as Scott’s, and this movie is about the formation of her as a hero as much as it is to Scott. And that was important, to have in the movie, absolutely.
And the second sting – with Bucky – is actually from Captain America: Civil War, is that right?
It is, yeah! We played around with the idea of what we were gonna do for a second sting, and we actually cut together a couple of ideas that were mostly non sequitur comedic things, with Paul, and some with Michael Peña. And they were funny, but we felt like “well, we’ve ended the movie with those guys in a fun way, and this is not gonna top it.”
And when Civil War dailies started coming in, I really wanted to see Paul in the movie, and so I looked at some dailies, and he’s amazing in the movie, by the way!
Um, but then, these other dailies came down and Kevin [Feige] said “come look at this stuff, look at this exchange – it’s interesting,” and it feels like closure to what’s happening between those characters in our movie. And I love the idea, because I love that it ends with Mackie saying “I know a guy” and then BOOM “Ant-Man will return,” James Bond style, you know?
It felt like a vote of confidence from the studio about the movie, but also it gets the audience excited for the next chapter for Scott, you know? And he’s gonna be in Captain America: Civil War, and it’s another thing I love about the Marvel world is that they can weave these characters in. Characters can weave their way through this larger universe.
It certainly gets you thinking…I was talking to my colleague who’s reviewing the film, and I was saying “why do they need Ant-Man to help with Bucky? Are they gonna shrink him and hide him under a cup for a while?”
[Laughs] In the comics, there was a thing, and I can’t remember when it was… but Hank Pym had a thing, I believe it was called the Big House, which was literally a miniature prison where you would catch the villains and shrink them down and then house them in this miniature prison. Um, I can’t remember what era that was, but I love that concept, it is so insane!
Peyton Reed, thank you very much.
Ant-Man is in cinemas now.