Disclosure: I received an all expense paid trip to Los Angeles California for the #AntManEvent Press Junket. All opinions are my own and were not swayed by any outside sources!
Last month as the press junket for Ant-Man, we also interviewed Peyton Reed and Kevin Feige. They walked in together and immediately I got the sense that they were good friends. I imagine they probably are at this point after working closely together on Ant-Man.
Peyton Reed, a life long fan of Marvel films and comic books, directed Ant-Man. This was his first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and I think he was a great choice! Kevin Feige is the president of Marvel Studios and also the producer on Ant-Man. “I’ve been a fan of Peyton’s for a long time,” says producer Kevin Feige. “Peyton was always high on our lists, and so when this opportunity came up, he was someone who I thought would be great for this film. He really hit the ground running and infused some great new elements into the story and tone.”
We could tell they were genuinely happy to be there with us, which was huge considering who was sitting in front of us! I mean it’s not every day you get to be in a room with not only a director for a Marvel movie but the President of Marvel too! I had to pinch myself to make sure it was really happening!
Ant-Man was a great movie. I loved it and I hope you had a chance to see it. It’s a hilarious adventure that was not only well written, but well cast. Peyton describes it as a smaller, more intimate Marvel movie which revolved around family. “Scott Lang’s one goal in the movie is 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.” Peyton says. A personal goal that takes him on a crazy journey in order to become part of her life.
The family connections didn’t end there. Paul’s and Michael’s characters both had strange relationships with their daughters. Peyton points out that both characters want to be closer to their daughters for different reasons. “With Hank Pym and Hope it’s crucial to the success of pulling off this heist [that] they have to repair that relationship. ‘Cause they’re never gonna achieve that goal unless they find some peace with each other.” Peyton said.
That being said, Peyton Reed also told us that he loves that it’s funny and points out that when you have Paul Rudd in a movie, you can’t really expect it to be anything other than funny!
Peyton told us that he’s been wanting to do a movie like this for a really long time. Marvel does well and especially with special effects. According to Peyton, Marvel employs the top people in Hollywood to achieve the special effects needed. “When he shrinks down we were gonna be shrinking the audience down with him. And what would that look like and feel [like] and how are we gonna achieve that? ‘Cause I wanted, you know, if he’s running across a table I wanted to really feel like the texture of the table and all that.”
“It’s amazing and the stuff that they are able to pull off is, it’s kind of mind-boggling” – Peyton Reed, Director Ant-Man
So when someone mentioned the idea of having Hawkeye and Ant-Man join forces, Peyton laughed and Kevin Feige told us it was a great image and he loved the idea. “Usually images I love find their way into movies, so…..” Kevin said. Perhaps we gave him an idea for a future movie. We’ll have to see!
Peyton told us he looked at a bunch of heist movies to get some inspiration for directing Ant-Man. Oceans Eleven and Thomas Crown Affair are just a couple. He siad “There’s a certain rhythm that these heist movies have and they’re sort of tropes that appear in these movies. But I wanted to be really kinetic and have a lot of movement to it. And I think there is a big correlation between how a comedy plays and how you shoot a comedy to how you build tension. “It was something that was always there in the original scripts Edgar and Joe wrote where it was a heist movie structure and there’s something really fun about that.”
Peyton talked about Scott Lang being tempted to go back into a life of crime and Michael Pena’s character Luis. He said “[Scott knew] that the tip was solid so he goes to Michael Peña he goes, “Tell me about that tip.” Now, if you ask Luis about a tip it might not be a straight answer, you know. We loved the idea and we sort of added that in pre-production as we were writing like this is a fun element of a guy who sometimes goes off point as he tells these stories. And it also kinda helped build Michael Peña’s character as this guy who has this unsuspected depth to him, you know, he’s a connoisseur of wines and he’s into expressionist art and he cooks waffles for the guy.”
Peyton talks about making a movie that appeals to women
When you think a Marvel movie, you assume that men are more excited about it than woman. But Kevin told us that’s not the case for the Marvel movies. After 12 movies he says it seems to appeal to both men and women. As a matter of fact Kevin says women rate it higher. “In test screenings oftentimes the movies are rated higher by 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.”
Peyton talks about a shirtless Paul Rudd
Peyton spoke a little about Paul Rudd and the scene where he had no shirt on. He was sitting in front of 23 women, of course we wanted to talk about a shirtless Paul! Peyton joked with us that Paul Rudd’s shirtless scene was very challenging for him. He laughed as he told us “to sit and have a really nice lunch and watch him eat one almond for lunch” was challenging for him. No, all kidding aside, he said probably the most challenging thing was essentially Ant Man has a couple of powers, shrinking being one of them and he wanted to make it seem absolutely real, but that was a challenge. He also controlled ants. He wanted to answer the audiences question about, “Well, how can that be cool?” or “How can that achieve anything?”.
Peyton Talks Ants
I didn’t know much about ants before I saw this movie, but I sure do now! Peyton loved being able to tell the story of the distinct types of ants and their specific skill sets. He told us all of it is real information that he believes kids will want to learn more about after seeing the movie. “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 in fact and, how do these fire ants make rope ladders and they can make bridges and they actually can.” As a kid, Peyton said that would’ve appealed to him. It was very important to him to create these ants and make them seem like real ants by giving them specific qualities and characters.
Ant-Man is now in theaters and is rated PG-13. It’s great and Marvel fans are going to love it!