Ant-Man and the Wasp Director Peyton Reed Talks About the Sequel

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Ant-Man and the Wasp director Peyton Reed talks up the Marvel sequel

As reported late last month, Peyton Reed is currently in final negotiations to step back up to the plate for the Marvel Studios sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp after successfully directing the first Ant-Man film, which has grossed more than $517 million at the worldwide box office. While promoting the December 8 release of Ant-Man on Blu-ray/DVD, Reed spoke to MTV about the second installment and the importance of showcasing Evangeline Lilly’s Hope van Dyne, aka The Wasp.

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“That was one of the things that was important to me in the first movie when I came on was emphasizing the Wasp more, both Hope Van Dyne and Janet Van Dyne,” Reed said. “It’s a crucial part. It’s a crucial part because in the comic books, with the exception of the first handful of Ant-Man stories, Wasp came on pretty early on in the comics in the ’60s and you really thought of them as a partnership, a romantic partnership as well as a hero team. It’s going to be fun to play around with all the aspects of that in this movie.”

Although their relationship was a little antagonistic at the beginning, Hope and Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang were definitely breaking the ice by the end of the first movie. A lot of that tension came from her dad Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) deliberately holding her back, despite being clearly capable, though now Hope has an opportunity to (literally) spread her wings.

“It’s such a no-brainer that there needs to be female heroes,” Reed said. “It’s about keeping the stories interesting and having fresh stories to tell. I always like that about Ant-Man and Wasp because it dealt with gender politics as well as superhero stuff. In the comics, particularly in the ’60s comics, the Janet Van Dyne Wasp was clearly written by all men and was pretty one-dimensional. She’s gotten much more dimensionalized since then. That’s one of those things that I think is going to be really exciting and fresh about this movie. You do feel a certain amount of responsibility. At the end of the day it’s organic to that character and the movie.”

In fact, the surprise addition of Ant-Man and the Wasp to Marvel’s ever-expanding Phase 3 slate will make Lilly the first female character to play a title role in a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie.

“It’s been important to me in all my movies,” Reed continued. “It’s a huge part of ’Bring It On,’ strong female characters, and ’Down With Love’ is a movie about feminism. So to me it’s something that I’m just psyched to be able to explore in this movie.”

As for Pym’s wife Janet van Dyne (briefly glimpsed in-constume in an Ant-Man 1 flashback), still lost among the surreal world of the Quantum Realm, it sounds like the hunt to bring her back to the land of the living will happen in the next movie, with Reed hinting that he has definite casting ideas for who to take on that role opposite Douglas. He has also apparently been privy to all of Rudd’s footage as Ant-Man in next summer’s all-star blockbuster Captain America: Civil War.

Ant-Man and the Wasp will feature the return of Paul Rudd as Scott Lang alongside Evangeline Lilly as Hope Van Dyne. Although no writers have been announced yet, Adam McKay recently told THR that he’s had discussions with Paul Rudd about returning to co-pen the sequel after they successfully retooled Edgar Wright’s script on the first movie. Kevin Feige once again produces the Marvel Studios film for a targeted release date of July 6, 2018.