Marvel’s first two Ant-Man films presented much lower stakes compared to the world-ending calamity of other MCU installments. However, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania raises the bar by tossing Scott Lang and the rest of the Ant-Man family into the cosmic fever dream that is the Quantum Realm, where they’ll spend the bulk of the film’s two-hour runtime. This is a far cry from Scott’s usual comfort zone, to say the least. But the movie’s epic scope allowed director Peyton Reed to revisit his take on another Marvel property from over 20 years ago.
While speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Reed discussed how Quantumania was influenced by his vision for 20th Century Fox’s original Fantastic Four movie. Reed signed on to direct that film in 2001 before departing in 2003. During that two-year stretch, Reed was developing the project as a 1960s period piece. It reportedly would have grounded the team by examining their celebrity status. But it also retained the comic’s penchant for sci-fi excess. In the end, Fox took the franchise in a different direction with Tim Story guiding the ship. Luckily, Reed felt there were enough similarities between Ant-Man and the FF for these ideas to live on in the MCU.
“I love Fantastic Four. It was my favorite comic growing up, and at the time, it was pre-MCU, obviously,” said Reed. “But it became apparent at the time that Fox didn’t want to make the same movie I wanted to make. So when I came on board Ant-Man — and now that we’ve had a chance to do a third one — I really funneled a lot of my Fantastic Four love into Ant-Man. I mean, they are both about dysfunctional families who are superheroes. In this movie we go into the Quantum Realm, which is a bizarro world, possibly not unlike the Negative Zone in Fantastic Four.”
Reed even cited a specific issue of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s original Fantastic Four run (vol. 1, #16) that informed his approach to the Quantum Realm in the latest Ant-Man sequel. And although his love for the characters seemingly made him the perfect choice to helm Marvel’s upcoming reboot, he’s happy to let someone else take the reins of the FF’s big-screen return.
“My first memory of reading about the Microverse in the comics, which became the Quantum Realm, was a Fantastic Four story where Dr. Doom shrunk the Four down into the Microverse,” added Reed. “So I really took that passion and transferred it into this thing. And honestly, now that they’re actually making a Fantastic Four movie, my feeling is that I’ve already scratched that itch. So I really look forward to seeing Matt Shakman’s version of Fantastic Four. I think it’ll be a delight to see it on a massive IMAX screen and just enjoy it as a moviegoer.”
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania hits theaters tonight before opening wide tomorrow, February 17.
Are you excited to see Reed’s Fantastic Four ideas come to life in the sequel? Let us know in the comment section below!
Recommended Reading: The Astonishing Ant-Man: The Complete Collection
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