Ant-Man & The Wasp: What We Learned From The Blu-Ray Audio Commentary
By Mat Elfring on
After the soul-shattering ending of Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel movie fans needed a palate cleanser, something fun. That's exactly what Ant-Man and The Wasp was. The down-to-Earth and grounded story carried heavy themes of father/daughter relationships while providing laughs the whole way through. Well, it was as grounded of a story you can tell about people who grow, shrink, phase through walls, and enter the teeny, tiny Quantum Realm.
While the film has already been released digitally, it's coming to DVD and Blu-Ray on Tuesday, October 16. With the release comes quite a few special features--many of which are available digitally as well. One of the more interesting additions to the home release is the commentary from director Peyton Reed. Throughout the movie, Reed detailed every aspect of the story, directing his first sequel, the themes, and how certain scenes came together, including the final tag which connects Ant-Man and The Wasp to Infinity War.
We picked out the most interesting and insightful moments from the audio commentary that shed light of the movie-making process. If you're interested in picking up Ant-Man and The Wasp, check out our pre-order guide detailing all different editions as well as what's on the special features.
Wasp In Ant-Man 1 Was Made To Look Like Pfeiffer
"In the first movie, we see the original Wasp and we sort of just see her eyes through the mask," explained director Peyton Reed. "Long before we cast Michelle Pfeiffer, obviously, in the second movie. But I remember talking to casting and visual effects and saying, 'well, hey eyes--that we see through the mask--she should look like Michelle Pfeiffer.' Michelle was always my dream casting for that role, that was before we even knew we'd be making a second movie."
Pym Labs Was A Huge Set
The Quantum Tunnel set, which was designed by Shepherd Frankel, was the largest physical set that has ever been built for a Marvel movie. Reed said the inspiration for the set came from the Irwin Allen TV series The Time Tunnel.
How Ghost Was Chosen For The Movie
Reed said he loved the design of the Iron Man villain. "When we were figuring out who the main antagonist in this movie was going to be, we looked in these giant Marvel encyclopedias that had every hero, every villain, every sort of ancillary character, and I loved the design of Ghost, just the visual look of Ghost in the comics," he said. "That seemed really striking to me and the powerset… This idea of phasing seemed like there was something there that was formidable for this partnership of Ant-Man and Wasp to go up against."
Why Ghost Was Changed To A Woman For The Movie
"In the comics, Ghost is a man, a computer hacker, and sort of an anti-corporate vigilante, and we basically just took the basic idea of that character and adapted Ghost to our story," Reed explained. "And part of that was doing a gender swap, which made sense for our movie, where we have this strong thematic of fathers and daughters, whether it's Hank and Hope or Scott and Cassie. And in this movie, even though Bill Foster and Ava Star are not father and daughter, they're sort of this figurative father/daughter relationship there. So it felt really smart to do the gender swap for that reason."
Why Bill Foster Is In The Movie
Reed owned all the Black Goliath comics as a child and said that he loves the character. However, that's not the only reason Foster appeared in the movie. "I liked the idea of giving Hank Pym a foil in this movie, another super-scientist that when they're together, they're alpha males and think they're the smartest guy in the room," Reed said. "And when we got Laurence Fishburne for the movie, it thrilled me."
Laurence Fishburne Is A Huge Comic Book Fan
While on set, Fishburne read graphic novels during his off time, many of which Reed had never heard of. Reed said Fishburne was well-versed in all things Marvel and DC.
Cassie Lang's Teacher's Name
Reed said he named Cassie's teacher Mrs. Broadwell after his 8th and 9th grade English teacher. He spoke highly of her and wanted to pay homage.
Ghost's House Was To Give The Movie A Horror Vibe
It's a concrete modernist building in Newnan, Georgia, and Reed said that this scene is their movie's version of a haunted house in the middle of the woods. They even added a wolf howl to the scene to add more of a supernatural feel to it.
Ghost's Father Is From The Comics
Reed discussed Ghost's father, Elihas Starr, who in the comics was a supervillain named Egghead. They didn't want to use Egghead as a villain, but they wanted to give a nod to Marvel Comics fans.
Young Laurence Fishburne Was Played By His Son
Reed says they paid extra care to the young versions of Fishburne, Pfeiffer, and Douglas when it came to the digital aging, as they are three extremely recognizable faces in Hollywood, now and 30 years ago. Fishburne's son, Langston, was the stand in for his father during those younger scenes, before they altered Laurence's face.
Making Sure Hank Pym Isn't Just Another Tony Stark
Both Pym and Stark are genius inventors, but Reed mentioned during the commentary that he wanted to separate the two. Many times, Pym--mainly out of necessity--has to cannibalize his own tech to create something new, while Stark would just get new materials. While both Pym and Stark are geniuses in their own right, they operate very differently.
Keeping The Movie Short
Reed mentions that he wants the movie under two hours in length for a couple of reasons: "One, I knew we were going to be following Infinity War, which was going to be this massive, massive epic. But most importantly just because this is a comedy, and it's an action-comedy, and it didn't want it to overstay its welcome. So, a great part of the post-production process was just the tightening and finessing of this movie." He continued saying that there were careful in not cutting out things that would pay off later.
Stan Lee's Cameo
Reed said, "it felt like a good luck charm to have our first shot of the movie be Stan Lee." It was shot in Georgia, but was a very "San Francisco joke."
The Ultimate Happy Ending, Until It's Not
Reed wanted viewers to have some sense of the aftermath of Infinity War, but on a microlevel, not just focusing on everyone on Earth. However, before he could get to that, he wanted this film to have everything resolved and wrapped up. "So we finally landed on the structure that felt like the very specific Ant-Man and The Wasp way of dealing with the events of the end of Infinity War, which was to tie up all our character stories in this kind of too neat resolution, where it's almost too pretty of a bow on every story. Scott is off house arrest. He's able to go to the house and pick up Cassie and see his daughter. The X-Con guys land the Karapetyan account because he's seen them on TV having captured Sonny Burch. Hank and Janet, of course, are reunited and they go on a well-earned vacation on a remote island… And then, of course, we cut to Them, the classic, giant ant movie from the '50s. And Scott, Hope, and Cassie are at a drive-in theater."
It's all very clean and lulling the audience into a false sense of security, before the bombshell is dropped.
Dust To Dust: The Final Tag
"Part of the thing here was to hit the audience with as much random information as possible… There's a lot for the audience to take in," Reed said. After the ending was tied up nicely, Reed wanted to give the audience an idea of what's next in their lives. He said they wanted to build some misleads for the audience. Everyone but Scott turning to dust is a shocking moment, and that's the point he wanted to drive home.