“Avengers 4” is going to involve time travel, right? Like, can people just admit that already?
Following the release of some leaked photos from the upcoming “Avengers” film set (which show the Avengers, including Ant-Man, visiting past scenes from the franchise), fans have surmised that time travel via the Quantum Realm is the most likely way the superheroes are going to undo the events of “Avengers: Infinity War” ― and more evidence is piling up to support that theory.
“Ant-Man and the Wasp” director Peyton Reed confirmed to HuffPost that Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) — who we last saw stranded in the Quantum Realm after Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) and Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) disappeared into dust due to Thanos’ fatal (for half the universe) finger snap — does not have the enlarging Pym Particle disc he used to escape the other dimension in the first “Ant-Man.”
“This is a new suit, so it really wouldn’t have the same growth that he had in the first movie ... I would answer, ‘No, he does not have it.’ He can’t go to that well twice,” said Reed.
That means Lang is stuck in the Quantum Realm, which was Reed’s plan all along.
“It seemed like we kind of knew what we wanted to do with or to Scott Lang,” said the director, “and then the other ones, it was just sort of like we talked about all these different versions and where we ended up just felt like, ‘OK, this feels right. We know where things could go from here.’”
Here’s where the time travel comes in: Before Ant-Man gets stuck in the Quantum Realm and Janet van Dyne is turned into dust, she warns him to watch out for time vortexes while in the other dimension.
So, could Ant-Man show up in past “Avengers” scenes via time travel? Reed was optimistic.
“Based on the science that we’ve set up in the first movie and this one, I won’t rule out the possibility,” Reed said, “because, again, we are dealing with a time vortex. That could happen.”
The director confirmed that more Quantum Realm is “definitely a priority” in the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but he wouldn’t reveal much more about where the story is headed.
“I have to be careful here, as you well know,” Reed said before referencing the “Marvel snipers” who are supposedly always on the lookout for spoilers.
Despite the hesitation, Reed was (mostly) willing to address some of the movies’ other vital questions, each one more important than the last: What did Janet van Dyne eat in the Quantum Realm all those years? Was that giant ant in Lang’s house housebroken? And most importantly, what happened to the giant Hello Kitty Pez dispenser?
Janet van Dyne had been stuck in the Quantum Realm for years. What’s she been eating down there?
She would start breakfast with a serving of Quantum Krispies with Quantum soy milk and then move onto ... just [something with] “Quantum” in front of it. Whatever you have for breakfast, lunch and dinner, put “Quantum” in front of it.
I don’t know if you saw the after-credit scene with an audience yet, but people went crazy when Hope, Hank and Janet disappeared.
I love it. Yeah, I mean ... it was the subject of a lot of conversation, obviously, about how we were gonna deal or if we were gonna deal with the events of “Infinity War” and if we were going to ... it kind of had to be in keeping with the tone of “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” which is obviously a very different tone. And when we landed on that structure, it just felt right to us. It felt like our movie and the playful attitude of our movie ― where we could have a structure, where our story is contained and has its own resolutions, very neat resolutions ― and then hit them with that scene. We knew even before we put it before an audience. We hoped this feels like we’re kind of screwing with the audience in a really fun way.
During Marvel Cinematic Universe credits, there’s often a phrase saying the characters will return. But here, you have a question mark show up after it, so it says, “Ant-Man and the Wasp will return?”
We do ... we were putting the end together, and we had that thing we just played around with it, and those things have always — I’ve always loved those since James Bond movies. “James Bond will return in ‘For Your Eyes Only’” or whatever, and I like the idea of adding this dumb question mark at the end. It felt like the tone of our movie.
How’d you decide Hope, Hank and Janet would disappear in the after-credit scene and who would be present?
A big part of it was deciding who was going to be in that scene to begin with, because there was a version of that scene I think where it’s like, “OK, maybe Bill Foster is here as well, maybe Ava Starr is here as well.” We talked about versions with ― and maybe Luis, or whoever, it could’ve been anybody ― but then there’s a certain percentage issue that’s set up obviously in “Infinity War” that we couldn’t ignore. When we finally landed on the version that you saw, the final version in the movie, it just seemed right.
Is Cassie OK?
Is Cassie OK? Well, obviously, we don’t try that case in the movie, but it became a thing of people asking us what happened to Cassie? What happened to Luis? What happened to Kurt and Dave? People get really, really wound up about this, which is great, which I hope means that they have a connection with these characters and they care about them, but I can’t tell you a thing.
In the movie, Cassie gives Scott a trophy saying he’s the World’s Greatest Grandma. Is he really the World’s Greatest Grandma?
Absolutely, he’s earned that title. We knew we needed to have this sort of McGuffin of where’s the [Ant-Man] suit going to be hidden to bring Scott Lang to Cassie’s school, and we talked about this trophy. For a long time, it was going be maybe an award he won for a production that he had in prison for an acting job he did in prison.
What was the prison acting job?
He was going to have done ― maybe, like, he was going to be the lead in “Carousel” or something, in a performance, a prison performance in his drama group in prison. We had all these different versions, but then we really liked the idea that it was a gift for Cassie, and it had this little kid quality to it, and it was really representative of this bond between the two of them.
What happened to the giant Hello Kitty Pez dispenser?
It’s in a giant Marvel warehouse now and someone’s planning an elaborate heist to try and steal it probably.
Was there any trouble getting Hello Kitty? Because I heard you originally wanted Chipotle to be Scott’s job in the first “Ant-Man,” but Chipotle didn’t want to participate, so you went with Baskin-Robbins.
Chipotle was our original choice for Scott Lang’s job fresh out of prison, and Adam McKay at the time and I were just hell bent on ― it’s got to be Chipotle. And then we couldn’t get Chipotle. And then we talked about, do we create a fictional ... do we create “Chipotnick’s” and Chipotnicks is the new [place]? That didn’t make sense to us. Then we moved pretty quickly to Baskin-Robbins, because it seemed pretty fertile ground to cut to Scott in that pink colored apron serving out ice cream. Here, Hello Kitty was a pretty straight path. I think they got what we were kind of doing.
In this movie, you have a giant ant continually do Scott Lang’s routine so he can escape house arrest. Is the ant house-broken?
I don’t know. We really never tried that case. Ants are very discreet about how they expel their waste, but actually, he had been programmed. He spends two hours in the bathroom like Scott does. You made me think about it for the first time, but yes, you’re right. He’s potty-trained.
The second after-credit scene starts eerily, with half the world having been eliminated by Thanos, and it ends with the giant ant playing drums. How’d you decide on that one?
Well, I felt like it maybe leavened the drama of the events of “Infinity War” a little bit, and also we liked the idea that this ant ― that Hank and Hope had set up as a decoy for Scott when he’s [under] house arrest and had programmed to do what Scott did all day long ― that maybe if the ant got enough of this, it might start to like hanging out at Scott’s apartment. And maybe it likes playing the drums, and maybe is still staying and playing the drums. It just made us laugh. It seemed like the tone of our movie. The way the tone of our movie would deal with the events of “Infinity War.”
I know you actually play the drums. Was that you playing the drums in place of the ant?
I do play drums; it’s not actually me playing. I know that we at one point did research about how things are played, and it should end in a flourish, but there’s no motion capture. You won’t see a James Gunn next to Baby Groot dancing comparative video of me with the drums.
Was anyone playing the drums?
Well, the drum set in the shot was practical, and the ant that we do is a digital ant, but we definitely, I was very particular about animations where at one point it was like, “OK, I’m hearing a snare drum and a high hat cymbal, and that hand is playing a ride cymbal” … my drummer friends will nail me for that if it’s wrong.
Wasp is such a big part of this movie. Was there any talk of it being called “Wasp and Ant-Man”?
Yeah, there may have been a brief moment where we talked about “Wasp and the Ant-Man,” but because there’s a comics history of “Ant-Man and the Wasp” and a familiarity with certain fans and the idea of that, the Hank Pym /Janet van Dyne-era Ant-Man and Wasp were on the cover of “Avengers” No. 1, and she actually named the Avengers in the comics, so we wanted to maintain a little fidelity with that.
There’s a lot of talk about an all-female “Avengers” film. Since you inform the Wasp character moving forward, what would she do in an all-female “Avengers”?
I’d like her running things. I’d like to see her as the head of the all-female Avengers. I know Evangeline sort of said ... maybe that would be “Captain Marvel,” because she does have the word “captain” in her name. But I think Hope van Dyne is a very decisive leader and a tactician, in addition to being a brilliant scientist. So she checks a lot of boxes in terms of who’s going to be running the Avengers, theoretically.
If you went to the Quantum Realm, what would you do?
I’d sample the food, I’d see what the food was like.
Yes! The Quantum Krispies?
This interview has been edited and condensed.