With Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly set to reprise their title roles in Marvel’s Ant-Man and Wasp, we’re still waiting for deals to close on Adam McKay’s scripting duties and Peyton Reed’s possible return to the director’s chair. It sounds like Reed’s return is close to being confirmed if his new comments are any indication. That would certainly keep some continuity between the films, a necessary component to easing the production drama that plagued the first movie.
As Reed tells Yahoo, he’s excited to come back for the Ant-Man sequel not only to flesh out the micro Marvel hero’s world a little more, but to resolve some of the things they set up in the first film. Also, in a surprising reveal from Reed, who was replaced by Tim Story on Marvel’s mid-2000s Fantastic Four movies, he offers up some veteran advice for whoever next takes on the big-screen adaptation of Marvel’s First Family of Superheroes.
As for whether or not Reed is certain to return for Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp, he says:
“We’re [still] in negotiations, but I think it’s looking pretty good.”
I can’t imagine too many things would complicate this deal at the moment, especially since Reed came in to more or less rescue the picture once the studio and writer/director Edgar Wright famously butted heads. And since Ant-Man was made for $130 million and managed to bring in over half-a-billion in total worldwide box office sales, certainly Disney/Marvel isn’t going to mess with the equation that proved itself financially successful.
So, if Reed does return to the director’s chair, here’s what he’s looking forward to doing:
“I think one of the appealing things about coming back for a sequel is to be able to build it from the ground up this time,” Reed said. “Also, [there’s] stuff that we clearly set up in the first movie that we want to pay off and have fun with in the second movie. Since we know [the characters’] origins, we can go in some weird, unique and different territory.”
One of those characters Reed mentioned happens to show up in the sequel’s title. It’s the first time a Marvel film has put a heroine on equal billing with the title hero, with no disrespect to their planned Ms. Marvel film, Captain Marvel. (Ant-Man and the Wasp bows on July 6, 2018 while Captain Marvel debuts in theaters March 8, 2019.) Here’s Reed’s take on Wasp appearing in the sequel’s title and the sequel itself:
“It just happened to be organic for the characters of Ant-Man and Wasp, [so] it worked,” he said. “Her last line in the movie — ‘It’s about damn time’ — [is] very much about her specific character and arc in that movie, but it is absolutely about a larger thing. It’s about damn time: We’re going to have a fully realized, very very complicated hero in the next movie who happens to be a woman.”
While you should head over to Yahoo for more on Reed’s comments about operating within the shared Marvel Cinematic Universe – including his reveal that he’s seen a rough cut of Captain America: Civil War – another interesting tidbit he shared were his thoughts on the state of the Fantastic Four movie adaptations:
“Fantastic Four in the comics was always the pinnacle of Marvel, the crown jewel — they were the first family of Marvel Comics. The two existing versions did massive pendulum swings from each other. One was very pitched toward younger kids and very broad, and the second was a much darker version of it. I just personally feel like they have not gotten the tone right. And man, it’s a bummer. I think the tone has got to be one of optimism, and you’ve got to take it seriously.”
While fans (and the box office) certainly seem to agree with the tonal discord between the movies and the comic books, Reed also offers up his advice for the next director who takes on the franchise:
“I think they haven’t really gotten Mr. Fantastic’s powers right visually on screen,” the director said. “I think there’s some really badass ways to make that [character] work. I just know there’s a great Fantastic Four movie to be had. I’m convinced that it can work.”
Don’t expect Reed to be taking on Fantastic Four anytime soon since he’s quite busy with Ant-Man and the Wasp, but should the feature rights to the First Family ever revert back to Marvel Studios, they could do much worse than giving Reed his long-awaited shot.