WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Marvel's Ant-Man and The Wasp, in theaters now.
Things in the Marvel Cinematic Universe haven't been all that optimistic as of late. First there was the whole thing with Asgard being destroyed, then Wakanda was invaded by outsiders, then Thanos just had to show up with his Infinity Stones to wipe out half the universe. It's not exactly the happiest place in pop culture right now, is what we mean. In fact, to be perfectly honest, things seem down right bleak.
Thankfully, there's a light at the end of the tunnel... sort of. Though it's set before Infinity War and thus, before the finger snap heard 'round the galaxy, Ant-Man & The Wasp has positioned itself as a cheerful diversion to all the doom and gloom currently permeating the MCU. Focusing on just what, exactly, plucky not-quite-hero Scott Lang was up to while his Team Cap teammates were off fighting the Black Order, things pick up in the wake of Captain America: Civil War rather than trying to tackle the aftermath of the shattered cosmos. This means there's plenty of space for all the slapstick gags, giant household objects, and tiny car chases you can shake a stick at.
No, really. It's all worth it. We promise.
To further corroborate the importance of taking some time off from the doom and gloom side of the MCU, we sat down with director Peyton Reed to get the inside scoop on what it took to get the smallest Avenger back on the big screen.
CBR: This movie has a really different tone than a lot of MCU movies. The villain doesn't really have a megalomaniacal arc. It's very personal. It's very... kind? Is probably a good way to describe it? How much of that was designed to be an intentional antidote to the tone of Infinity War and what was organic? What's the most important part of the overall voice you wanted to drive home?
Peyton Reed: I mean, I think yeah, it is a very different tone than Infinity War, but I think it... it really was about building off the tone we've created in the first movie, right? And expanding and sort of retaining the more intimate feel of it. It really is ultimately a movie about family and you know, this sort of generational aspect.
It's one of the few, maybe the only, movie in the Marvel Universe where there's a mentor figure. He's kind of a screwed up mentor figure, but I liked that the mission at hand in this movie is an intensely personal mission for Hank, but kind of particularly for Hope. Hope has now come into her own as a hero in this movie.
So it occurred to us early on that, you know, who would be the role model for her? She would look to be her mom, but mom's been missing for 30 years. But of course now that Scott was able to get out of the quantum realm in the first movie and it's possible, it's really set the wheels in motion again with Hank and Hope about Jan -- could she be down there, potentially alive, and is there a way to find her? That seemed like a fun starting point for our movie.