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9 Things We Learned From The ‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’ Press Conference
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Ant-Man and The Wasp

Scott Lang’s (Paul Rudd) life will never be the same after the events of Captain America: Civil War. In Ant-Man and the Wasp, our title hero finds himself in familiar territory, an ex-convict who is trying to live on the straightened arrow. Well, an ex-convict who helped Captain America commit treason. But who remembers those things. Now with a few days of house arrest left, Scott feels like he can live on the straightened arrow. That is, until, he is pulled out of his house by Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). The two bring him a new mission that could potentially rescue Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) from the Quantum Realm. But it won’t be easy, especially when you got the Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) and Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins) going after Hank’s tech.

We were fortunate enough to sit down with our fellow journalists to talk to director Peyton Reed and Marvel Studios’ president Kevin Feige, along with Rudd, Lilly, John-Kamen, Douglas, and Laurence Fishburne about the film, its place within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, villainy, and more. Check out what they had to say below.

Evangeline Lilly as The Wasp in Ant-Man And The Wasp

9 – Bringing Hope To Those “Oh Shit” Moments

One thing is for sure, Ant-Man and the Wasp is that much-needed injection of light and hope after an emotionally devastating film like Avengers: Infinity War. Yes, the events of this film take place before Infinity War, but it will certainly help us remember that you can still have a laugh or two or more in the MCU. Not only that, but the MCU is finally giving its female characters a chance to shine. Starting off with its first male and female double billing, something that Evangeline Lilly was very excited about.

“I loved getting to be a blade runner,” Lilly said. “The knife gag in the restaurant scene is very cool. I love that element of playing someone who is completely in jeopardy but also completely in control. I saw that a lot, especially when the mallet comes down at her. You can see those ‘oh shit’ moments but then she is completely in control the next second.”

Lilly says it was fun to finally see Hope take on the mantle left behind by her mother. “She was rearing to get into that suit for an entire film and to finally get to see her in that moment was exciting,” Lilly said.

Michael Douglas as Hank Pym in Ant-Man And The Wasp

8 – Explaining The Quantum Realm For Dummies

Everything may have a time and place within the MCU, but it’s unclear how other dimensions even work. Dimensions like the Quantum Realm. But if you want to have something to explain how it works, you better get someone like Hank Pym. “I would have to read the script to get the gist of it,” Michael Douglas, who plays Hank Pym, said. “I know we get very very small.”

But Lilly actually can answer those questions thanks to her interest in quantum physics. The actress says she really digs the subject and shared a little bit of her knowledge in the field by explaining how the atom is more than just the smallest molecule, it is actually kinetic and can exist in multiple places at the same time. “Once you know that, you know that matter is kinetic and matter is displacing all the time, and if it can be displaced, it can be warped,” Lilly said. “So if you can warp it. Also if you can warp it, can you can warp time; can you can warp matter; can you warp reality, can you warp the universe?”

This drop of knowledge was so mind-blowing that Rudd just had to ask a question. “What if the way you see blue is the way I see red,” asked Rudd. “Oh dude,” Lilly replied with a laugh.

Michael Douglas as Hank Pym in Ant-Man And The Wasp

7 – I Looked Pretty Good, Didn’t I?

Douglas seemed pretty confident in himself about his good looks and the effects that were used to de-age him in Ant-Man and the Wasp. “I looked pretty good, didn’t I,” Douglas asked assertively.

The actor said that he found out about getting to play a younger version of himself when Pfeiffer signed on to play Janet Van Dyne. “I’ve been such a tremendous fan of hers, never having the chance to work with her, I was totally ecstatic,” Douglas said. “Then reading the script I find out that Michelle Pfeiffer and I were going to be 30 years younger, it made it that much better. It was a treat.”

Hannah John-Kamen as The Ghost in Ant-Man And The Wasp

6 – Not Your Ordinary Villain

Marvel villains have been evolving. They aren’t simply black and white anymore, but those who have strayed from the path of goodness and have redeeming qualities despite their past crimes. Hannah John-Kamen, who plays Ghost in Ant-Man and the Wasp, doesn’t see her character as a conventional villain, but someone who’s a threat. “When we play a villain, you have to play like you are the good guy and everyone else is bad,” John-Kamen said. “And she has such a clear objective in the movie and it’s every man for himself, every woman for herself.”

But even then, MCU villains as of late have more depth than world domination. Especially Ghost, who has a different agenda in mind, even though her path to accomplishing that goal may have taken some dark turns. “I think the villains are very redeemable because they are fun and you want to see them again,” John-Kamen said.

Lilly chimed in with her own perspective. “I have a seven-year-old son, and he loves violent movies. He loves to taunt me by saying ‘I LOVE violence.’ Cause he knows I hate it,” Lilly said. “When he talks about good guys and bad guys, I always feel a responsibility to clarify to him ‘You know there is really no such thing as a bad guy, right? There are just good guys, they have made so many bad choices they forgotten how to make good choices. And a true hero’s job is to remind them of their goodness. Not to annihilate them; to kill them; they want to help them redeem themselves.'”

“I think that’s applicable to life,” Lilly added. “Superhero stories are fun and they are a totally different world, but what I think is so cool is to have redeemable villains, you’re teaching children that if you encounter someone who might have a different opinion than you that doesn’t mean they are a villain. If they have a different objective that doesn’t mean you should attack them. Maybe you want to understand them first.”

Laurence Fishburn as Bill Foster in Ant-Man And The Wasp

5 – Disney Connections

This wouldn’t be the first time that Laurence Fishburne has been in a Marvel movie. In 2007, he provided the voice of the Silver Surfer in Tim Story’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. It would be about a decade, and a few DC films, until he would return to Marvel as Bill Foster in Ant-Man and the Wasp. Though, he actually could have appeared earlier if only he knew he was on the same lot as Marvel Studios. “I realized that I was on the same lot as Marvel, while working on Black-ish, at ABC Disney, and remembered that I worked with Louis D’Esposito 100 years ago, and I thought, I should really go talk to them,” Fishburne said.

It really didn’t take much convincing, but they needed to find the right role for the comic book fan. But when they did make the offer to him, it was for a guy he did not know anything about. “Although I was a Marvel reader, and a DC reader, but mostly a Marvel one, I did not know about Bill Foster,” Fishburne said. “But I never got to Foster because I was never an Ant-Man reader. But they were kind enough to allow me to join the family. And I am just a kid in a candy store and I am having a good time.”

Evangeline Lilly As Wasp in Ant-Man

4 – Female Avengers

While Lilly returns to reprise her role as Hope Van Dyne, Ant-Man and the Wasp is the first time that we get to see the female superhero deliver a mighty sting. That being said, it does leave the door open for other potential team-ups, and when you have a film like The Avengers, it’s hard not to fantasize about who the Wasp would pair with.

Before this film, Lilly said she would have loved to have teamed up with the Hulk due to their size differential. But then Ant-Man and the Wasp happened. So Lilly provided a different answer. “I personally have an enormous crush on Okoye, and would love to have a chance to hang out with Danai [Gurira] as much as possible, so let’s just say that,” Lilly said. “Besides the fact I am personally going to continue the rumor and gossip about an all female-Avengers film until it happens.”

The Wasp/Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly)

3 – The Embiggening

The number of times that go from big to small has increased. So we’ve gone from a tiny ant growing up to a “messed-up looking dog” and Thomas The Tank Engines in Ant-Man to buildings, pez dispensers, and salt shakers in Ant-Man and the Wasp. While it may sound like Rudd and Reed have run out of ideas for embiggenings, they were open to a few suggestions.

“I can’t think of anything I would like to see,” Rudd said.

“I’d like to be able to shrink and fly, I mean i don’t know about shrink and other things, but I would like to do those two myself, that would be cool,” Lilly said. “I can’t think of an object either.”

“We are officially out of ideas,” Reed said.

“You got anything,” Rudd asked the reporter.

To which the reporter (our own Sabina Graves) snuck in, Cassie’s rabbit.

“Done,” Reed said with a smile. Meanwhile, Rudd motioned to getting a pen so he could remember to add that in the sequel. He did not have one, so let’s all hold Rudd to it that he will add Cassie’s toy rabbit as something that will grow big. Also remember that Sabina was the one who asked about Ant-Man being the Jiminy Cricket of the MCU. And we all saw how that played out in Captain America: Civil War.

Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen)

2 – Ghost Phasing

The Ghost’s abilities aren’t entirely new given that we’ve seen Vision phase through solid objects. But the execution is something that is unlike any other. While it may look like Ghost’s movements were difficult to shoot in Ant-Man and the Wasp, John-Kamen says she was allowed to perform her movements and stunts as she normally would. “It was actually freeing because they were like ‘no just do the scene and do the stunts,’ John-Kamen said. “It wouldn’t be stop, start, stop, start, the visual effects came later. But yeah, it looks really good. I’m really happy.”

The Wasp/Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and Hank Pym (Michael Douglas)

1 – The Family Business

While Scott may be the Ant-Man, he seems to be out of his depth when it comes to the heroics. Now when compared to the Wasp, he is clearly outclassed. “I think in the first one, it was pretty clear, she was really good at this,” Rudd said about writing the character. “The idea that Scott was never really sure how he could be Ant-Man and still be a good parent, and how those two things could co-exist. That’s where we really wanted to hang this thing on that kind of dilemma. One of the things I really liked about this is that it really is a duo, a team, and we work together, and we work together well.”

Ant-Man and the Wasp opens in theaters on July 7, 2018. Click right here for our review, trailers, and more.

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