Ant-Man wasn’t the first time director Peyton Reed worked with Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige. Many years earlier, Reed was attached to direct a Fantastic Four movie that never came to be. They regrouped many years later when Reed pitched and was on the shortlist of potential directors to helm Guardians of the Galaxy and of course, came back in to helm Ant-Man.
While the size-shifting Avenger may be Reed’s personal favorite hero since he was young, the Fantastic Four characters have always been important to him. In the next few months, Reed will be working on helping craft an outline for the Ant-Man sequel, appropriately titled Ant-Man and the Wasp, but he’d love to eventually take a stab at adapting Fantastic Four in a better way – should the opportunity ever arise.
Here’s what Reed had to say about the FF movies – the Tim Story movies from the mid-2000s and this year’s miserable Josh Trank/Simon Kinberg version – when chatting with Yahoo! Movies about the in-home release of Ant-Man:
“Fantastic Four in the comics was always the pinnacle of Marvel, the crown jewel — they were the first family of Marvel Comic. 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.
“I think they haven’t really gotten Mr. Fantastic’s powers right visually on screen. 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.”
If there’s any chance Marvel Studios can be a part of re-rebooting Fantastic Four by working with Twentieth Century Fox – who they are partnering with already on a pair of recently announced X-Men live-action TV shows – Peyton Reed would likely be a contender, should he not be busy working on more Ant-Man stories. It’s not quite official yet, but Reed’s about to finalize his deal with Marvel Studios to return for the recently announced 2018 Ant-Man and the Wasp. Speaking with USA Today, Reed shares his excitement about the success of the first film and being able to return and craft the sequel – from the start instead of taking over from someone else.
“I’m doubly excited. We’re going to do some very, very different things in the next movie and we’ve set up stuff in the first movie that we can have a lot of fun with in the second movie and go both bigger and smaller at the same time.”
When teased about the idea of showcasing Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) shifting gear, so to speak, and becoming Giant Man – and including a teaser shot of just his feet in frame – Reed laughed and continued, “there’s like 50 years of source material to choose from, so we’re being smart about what we’re going to do with the movie. But there’s some very weird stuff in store for these characters.”
Next Page: Wasp’s Origin and Superhero Debut
The most exciting character might just be Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), arguably the most qualified hero in the first movie, who didn’t get a costume to wear. Lilly’s already been fitted/scanned for her Wasp superhero outfit, which may look like the costume in the above image – as revealed at the end of the Ant-Man movie. Wasp was originally intended to be in Captain America: Civil War but Lilly claims her pregnancy put her return appearance on hold until later in Phase 3.
Reed has likewise commented on Hope van Dyne’s own story in Ant-Man:
“This movie had to have a beginning, middle and end, and with or without the costume, Ant-Man is also very much Hope van Dyne’s origin story because she has to learn to make peace with her father and she’s an incredibly powerful character in that movie – way more qualified than even Scott Lang is to take that job.
“We knew it would be incredibly satisfying to introduce her getting the costume because she so deserves it. Part of the arc between Hank Pym and Hope van Dyne is Hank realizing, I’ve got this incredibly capable person right here and I’m finally realizing what I thought was protecting her has really been holding her back. And he rewards her with this suit. It felt satisfying in the moment but of course everybody wants to see Evangeline in the outfit — me being one of them — and a kickass hero.”
With Ant-Man proving to be a hit, earning more than half a billion dollars at the worldwide box office – more than the first outings of Captain America and Thor in 2011 – Reed gets to realize the things he was hopeful of when we spent time with him a few days before Ant-Man hit theaters, previewing footage at Industrial Light & Magic. At the time, Paul Rudd was already working away with directors Anthony and Joe Russo on the set of Captain America: Civil War, and Reed was a little jealous. He explained to us that he feels a sense of ownership and pride over the Ant-Man movie characters and the unique shooting style he helped develop with a macrophotography team – the first third unit on any Marvel Studios production – and was looking over Civil War dailies and chatting with the Russos to help out.
Brad Winderbaum subtlety said at that event that they (Marvel) would definitely want Reed back and were impressed with his work – understandable given the challenging situation he came into at the last minute, taking over for Edgar Wright. And now he’s getting the chance.
“There was definitely a point where I was a little envious. I felt a proprietary thing over that character. I remember to say to Paul, ‘You’re going down to Atlanta to work with those other guys?’ It was like my girlfriend had left me for someone else.”
Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man – July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.