Ant-Man & The Wasp producer Stephen Broussard says the Marvel Cinematic Universe sequel is what he calls a "one bad night" movie. The original Ant-Man was the first MCU film to combine superheroes and the heist genre. Director Peyton Reed revealed early on that the Ant-Man movie sequel falls into an "entirely different genre template", though he refrained from revealing exactly what that would be. However, Reed did later clarify that Ant-Man & the Wasp is not a romantic comedy about the titular characters, as had been rumored.
The Ant-Man sequel takes place before Avengers: Infinity War and picks up with Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) as he strikes a deal with the U.S. government, after what happened in Captain America: Civil War. This results in Scott agreeing to being placed under house arrest, in an effort to "rebalance" his lives as both a father and a superhero. Of course, it's not long before troubles comes knocking - literally, when Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and her dad Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) show up at Scott's doorstep, asking for his help. This leads to Scott's "one bad night", as Broussard refers to it.
When Screen Rant visited the Ant-Man & The Wasp set, Broussard explained that the film's creatives wanted to take a fresh genre approach, like the first Ant-Man did. He admitted that "one bad night" isn't necessarily a genre the way that "heist" is, but noted that there are several famous examples of that story template - spanning from family-friendly adventures to dark comedies and hard-boiled crime fare:
The first film was a heist film, right. It was kind of this crime movie and we like - the Ant-Man franchise kind of lives in this crime adjacent world, you know, and so a lot of the films that we started talking about just as like inspiration and kind of how we wanna approach it and how we wanna do something new the same way, the heist movie felt new to the MCU. I don’t really know if it’s like a genre unto itself but movies have always been called ‘one bad night’ when something just goes terrible and just kind of spirals out of control.
After Hours is a great touchstone. I like Go. Go is a great movie. You know, Adventures in Babysitting for the lighter fare kind of thing and it just kind of feels like it started so simple but then it kind of just goes up and up and up and then you have a character trying to race to get, put it all back in the box before they get caught kind of thing. And then the circumstance of that house arrest kind of gave a great framework for that. So, Hank and Hope come in and sort of scoop [Scott] up on this journey and he’s kind of out of bounds, not where he should be, trying to keep that part of his life from getting caught but also trying to help them with this, with this adventure. I'm a big Elmore Leonard fan, you know, in the way that there’s all these sort of colorful characters kind of colliding with one another, you know. That feels kind of crime-adjacent to use that term again and so we kind of wanted to populate this movie with a lot of, a lot of antagonists. You know, not so much people that are like villains or supervillains, but like obstacles in the way. They have their own agendas, their own journeys. They’re not trying to take over the world, but they’re clearly standing in the way of our heroes and Elmer Leonard was such a master at that. You know, the Get Shortys of the world. Everybody is sort of in a circle trying to get somewhere else and just colliding in the middle. And that was a huge inspiration for kind of the tone and the framework of where this movie could go.
The "colorful characters" that collide with Ant-Man & The Wasp's heroes include Dr. Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne), Hank's former colleague, who has more than a passing interest in the Giant-Man tech. Other supporting players are a little more trustworthy but, as Broussard noted, they have different "agendas" than Scott, Hope, and Hank. That includes Scott's old pal Luis (Michael Peña), who's running a legitimate business by the time the Ant-Man sequel catches up with him. And, of course, there are the film's main villains Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) and Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins), whose own interests very much conflict with the titular superheroes' goals.
All things considered, the "one bad night" setup ought to serve Ant-Man & The Wasp well. The movie won't have the global stakes of either Infinity War or last February's Black Panther, but its race-against-the-clock premise should imbue its storyline with a welcome sense of urgency. Of course, Scott and Hope will have the figurative Sword of Damocles hanging over their heads in other respects. However well their mission in the sequel goes, the heroes will eventually have to deal with Thanos and the fallout of his snap at the end of Infinity War. Indeed, their "one bad night" could wind up being rather important to the future of the MCU.
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019