Last year, Screen Rant visited the set of Ant-Man and the Wasp at Marvel's Pinewood Studios outside of Atlanta. There, we talked to the cast and key creatives of the movie and got a chance to see some of the set pieces that will come into play. We also learned quite a bit about the Quantum Realm, the villainous Ghost, and the continual evolution of Scott Lang and Hope van Dyne as superheroes.
Taking place in a little over a day - before Avengers: Infinity War but after Scott's imprisonment in Captain America: Civil War - Ant-Man and the Wasp will throw up all sorts of obstacles for our heroes. In between that, they'll navigate their personal lives as they try to balance being costumed adventures with keeping their families together.
Thanks to our set visit, we know a great deal more about the film than has been revealed in marketing, so strap in and check out the 25 biggest things we learned.
25 Ant-Man & The Wasp Is About "One Bad Night"
While the first Ant-Man was all about Scott stealing Hank Pym's suit before finally earning his place as a superhero, he's now fully in the life thanks to his years of adventures. Modeled after a heist film, the original movie focused on a series of jobs that Scott and his various teams were attempting to pull off. Ant-Man and the Wasp will be much larger in scope now that more heroes, villains, and tech are involved, but it will still look to certain crime movies staples. Specifically, Ant-Man 2 is about one bad night.
Stephen Broussard (executive producer): 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.
24 Team Ant-Man Has A New Vehicle To Navigate The Quantum Realm
In the first Ant-Man, we saw both Janet van Dyne and Scott Lang turn off their size regulator to shrink down to the subatomic level. For Janet, this meant becoming trapped in the Quantum Realm. Scott, however, was able to escape such a fate and bring back the hope of recovering Janet. As the team unites to rescue the original Wasp, they'll be utilizing a new Quantum Vehicle to safely explore the treacherous dimension.
Peyton Reed (director): So we know that the most important part about that is the thrusting and the visibility. So not unlike the Sikorski helicopter, or the lightweight kinda ones that are really about the bubble. So we kinda looked into the vehicles that go submerged under water, because it's all about visibility. And in this particular case, it needs a thruster. That is visible and the landing mechanism. But we built this from just our research. And so that's kind of where we got ours from. That's how we evolved ours.
23 The Wasp's Suit Had To Change From The Post-Credits Scene in Ant-Man
Ant-Man and the Wasp won't be the first time we've seen Hope van Dyne's Wasp costume on screen. The post-credits scene from Ant-Man unveiled the work in progress and teased the rise of the hero in this year's sequel. But while the costume was something to behold, it was a pure CGI creation and the Wasp suit had to change when it came time for Evangeline Lilly to actually wear it.
Ivo Coveney (specialty costumes supervisor): That one was just beautifully CGI’d, and as is often the case we don’t have to worry about the human body. So, it is - as soon as you have to put it on the human body, you have to make it work. This is very faithful.
22 Laurence Fishburne May Suit Up As Goliath in Ant-Man and the Wasp
In the comics, Dr. Bill Foster is the size-changing hero Goliath. But with Laurence Fishburne in the role, we may see the scientist retired from the superhero life like Hank Pym. We did learn, however, that the two scientists used to work together on what would eventually become the Pym Particle. That and the tease from the Ant-Man and the Wasp trailer about Foster growing in size means the hero likely had a super-suit of his own. So will we see Fishburne suit up as Goliath?
Broussard: Maybe. The idea would be that perhaps they had worked together in the past on a lot of projects including some of the shrinking and growing tech. How that plays into this story, I think we’d rather leave unsaid for the moment.
21 Scott Took A Plea Deal After Civil War
Avengers: Infinity War saw a number of heroes sit out of Thanos' invasion of Earth. Where the Wasp was is unclear, but we know from the film that Scott took a deal and spent the movie presumably under house arrest. According to the minds behind the film, Ant-Man 2 will pick up with Scott having taken a plea deal following the events of Captain America: Civil War and Ant-Man's subsequent breakout courtesy of Steve Rogers.
Broussard: Our film would sort of pick up after that and the sort of in-between story that we’re telling, the back story that would assume when this movie starts would be that Scott, being a family man, well-established in the first film and sort of feeling like he got in over his head in his adventure during Civil War basically said, ‘Not for me. No, thanks. I don’t wanna go on this adventure.’ Went and sort of plead down a plea bargain out of this misunderstanding he got himself in and so part of the terms of that was basically put under house arrest. So, that’s when the film opens he’s under house arrest. He has an ankle bracelet. He can’t leave his apartment.
20 Rescuing Janet From the Quantum Realm May Have Larger Ramifications
When it comes to Hank and Hope in Ant-Man and the Wasp, the attempt to rescue Janet is a no-brainer. With Scott proving you can survive being in the Quantum Realm, the crew will be motivated and inspired to free their loved one. But while Janet breaking free will be great for our heroes personally, it was hinted during our set visit that rescuing Janet could have larger consequences.
Reed: The big mission is to find Janet. What that means, ultimately, for our characters on a personal level is one thing and what it means for the larger world is another thing. And all the other things are really stumbling blocks on the path. There is a big bad that has a very unique relationship to our characters.
19 Scott Lang Is More Concerned With Being a Father Than a Superhero
Ant-Man proved that Scott Lang is the typical hero. Even before donning the suit, he helped to take down corporate corruption while at the same time breaking the law. Once out, his origin story entailed once again doing something illegal. And while taking down Yellowjacket was a worthy cause, destroying a building in the process was hardly by the book. But Scott also showed he was willing to do whatever it takes to protect his daughter Cassie, which is part of the reason he took the plea deal after Captain America: Civil War. So while Ant-Man will be back in action before long, Scott Lang is more focused on being a father than anything else, according to Paul Rudd.
Paul Rudd: Well, I like the idea of playing a superhero that is not innately heroic or super in any way, just you know, a regular person. And I like the idea also of not embracing the role because of all of the difficulties that we come along with having to be so badass, and how it would affect your life and how would it affect your relationships and certainly your being a responsible parent, and so to kind of wrestle with those questions. We did a little bit in the first one, but you know, it’s certainly now more pronounced.
18 Ant-Man and the Wasp Are Two Very Different Superheroes
We got a taste of the difference between Scott and Hope in the first movie, especially as the younger van Dyne tried to continue her father's training of the new Ant-Man. Luckily, Ant-Man and the Wasp will be a two-hander, allowing Hope to properly step up as a costumed hero and show why she was born to it. Even though the sequel will see the two team up, Evangeline Lilly says Ant-Man and the Wasp are very different superheroes.
Evangeline Lilly: Hope Van Dyne and Scott Lang are two birds of a very, very different feather. They can both shrink. I mean, of course, Scott is just incredibly lovable, easygoing, and relaxed about things. Even when things are as dire as they can be, you have this sense that they're kind of okay inside. Hope is generally not okay inside. But what I think is exciting about playing the Wasp is there is this incredible satisfaction in Hope, something that she has been waiting for her whole life, which is essentially, an affirmation from her father has come.
17 Scott Is the Key to Rescuing Janet from the Quantum Realm
While Scott was off cavorting with the Avengers, it's presumed Hank and Hope were getting the Wasp off the ground and starting the search for their missing family member. But at some point, they'll need the help of the new Ant-Man. So while he's trying to focus on being a dad and not breaking the Sokovia Accords, it turns out Scott will be integral to rescuing Janet from the Quantum Realm. Of course, that means Hank and Hope will have to swallow their pride and ask him for help. Though no one was able to reveal much about the mission, Michael Douglas did tease the inciting incident.
Michael Douglas: We sort of get a signal...actually through Scott - So it’s an integral part, but we get a signal that she might still be alive.
16 The Quantum Realm Is a Trippy, Interplanetary Place in Ant-Man 2
Executive producer Stephen Broussard was able to reveal quite a bit about Ant-Man and the Wasp, especially in regards to the mysterious Quantum Realm. Though the first Ant-Man introduced the subatomic dimension and the climax showed just what it was like down there, we still don't know a ton about it. It's clear, however, that it will play a large part in the MCU to come, meaning the Ant-Man franchise has some work ahead of it in developing the location. Like the first movie, the Quantum Realm will be very trippy, but it will also have a space-like quality to it as the team explores the environment.
Broussard: In a lot of ways we’re almost approaching it like interplanetary in a weird way, you know what I mean? Like, as if you could go down there and experience another world and that if you kept going maybe you’d find other things or if you came back up it’d be completely different at this level.
15 Laurence Fishburne’s Bill Foster May Be More Foe Than Friend
Ant-Man and the Wasp will spend plenty of time focusing on the returning characters, from Scott and Hope to Luis and the gang. But a number of new heroes and villains will come aboard. Falling possibly somewhere in between will be Dr. Bill Foster. We know he and Hank used to work together and the one real clip of him we've seen shows him as fairly amicable. But his rivalry with Hank runs deep and could affect his character arc. In fact, when Peyton Reed was asked about Foster's role, he teased that Laurence Fishburne's character will be antagonistic in a number of ways.
Reed: I liked the idea from the beginning, especially having Michael and Laurence Fishburne, of these guys who are sort of scientific rivals and when we’re -- that’s really the rivalry and we always talked about sort of a Steve Jobs/Bill Gates kind of thing. Two scientists who are both geniuses in quantum physics and quantum mechanics, but maybe have a Mac/PC rivalry about what the approach to delving into the Quantum Realm might be. So, I also like the idea of with those two actors, especially with Fishburne, like, someone who’s gonna actually go toe-to-toe with Michael in terms of who’s the smartest guy in the room? That struck me as something really fun and you know, to give Hank Pym a foil in this movie in that way.
14 Hank Pym Isn't Happy About Ant-Man Showing Off His Tech In Civil War
In the first Ant-Man, Hank Pym made it very clear that he didn't want the Tony Starks of the world to get their hands on his tech. He left both S.H.I.E.L.D. and the superhero game not after losing his wife, but when questionable characters began coveting his Pym Particles as a tool for war. The whole climax of the film was even about stopping Darren Cross from using the technology for that very purpose. So, how does Hank feel about Scott showing off in Captain America: Civil War? As Douglas tells it, he's not thrilled.
Douglas: Yeah, he’s pretty pissed off about that. [Laughs] He really is. I mean, I would say, largely sets the initial tone between Scott and Hank on this one. That was, you know, he didn't share much information with Dr. Pym
13 It Sounds Like Jimmy Woo Won’t Be a SHIELD Agent in Ant-Man 2
Back when Laurence Fishburne, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Hannah John-Kamen were announced as part of Ant-Man and the Wasp, we also learned that Randall Park would be playing Agent Jimmy Woo. In the film, he'll be an FBI agent who looks to be keeping an eye on Scott Lang during his house arrest. But in the comics, the character is a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent with an unusual team of his own that spans multiple decades. Sadly, it appears that take on the character won't be joining the MCU as specialty costumes supervisor Ivo Coveney told us, there was no SHIELD suit designed for Woo. That means he's just another name plucked from the comics and downgraded to a normal person, more or less. Then again, perhaps the events of Ant-Man 2 will open the door for Park to hop over to Agents of SHIELD and join the team.
12 The Wasp’s Suit Is Way More Advanced Than Ant-Man’s
The suit Scott wore in Ant-Man was the same one Hank Pym used to fight crime in back in his day, but it got an upgrade when the new hero joined Captain America: Civil War. But despite the incredible tech that exists in the MCU and the upgrades the Wasp costume has, Ant-Man is falling behind. He won't have wings or blasters, something he won't be pleased about. And according to Evangeline Lilly, the Wasp's suit is way more advanced than Ant-Man's.
Lilly: My suit is -- it's an upgrade from Scott Lang's suit that he was wearing, cus he was wearing Hank's original suit from the 1960s. So, what we are able to do with technology and my suit is, I have blasters on my wrists. I have my wings. Essentially, there is a reaction system to what I'm thinking.
Aside from the added features, the Wasp suit doesn't require a clunky button to change size. Like with Iron Man's tech, the suit responds to Hope's mental commands, allowing her to change size a lot quicker than her partner.
11 Ant-Man 2 Features Marvel’s Biggest Practical Set Piece
Marvel movies have had huge budgets and have worked wonders bringing superhero costumes and powers to life. but occasionally, the MCU films have suffered from an overabundance of CGI. That's why it was important to director Peyton Reed to do a lot of effects in-camera and build plenty of real sets for the actors to work with. As a result, Ant-Man 2 has Marvel's biggest practical set, in the form of Hank Pym's audacious new lab.
Reed: I think that’s another thing that I’m really psyched about with this movie, that a lot of times with these movies in the digital age, it’s actors acting against a green screen and I was insistent because I still feel from the first movie and even more so in this movie that there’s a really tactile quality to the Ant-Man and Wasp universe. That you want to feel that stuff, so the set...I think is really the biggest set that’s ever been constructed for a Marvel movie in terms of just being a tactile set.
10 The Quantum Realm Is Very Different from the Dark Dimension
Doctor Strange expanded what started in Ant-Man by exploring alternate dimensions within the MCU. The most prominent of those was the Dark Dimension, home to Dormammu and a place Stephen Strange spent a long time stuck in a time loop. That location was certainly as trippy as the Quantum Realm, but Ant-Man and the Wasp will show the latter is much more nuanced. Instead of dark and mysterious, it seems as if the Quantum Realm is unique from the Dark Dimension and has more life to it than just a monstrous supervillain.
Broussard: It can’t be a black void, right like you had a little bit in the first film, so it’s gotta be landscape-y. But how do you make it still feel at scale? How do you make it feel microscopic with the camera treatments and with the relationship of the horizon and stuff like that? Figuring all that out has been a bit of a head trip, but it’s pretty cool. You know, it can’t just feel like -- I don’t know, it’s not Lawrence of Arabia. It’s not a giant desert because that kind of -- it triggers scale cues in your head, but you still have to kind of feel that it would be scale appropriate if you’re down there and finding that balance between the small and the epic, I guess has kind of been the challenge.
9 Ant-Man & The Wasp’s Working Title Is An Homage to Tim & Eric
With so many people desperate to hunt down clues about blockbusters films during their production, films often use working titles to hide what they're shooting if it's out in a publicly accessible place. But more and more, the working titles of films are known to the public often before cameras even roll. Sometimes, they're something simple or are tied to the movie, but with Ant-Man and the Wasp fans were curious to learn it was shooting under Cherry Blue. At first assumed to be tied to Ant-Man's suit color, it turns out the Ant-Man 2 working title is a Tim & Eric reference.
Reed: Cherry Blue is a nod to a Tim and Eric sketch where Dr. Steve Brule’s going to buy a car. Do you know the sketch? And he wants a cherry red car and they only have cherry blue. So, for some reason that - it felt like something you’d see, like, spray-painted on the side of a van. For some reason, it felt appropriate - but just, it felt right for the vibe of our movie.
8 Evangeline Lilly Made Sure To Honor The Wasp From The Comics
While Evangeline Lilly is technically playing a character invented for the MCU, she made sure to honor the Wasp from the comics in Ant-Man 2. For the actor, that meant working with the stunt team and the costume designers to make the character more feminine and elegant in her look and movement. To Lilly, that was a staple of Wasp in the comics, from how she moved to fought.
Lilly: She is very, very graceful in the comic books. She’s very feminine. She’s not a kind of legs apart, grounded, gritty. She’s got pointed toes and long limbs and she’s very elegant. And I really wanted to hang onto that. Marvel are very good at modernizing their superheroes, but I always think you wanna taste the original 1960s character you first fell in love with. And so, we’re really tryin' to do that with the fight style. And I influence that a lot with the stunt people.
7 Being Stuck in The Quantum Realm May Have Changed Janet
The first Ant-Man had the idea of Janet being stuck in the Quantum Realm in the background, but it really only explored it in terms of how it affected Hank and Hope - and as foreshadowing for the film's climax. With Ant-Man and the Wasp, however, we'll finally get to dive into the dimension and meet Janet van Dyne. But after decades stuck in the subatomic world, how has the original Wasp survived. The new movie will certainly answer these questions, along with how Janet may have changed in the Quantum Realm.
Broussard: That’s part of the questions that our heroes have. It’s such a -- the mission, so to speak, is kind of this wing and a prayer, this mission of faith, that they’re hoping she’s down there kind of thing as they go on it. And they have those same questions. What has life been like for her, you know?
6 Hank Pym’s New Lab Is a Portable Office Building
The trailers for Ant-Man and the Wasp have teased the big Marvel set piece, but mostly only with glimpses of the outside. One of the key gags in first teaser was even the reveal that Hank's lab is a portable office building that he can shrink down and wheel around. More than just a joke, however, it will allow Hank a lot of freedom when it comes to traveling with and expanding his lab. Not only that, but it will play with the very thing that makes Hank unique as a scientist.
Shepherd Frankel (production designer): We thought it'd be cool for him to hide in plain sight. So when we were talking about what kind of facility he has to service his storyline, which is the storyline of the movie, which is to reconnect his family, we thought, let's have a -- We, he needs a facility to do this, and we don't want it to be your average lab, or your Tony Stark lab. We really want to pull and draw from the Hank Pym that we know, whose kind of heyday was in the '70s and '80s, when he was an Avenger, and when he was with S.H.I.E.L.D. But his loyalty is to science, physics, And engineering. And we know him as a scientist, physicist, and engineer. We thought he could create a facility that has everything he needs inside of it, but he can hide in plain sight.
5 Ghost Will Retain Classic Comic Book Powers
While we don't know a ton about the villain in Ant-Man and the Wasp, we do know that Ghost will keep her comic book powers. Those include invisibility and intangibility, granted to her by her hi-tech suit. We've seen glimpses of it in action in the trailers, but the team behind the movie made sure to honor the comics while reinvented the rogue for the MCU.
Broussard: The power set is the same and the look is actually pretty classic, you know, not reinterpretation, but like modernization I think. Our visual design team...does a great job I think of sticking to the classic tropes that made these -- what they looked like in the books. Actually going ‘Huh, that’s a pretty good realization of what that might look like in the real world’ and certainly that’s the case with Ghost. When you think of Ghost, you think of the hood. You think of the white suit and everything like that and Hannah wears it very well. She’s awesome. She’s really, really badass.
4 Luis Starts A Security Business Staffed Entirely by Ex-Cons
Like Scott, Luis, Kurt, and Dave walked a line between criminal and hero in the first film. But Ant-Man and the Wasp will see them all turn over a new leaf and try to make a legitimate go at it. As it turns out, that will involve Luis starting a security business - one that's entirely staffed by ex-cons. Not only will X-Con Home Security bring to life a recent comic book plot, but it will allow Scott a chance to do some more honest work as he attempts to be a better parent.
Broussard: We had a group of lovable ex-cons trying to do one last score and kind of getting a taste of the hero life. Post-Ant-Man, they’re kind of trying to go legit, basically, and what’s happened is Luis, Kurt, and Dave - and Scott when he gets out - have started a business called X-Con Home Security. Who better to protect your house than ex-convicts? And that’s kind of the brass ring waiting for Scott if he can survive this move. It’s like, ‘If I get out of house arrest, if I keep my nose clean, I get a real job of starting a business, everything is gonna be great.’ And it’s another kind of goal, desire, finish line for him that’s complicated by the events of this movie.
3 Ant-Man & The Wasp Was Inspired by Midnight Run and After Hours
Marvel directors and writers often look to other genres they can use to model their movies after, providing more themes than the typical superhero film. We know Ant-Man and the Wasp will be about "one bad night", but we were able to learn on our set visit what exactly we can look to for similar beats. As it turns out, Ant-Man 2 was inspired by After Hours and Midnight Run along with films like Go and even Adventures in Babysitting. All of those provide a loose template for the idea that team Ant-Man will be racing against the clock and encountering all sorts of obstacles as they try and achieve their goals.
Reed: Well, in terms of when we first started talking about what Ant-Man and the Wasp would look and feel like and the kind of movie we wanted to make, I definitely started talking about things like After Hours and Midnight Run and these things where there’s a lot of forward momentum and it’s, you know, there’s almost a road movie quality to the movie in that way.
2 Hank Pym’s New Lab is Made from Erector Sets, Car Parts, & More
The ability for Hank's lab to change sizes isn't the only way Pym Particles will come into play for the moving location. One of the most exciting parts of our set visit was walking around the actual location where much of the film takes place. The lab is comprised of all sorts of typical building materials and tech, but it's also full of Erector Sets, car parts, and more. There's amplifier knobs, bread bag clips, and a variety of other things plucked from the small world and made big. In fact, Hank's lab gives a whole new meaning to the word DIY.
Frankel: Hank Pym does not need Stark Industries science to do his work. He's an engineer. He's a physicist. You give him a box of stuff and he can kind of collude things together, assemble things together, cus he is constantly trying to figure out how to do what he needs to do.
1 Yellowjacket Won't Be Returning In Ant-Man 2
One big question when it comes to the end of the first Ant-Man and Scott's escape from the Quantum Realm is whether Darren Cross could ever return as Yellowjacket. It's not entirely clear what happened to him in the climax of his fight with Ant-Man other than he seemed to shrink down to the subatomic level. But with Ant-Man and the Wasp exploring the new realm and retrieving Janet, could the last film's villain also return? According to specialty costumes supervisor Ivo Coveney, Yellowjacket is not in Ant-Man 2. But with any luck, a door will be left open for one of the MCU's best-designed villains to make a return at some point in the future. After all, Avengers: Infinity War brought back Red Skull, so there's hope yet for Yellowjacket fans.