‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ Director on Spinning Out of ‘Captain America: Civil War’

Ant-Man and the Wasp director Peyton Reed says Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) being recruited into the schism between the Avengers in Captain America: Civil War gave the Ant-Man sequel a “really organic jumping-off point.”

“I remember going to see an early screening of Civil War and talking to [directors Anthony and Joe Russo] and to [screenwriters Christopher] Markus and [Stephen] McFeely — who I don’t know had completely thought this through or really even cared,” Reed told The Verge.

“But it was like, ‘Wow, this is amazing! Scott Lang went off, took the suit, fought with the Avengers, exposed the technology to Tony Stark, got put in prison, and the suit was confiscated!’ It gave us such fertile ground in terms of where to start our movie.”

When audiences next find Scott and Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) in Ant-Man and the Wasp — the pair sat out the events of Avengers: Infinity War — Scott is in the tail end of his government-mandated house arrest and Hope and father Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) are fugitives from the law.

Their wanted status ups the stakes when the father-daughter team are reunited with Scott — now under the watchful eye of FBI agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) — and the three are drawn into the open during the attempted rescue of Hope’s long-lost mother, Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer), from the Quantum Realm.

“And it made sense that Scott’s going to be on house arrest, and Hank and Hope are going to be pissed at Scott Lang, and also pissed off because the enforcers of the Sokovia Accord are now onto them,” Reed said. “So it gave us a really organic jumping-off point. I don’t know that we would’ve come to it as quickly and clearly if Scott had not been in Civil War.”

Reed’s comments echo what he told ComicBook.com during a visit to the set, saying the follow up “definitely had to deal with the ramifications post-Civil War.”

“That was crucial to Scott and crucial to Hope. I mean, it really is fundamental in the jumping off point about what’s going [on] between the two of them at the start of this movie,” Reed explained. “Outside of that, what I’m really happy about is we’re free to tell sort of our freestanding story. Once we establish that as the leaping off point, this thing is going on over here.”

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The Captain America threequel almost looked very different: Wasp was at one time going to be introduced in Civil War, and in an early version, Rudd’s Ant-Man would have filled the role eventually taken on by teen superhero Spider-Man (Tom Holland) as the ex-con and single father would have been tapped for duty by Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr).

Ant-Man and the Wasp is now playing. The superhero partners next return in Avengers 4, out May 3, 2019.