'Ant-Man and the Wasp': Director Peyton Reed on Letting Paul Rudd Loose and the Importance of the Wasp

Get ready for Scott Lang – and more specifically, Paul Rudd -- to be let loose even more in Ant-Man and The Wasp, the film’s director Peyton Reed promises. The filmmaker tells ComicBook.com that now that Rudd’s action hero bona fides are as established as his comedy star status, the tiny superhero will push even further into both territories even as Evangeline Lily’s Hope van Dyne wonders if she should even be saddled with a partner.

Ant-Man and the Wasp

ComicBook.com: I'm assuming that maybe this one is going to be a little bit more romantic this time around, because you got two pretty major couples at the center of this film.

Peyton Reed: Well, the movie is absolutely about Scott Lang and Hope van Dyne, and Hope becoming Wasp, and really at the beginning of our movie their relationship has some distance in it, and their relationship is a little fractured. It really is about whether these two people can come together and work together as heroes, and also as people.

I think for Hope particularly, the question is out there: “Do I need this guy in my life? I'm a fully formed hero in my own right, do I need a partner?” That was really a fun kind of premise to start from.

How do you push Paul as Scott a little further this time around? What ways did you find to challenge him and test him a little bit?

I love pushing Paul, and Paul loves pushing me. I think we have a really good actor/director relationship, and as I do with Evangeline. Part of the first Ant-Man was establishing Paul as an action hero – and a comedic action hero, but still an action hero. Now that we achieved that in the first movie, we can let him loose a little bit more, so that was really fun.

And you know how excited everybody was to get that little tantalizing bit of Evangeline's the Wasp at the end of the first film, and here we are in a moment in the culture where I think people are going to be even more excited when she shows up on screen.

Yeah, well listen. Evangeline is so good as Wasp. You know, it's Hope van Dyne, and she's a really, really complicated character, and she's a really good counterbalance to Paul. I mean it was very important to me in a movie called Ant-Man and the Wasp that she's not a supporting character. She's a lead character. That this story is really about both of them, and in some ways more about her. That was important to me, but yeah, she's really great in the movie.

Tell me about Michelle Pfeiffer. That's any filmmaker’s dream, to work with an actress like that.

Absolutely. I mean, I've been a Michelle Pfeiffer fan as long as I can remember. I'm sure at least since Scarface, but to work with her and realize what an amazing, lovely person she is to work with, and before I worked with her, I went back and watched all of her movies again, and the breadth of roles…

That’s not a chore.

No! Absolutely it's great, because the breadth of characters she's played. I think sometimes people forget. They remember the signature roles, but just such incredible range and can do anything, and even in serious roles she always brings a little smart comedic flare to everything. I could not have been more amazed and impressed by Michelle Pfeiffer. She's great.

She adapted right away to the action hero world? She was ready for it?

Yeah. She did. She loved it.

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Avengers: Infinity War is in theaters now. Ant-Man and the Wasp is scheduled to release on July 6th.