Peyton Reed Reveals His Visual Inspiration Behind ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is easily one of Marvel’s most distinguishable films so far. Not just because of the way it sets up one of the franchise’s greatest threats to date (Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conqueror) but because of its introduction to the Quantum Realm.
Originally believed to be a mythological microcosm within Marvel’s ever-expanding cinematic universe, in the film, the Quantum Realm is ultimately revealed to be made a living breathing world with of its own people, places, and rules. While it looks and feels like a compilation of the greatest and strangest science fiction stories ever made, in a recent interview for the film, director Peyton Reed confirmed that was all intentional.
Speaking candidly during one of the film’s press conferences, Reed said, “For the Quantum Realm we really drew from [films like] Flash Gordon, Barbarella.” He added that he got inspiration from looking at the covers of old science fiction paperbacks from the ’60s and ’70s and into the ’80s.
“There are a lot of great artists who would paint [those] covers,” he said. “They would be in a newsstand and that cover had to grab you. And a lot of them were creating these really strange worlds, that if you
were looking at paperbacks, oh, that one would pull you in. You may not even know what the story is, but that visual [worked].”
He also explained that he looked at “electron microphotography” to get a better idea of what his world could look like. He said that looking at ordinary objects shrunk down put him in the proper mindset to make his literal small scale blockbuster.
He imagined that he was making a film that took place on someplace as subatomic as his fingernail. “At one point,” he said, “Janet van Dyne describes is as worlds within worlds, and this sort of idea that
there’s this infinite world and worlds down there that are inhabited by creatures and things. So, it really was taking into account all of those things.”
Regardless of how he had envisioned his version of the Quantum Realm, Reed revealed that nothing could prepare him for seeing it brought to life for the first time.
“We had no idea, really, of, what is this going to look like,” he admitted. That is until he saw the first mock-ups at Marvel Studios. Without wanting to embellish his reaction too much, Reed described some of the earliest landscapes drawn for film he saw as “insane.” And after seeing the film for ourselves, we now know that he was not kidding.
Now, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is finally in theaters. In case you haven’t seen our review for the film yet, you can check it out here.
Having previously directed the first two installments, now that Quantumania has wrapped filming, Reed is the second director to complete a trilogy set within the MCU after Jon Watts.
In the film, Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly reprise their roles as the titular duo. Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer also return as Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne, the characters who donned the outfits and alter egos first.
New to the cast is Kathryn Newton. She’ll be replacing Emma Fuhrmann as Cassie Lang a.k.a Stature in the films going forward. Fuhrmann portrayed the character in Avengers: Endgame.
Additionally, Jonathan Majors is expected to reprise his role as Kang the Conquerer. Originally, it was believed that he would be making his debut in the film, but that was before he appeared in Loki as the character under the pseudonym “He Who Remains”. Whether or not the version of the character we meet will be a variant or the actual version we’ve already met remains to be seen.