The smallest Avenger proved he is still quite mighty, delivering a giant $120 million opening haul as Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania landed in theaters last weekend. The film began answering some of the many questions fans have had about the latest phases of the MCU, including more insight into the motives of multiverse saga’s apparent ‘big bad’ (or should I say ‘big bads.’)
Marvel films are always about much more than superpowers and multiversal threats. It is their ability to connect viewers with the humanity in the superheroes and even the villains that drives the films and the franchise. At a recent Quantumania event director, Peyton Reed, explained what it is that drives the Ant-Man series. “The Ant-Man movies have really always been about family. It is a generational story about a family of heroes, and Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), who is not a billionaire or super scientist or anything, getting sucked into this world,” said Reed. “He’s an Avenger, but it’s really about work-life balance and also finding time with his daughter. It’s the most important thing.”
When I asked Rudd what it was that he liked most about his character, Scott Lang, his answer was kind of surprising, avoiding the superhero qualities and focusing on the human elements. “I think what I like most about him is that he is a regular guy who has reservations about all of this, still. And that, he’s just a dad. I like the fact that he is kind of a part of this group with some pretty impressive people, and superheroes, and that he would be the first guy to say, ‘What the hell am I doing here? This makes no sense at all!’”
Rudd went on to explain that Scott is a “real person.” For him as an actor it is important to play someone “relatable” and “sympathetic.” It’s characters like that which allows audiences to empathize with him, even if he’s a superhero, because at the end of the day he’s a dad too. “His human quality is the thing that I like the most. As opposed to probably his cyborg quality, which is the, you know, the part I don’t like.” joked Rudd.
For this third entry in the Ant-Man story, Rudd was joined by Marvel newb, Kathryn Newton who plays his daughter, Cassie. The actress whose love for Marvel started when went to the theaters with her dad to see not only her first Marvel film, but her very first film at about 8-years old. The actress spoke about her character, words that echoed the themes of the film and he dad co-star, “She wants to be like her dad, you know? She thinks her dad’s the greatest. But she will never tell him that, obviously.” She continued,”My favorite thing is that she’s a regular person just like her dad. She’s still figuring it out, just like me.”
One character who cares little about the latest Lang family gathering, or even their universe as a whole is Kang. While much was revealed about the villain, when asked who Kang is, Majors teased it was just the tip of the iceberg, “I think that is a question that we will all be answering for a very long time.” I think the quick answer to that is Kang is a time traveling super villain. Jonathan Majors compared becoming part of the MCU to “joining like the Shakespearean troops back in the day.” His chilling performance, which has been universally praised, was something the actor took very seriously, “You really have to be very clear about what it is you’re doing and who your character is, the spine of the character, what he’s about, what she’s about, what they’re going after,” said Majors. “Same as all the other pieces of the people I’m blessed enough to play. Kang is just different in so far that he lives in a very different world.”
Majors summarized best when he said, “ Kang gotta Kang.” And we cannot wait to see more of the time traveling super villain.
You can catch Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania in theaters across the country now. The film stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Jonathan Majors, Kathryn Newton, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Douglas