Marvel Studios has released official info describing the Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania movie which includes character descriptions where Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conqueror is described as the “MCU’s most powerful villain to date.”
The official info found below also includes comments from director Peyton Reed and the cast of the film.
The new trailer released on Monday also shows off a first look at MODOK and more, and the MCU fans are really happy with what they are seeing compared to Phase 4.
Press info (note: image stills from the movie have been added):
“There are worlds here—worlds upon worlds. It’s a place outside time and space. It’s a secret civilization beneath ours.”
– Janet van Dyne, “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania”
Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania” finds Scott Lang and Hope van Dyne continuing to explore life as a couple who also happen to be Super Heroes. Life is good—Scott has penned a book, Hope is championing humanitarian causes, and their family—Hope’s parents, Janet van Dyne and Hank Pym, and Scott’s daughter, Cassie—are finally part of their day-to-day lives. Cassie, it turns out, shares her new family’s passion for science and technology—specifically with regard to the Quantum Realm. But her curiosity leads to an unexpected, one-way trip for them all to the vast subatomic world, where they encounter strange new creatures, a stricken society and a master of time whose menacing undertaking has only just begun. With Scott and Cassie pulled in one direction, and Hope, Janet and Hank in another, they are lost in a world at war with no idea how or if they’ll ever find their way home again.
Kicking off Phase 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the fast-paced, big-screen adventure features all of the heart and humor fans of the MCU expect.
“The Ant-Man movies have always been about family,” says director Peyton Reed. “In ‘Quantumania,’ we’re deepening and complicating the family dynamic while painting on a much larger canvas. We dipped our toe in the Quantum Realm in the first couple of movies, and this time, we wanted to give the movie an entirely different look: It’s an epic experience.”
The stakes are high, adds Reed—“Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania” sets the stage for several films to follow. “That, to me, was extremely exciting,” he says. “Creating the Quantum Realm—it’s the ultimate act of world creation. The idea is that they go farther down into the Quantum Realm than we’ve seen in the previous movies. We not only had to create the look of these cities and civilizations, we had to 2 create the internal logic and history, and then populate it with all these creatures, beings and structures.
“We pulled together a lot of visual inspiration—everything from electron microscope photography to heavy metal magazine images from the ’70s and ’80s,” continues Reed. “I collected all of these images from old science fiction paperback book covers—artists like John Harris, Paul Laird, Richard M. Powers. Those paintings were evocative and really moody. We liked that feel and tone for the look of the Quantum Realm.”
Adds producer Stephen Broussard, “It’s a subatomic inner space within the world that we know. We asked ourselves: ‘What does technology look like down here? What does society look like down here? What does religion and politics look like down here?’ I think one of the reasons why the MCU has been successful and had the longevity that it has had so far is that we view new characters and new stories as a chance to kick down the door on whole new worlds.”
“Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania” stars Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man, Evangeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne/The Wasp, Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conquerer, and Kathryn Newton as Cassie Lang, with Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet van Dyne, and Michael Douglas as Hank Pym. The film also features David Dastmalchian as Veb, Katy O’Brian as Jentorra, William Jackson Harper as Quaz and Bill Murray as Lord Krylar.
Directed by Peyton Reed from a screenplay written by Jeff Loveness, Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” is produced by Kevin Feige and Stephen Broussard. Executive producers are Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso and Kevin de la Noy. The creative team includes director of photography William Pope, production designer Will Htay, costume designer Sammy Sheldon Differ, and editors Adam Gerstel and Laura Jennings. The team also includes visual effects supervisor Jesse James Chisholm, visual effects producer Fiona Campbell Westgate, special effects supervisor Paul Corbould, and hair and makeup designer Jan Sewell.
Featuring music by composer Christophe Beck, Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania” opens in theaters nationwide on Feb. 17, 2023.
SURPRISE SUBATOMIC ADVENTURE PITS HEROES AGAINST A NEW FOE
Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michelle Pfeiffer and Michael Douglas Return to the Big Screen Alongside the MCU’s Most Powerful Villain to Date
Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania” is an epic sci-fi adventure featuring twists, turns and action-packed excitement. But at the heart of the story are the characters fans know and love and their down-to-earth approach to being Super Heroes.
According to producer Stephen Broussard, the story takes existing characters into new terrain where they encounter a host of unfamiliar faces—some friendly, some not. “‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ is many things,” says Broussard. “It’s a family adventure first and foremost. It’s the story of a family of Super Heroes basically being pulled into an adventure within the Quantum Realm, and within that, it becomes an epic sci-fi war movie and a coming-of-age story. It’s a lot of different things wrapped into one film.”
Peyton Reed, who returns to helm the new adventure having directed the previous two movies in the “Ant-Man” lineup, knows the established characters inside-out. He was eager to take them to new depths, so to speak, while maintaining their core family-driven values. “Scott’s daughter, Cassie Lang, is now 18,” says Reed, “and Scott and Cassie’s relationship has always been a crucial part of the Ant-Man movies. His biggest motivation in life is to be a good father to his daughter, but events have kept him from spending time with her. In this movie, Scott struggles a bit because he still relates to Cassie as a kid, but she’s a young adult now. And she’s an idealist. She has her own ideas of how to conduct her life, which make for some really great dramatic and comedic tension.
“We wanted to explore the idea of secrets that family members might keep from each other,” continues Reed. “Hope and Hank rescued Janet from the Quantum Realm where she lived for 30 years. It’s easy to imagine that Hope had her own ideas about what it would be like to be reunited with her mom—sharing all these stories, learning everything about her time away. But what would happen if her mom wasn’t so willing to share all that happened down there? What would happen if she put up an emotional wall? The movie is really about this idea that you can be done with the past, but the past is never done with you.”
Writer Jeff Loveness, who was called on to help mine the Quantum Realm for the new story, was intrigued by the opportunity to take Ant-Man and the Wasp out of San Francisco and into an unknown, terrifying new world. “When I first met with Peyton [Reed] and Marvel, we got so excited about making this epic, massive, adventure movie with the Super Hero you might least expect to be in it. From the beginning, the idea was to put them up against an Avengers-level threat, the next major villain of the MCU, Kang the Conqueror—but it’s just Scott, Hope and their families.”
For Broussard, the character story arcs are key to the storytelling. “One of our philosophies that we’ve always applied at the studio is to just go back to character, and to root it in character, and the science-fiction and the world-building is fun but ultimately it’s window dressing to the characters who are on this journey. I think as long as we never forget that this is a story about a father and his daughter reconnecting, which essentially is what this film is, then the headiness of the multiverse, the headiness of the Quantum Realm sorts itself out because you only need to understand that it’s a father-and-daughter story.”
“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” is a stand-alone movie with a storyline that will have a significant impact on the future of the MCU. Says Broussard, “We talk about movies like “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” in which you saw the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. and it felt like the entirety of the MCU turned on that. “Captain America: Civil War” was another film where you saw heroes divided and in camps and battle lines being drawn—it really felt like the future of the MCU was going to be defined by the action of that film. We really liked the idea of making this Ant-Man film as important and integral to the MCU going forward.”
CHARACTER & TALENT LINEUP:
SCOTT LANG/ANT-MAN is an ordinary guy who accidentally became a Super Hero—an Avenger, no less, who literally saved the world. Life is good in San Francisco. Scott enjoys promoting his book—”Look out for the Little Guy!”—and treasures his relationship with Hope van Dyne, whether they’re enjoying time together atop the Golden Gate Bridge or hanging out with Hope’s parents, Hank and Janet. More than anything, Scott wants to make up for lost time with his daughter, Cassie. She may be 18, but he’s still her father.
“Scott is resting on his laurels,” says director Peyton Reed. “He’s taking a victory lap when he gets pulled into an adventure he is not expecting.”
Paul Rudd returns to the big screen as Scott Lang/Ant-Man. “A lot has happened with Scott over the last several years,” says Rudd. “This is a guy who was living a normal life until he committed a Robin-Hood-type crime—because he is a good guy. He went to jail for a couple years and then was recruited to be a Super Hero. He joined the Avengers, went down to the Quantum Realm and when he came back, he saved the Universe.
“We start this film after the events of ‘Endgame’ have happened,” continues Rudd. “I think for the first time in many years, Scott is able to take a breath and sit back and spend some time with his daughter and be present in his own life. But that doesn’t last long.”
Rudd, who’s played the character since 2015, says he feels a kinship with Scott Lang and Ant-Man. “One of the things that’s been fun about playing this part is that there’s nothing extraordinary about Scott,” says Rudd. “He doesn’t possess any real super abilities—he’s not a God of Thunder, he’s not big and green and strong, he can’t fly. He’s just an intuitive, smart guy. To play the part of a regular guy who didn’t really want this but is forced to be heroic is fun.”
HOPE VAN DYNE/THE WASP is the brilliant leader of the Pym van Dyne Foundation, utilizing the revolutionary Pym Particle in new and innovative ways to advance humanitarian efforts. On a personal level, Hope is relieved to have her mom home again—though Janet has kept everyone in the dark about her experiences in the Quantum Realm. Hope and Scott’s relationship is flourishing, and she has a special connection with his daughter, Cassie, whose independent spirit reminds Hope of herself at that age.
Once again, Evangeline Lilly portrays the courageous, determined, philanthropic character. “Hope started as an isolated, cold, cut-off woman who had been hurt so badly in childhood that she really removed herself from intimacy and relationships,” says Lilly. “Now, she’s repaired her relationship with her father, she has returned her mother from the Quantum Realm, she’s fallen madly in love with Scott Lang—they’re a dynamic duo, a Super-Hero pair. And on top of that, she’s quasi-adopted his daughter, Cassie, and she’s revitalizing Pym Tech—using it to better the world.” But, according to the director, Hope struggles with the reality of having her mom back. Says Reed, “Hope had this expectation—‘I finally have my mom back after 30 years. I get to hear all of her stories. I get to experience her as a real person and maybe even a role model.’ But as it turns out, that’s not quite the case. They have a good relationship, but Janet is definitely putting up a wall. There are things she won’t talk about. Hope finds that quite frustrating, and over the course of the movie, they’re forced to face the reality of those secrets. It’s all happening while they’re on the run in the Quantum Realm. That’s the main emotional arc for Hope in this movie—this idea of expectation versus reality.”
Adds Lilly, “Hope brought her mother back from the Quantum Realm and was very excited. I think she might’ve had little-girl fantasies about what that reunion would be like. ‘Mommy and I will tell each other everything and we’ll be the best of friends and she’ll be the mother I didn’t have when I was 13.’ Then her mom came back and what we don’t see between the last film and this one is that she wasn’t so open. She wasn’t so intimate. She wasn’t so vulnerable. There is a closed-off part of Janet that Hope can’t reach and it hurts Hope. She’s in a lot of pain because there’s a lot of disappointment associated with the reality of bringing her mom back versus what the fantasy was.”
KANG THE CONQUEROR is quite possibly the biggest threat the MCU has ever encountered, with multiple versions of the villain—each more terrifying than the last. Known as He Who Remains in “Loki,” this new and profoundly dangerous version of Kang intends to up his game, triggering a concerted effort from Scott, Hope, Janet, Hank and Cassie to stop him before it’s too late. Time, it seems, is Kang’s secret weapon, and he intends to use his unique understanding of it to conquer worlds far beyond the Quantum Realm.
“While retaining the intimacy of the family story, we decided we wanted to go really big,” says director Peyton Reed. “And to do that, we needed a world-class villain in a movie like this. As a kid who grew up reading all the comics, I always loved Kang the Conqueror. He was one of the great antagonists in the comics.”
Jonathan Majors, who portrays a variant of Kang in “Loki,” fills Kang’s shoes in “AntMan and The Wasp: Quantumania.” Says Majors, “I think the film is ultimately about our relationship to time as human beings and how time plays within our relationships. Love, friendship, legacy: that’s what the story is about and every character from Hank to Janet to Scott—all of us are touched by that and deal with the threat or promise of time in a different way.”
According to Reed, the key to Majors’ performance was in embracing the character’s unique powers. “We had a lot of conversations early on about how this character would move and speak,” says Reed. “Kang is able to experience past, present and future at the same time. What does that look like? He conserves his energy. There’s not a wasted gesture or word, and if Kang says something, he means it.
“Jonathan brought an entirely different energy to the set,” continues Reed. “The AntMan movies have always been comedies. I like to have a really relaxed, fun set so that the actors can go in front of the camera and feel comfortable trying weird stuff. It’s a safe space. And Jonathan came in as this disruptor—this very intimidating force. He carried music with him when he showed up on the set—we knew Kang the Conqueror was there. It was so great to put that energy up against Paul Rudd’s energy, and it mirrored what we were doing in the movie itself. A lot of people might consider Ant-Man the ‘weakest’ Avenger: ‘What can that guy do? He shrinks and talks to ants. That’s ridiculous.’ Putting that guy up against Kang the Conqueror, who’s the most powerful being in the multiverse—that seemed really exciting to us.”
JANET VAN DYNE has finally escaped the Quantum Realm after being trapped there for three decades. Her return to her husband, Hank, and their daughter, Hope, was a dream come true and Janet is savoring every moment with them. But she’s decidedly reserved about her time away, keeping most of the details secret until she’s forced to reveal the truth when they all find themselves deep in the parallel world Janet had hoped she’d never see again.
Michelle Pfeiffer debuted as Janet van Dyne in 2018’s “Ant-Man and The Wasp”— but Reed had envisioned her in the role for years before that. “When we first got Michelle for the last movie, I was thrilled. In ‘Ant-Man,’ there’s a brief flashback of the Hank Pym/Janet van Dyne era—but we could only see the character’s eyes through the mask. Michelle was always the dream casting for that role. When it came time for the second movie, and she actually said yes, we were thrilled. In this movie, Janet is essentially our tour guide through the Quantum Realm because she lived there for 30 years. We’ll learn a lot about Janet’s time in in the Quantum Realm and the characters she met there.”
Pfeiffer had the opportunity to expand the character, revealing—little by little—more about her time in the Quantum Realm, and focusing more on the mother-daughter relationship. Says Pfeiffer, “The last time Janet and Hope saw each other was when Hope was just a child. So, even though they both have been desperate to find their way back to each other, they don’t really know each other. They’re trying to reconnect as adults and it’s challenging.”
Complicating matters is the fact that they all get sucked into the Quantum Realm. “Janet has unfinished business in her past which has ramifications for the family,” says Pfeiffer. “This is an opportunity for them to finally get to know Janet and, like it or not, she is back in her element and needs to make amends for things that she thought were in her past.”
DR. HANK PYM has confidently handed the reins to the Pym van Dyne Foundation to his daughter, Hope, so he can embrace a slower pace of life now that his beloved wife, Janet, has returned after decades lost in the Quantum Realm. Still an ardent fan of ants, Hank keeps an elaborate ant farm in his basement and continues to tinker as any brilliant scientist would. He has welcomed Scott as part of the family and has a special place in his heart for Scott’s daughter, Cassie, who Hank considers a surrogate granddaughter, encouraging her curious mind and ambitious spirit.
Michael Douglas, who returns to the MCU as the Pym patriarch, says Hank has assumed a more relaxed attitude as the new story gets underway. “He is semiretired, enjoying the good life,” says Douglas. “He’s happy to have his wife back and realizes over the course of the story just how capable she is and how hard she must have worked for survival down there in the Quantum Realm for 30 years.”
According to Douglas, the bond between Hank and Janet is pretty special. “Their relationship extends to their marriage and their careers,” he says. “Not many people are able to pull that off. It’s certainly an equitable relationship—they each have their strengths and weaknesses.”
Director Peyton Reed says the duo’s chemistry started long ago. “Hank and Janet have a history,” he says. “It began in the original comics in the 1960s—they were original members of the Avengers. In fact, it was Janet who named them the Avengers. Although the MCU went in a different direction with those characters, I wanted to honor their importance—both in the Marvel Universe and as a functioning couple of Super Heroes who have a shared scientific curiosity.
“The questions in this movie are how is Hank adjusting to having Janet back and how is she adjusting to being back,” adds Reed. “Hank has mellowed a bit—he seems to have found some peace now that they’re reunited. But the movie presents some serious complications as her secrets test the relationship a little. They’ve been through a lot together—despite all of the things that are thrown at them in this movie, they’re solid as a couple.”
CASSIE is all grown up with a heartfelt desire to make the world a better place for future generations. Like her dad, Scott, Cassie is headstrong, independent, loyal and loving—fighting hard for what and whom she believes in, even if it means putting herself in jeopardy (or jail). She’s grateful to have her dad back in her life—along with Hank, Janet and Hope—whom she has a special bond with. But Scott still sees Cassie as a kid—and she doesn’t have time for that.
The father-daughter dynamic was an important part of the new story. Says Reed, “I really wanted to explore that relationship between Scott and Cassie. How does Scott relate to her now that she’s an adult? Cassie is an idealist—she wants to do good in the world, but she’s still trying to figure out what that means for her. She’s trying to find her voice as a young woman. She can be quite critical of her dad, so we had fun with some of the generational divide between father and daughter in this movie.” Kathryn Newton was cast as 18-year-old Cassie. “Kathryn has charisma. She’s an athlete—an amazing golfer,” says Reed. “And she can hang with [Paul] Rudd. I wanted to be able to do the scripted things and let them loose to do a little bit of improv. In terms of the rapport between those two actors, it was crucial for the movie, and Kathryn is terrific.”
Newton had envisioned a role like Cassie for more than a decade. “The first Marvel film I saw was ‘Iron Man’ with my dad, and I think we just made Super-Hero movies our thing,” says the actress. “I don’t remember how old I was, but I can still see myself in the theater with my dad getting popcorn telling him that I was going to be a Super Hero.”
Years later, Newton found her way into the MCU—but she had to keep it secret for months. “Some secrets are way more fun when you’re the only one who knows about them,” she says. “I remember the announcement: I was sitting on my bed with my dogs, and it was my birthday. Then everybody knew. I got a lot of texts that day– I’ve never gotten that many texts on my birthday.”
JENTORRA is the strong and respected leader of the Freedom Fighters—a group of displaced inhabitants in the Quantum Realm whose lives were turned upside down by Kang. She doesn’t have time for Scott, Cassie and their problems—and worse, their presence alone puts Jentorra’s crew in grave danger.
Katy O’Brian, who worked with director Peyton Reed in “The Mandalorian,” was tapped to portray the powerful and unrelenting warrior who’s among the first Quantum Realm residents moviegoers will meet. “There are living beings in this world and Jentorra is a native,” she says. “You’ll get to explore a lot of the different colonies and the different groups of people that we have here—broccoli man is my personal favorite. We have characters that float, we have blobs, we have mindreaders—all kinds of zany creatures and humanoids and mysterious things.” The subatomic world’s inhabitants are undoubtedly compelling, however, most are suffering the wrath of Kang the Conquerer. “We’re constantly on the move, constantly running, hiding and trying to fight back and reclaim our homeland,” says O’Brian, who worked in law enforcement herself for several years. “We’re fighting a losing battle—he’s got way more people, we’re outmanned, outgunned. But there’s a little bit of hope we have to hold onto.”
LORD KRYLAR is the governor of Axia, a bizarre and cushy community within the Quantum Realm. Call him cowardly or self-centered, Krylar unapologetically enjoys the high life his status grants him—expensive meals, exotic cocktails and top-notch transportation aboard his huge pleasure yacht. It seems he and Janet are old acquaintances—but the details are vague, and she’d like to keep it that way. Bill Murray portrays Lord Krylar.