Ant-Man and The Wasp director Peyton Reed confirmed he helped the Russo Brothers with their interpretation of Scott Lang in Avengers 4. Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe was conceptualized, Ant-Man was one of the earliest Marvel Studios movies in production under the direction of Edgar Wright. However once Kevin Feige’s grand plan began to take shape, Wright stepped down and was replaced by Peyton Reed. Paul Rudd’s Lang would go on to appear in Captain America: Civil War and although he was notably absent in Avengers: Infinity War, both Lang and Hope van Dyne are set to feature in the forthcoming Avengers 4.
A key element of the MCU are the moments when characters cross over, team-up or otherwise mingle with figures outside of their own solo movies, however it isn’t just the heroes who are banding together to achieve something great – the Marvel Studios directors are at it, too. In the build-up to the release of Infinity War, it was confirmed that Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn had a degree of input into the characterization and dialogue of the Guardians in the third Avengers movie and it appears that this practice is quickly becoming standard procedure.
Screen Rant spoke to Peyton Reed on the director’s promotional rounds for Ant-Man and the Wasp and asked whether he had been as active with Scott Lang in Avengers 4 as Gunn had been with Star Lord and co. in Infinity War. Reed replied:
“Yeah. There’s a lot of cross talk, which is great, you know, among directors. Even on the first movie I had the Russos come in and look at early cuts just to see how Paul (Rudd) was playing Scott Lang to inform what they did in Civil War. And Marcus and McFeely, who are writing the Avengers movies, we all talk about what the overall arcs are going to be so everyone is in sync with all this stuff. I can’t say much more than that or I’m going to get a Wasp dart in my neck. But yeah, that’s one of the exciting things is keeping this movie a self-contained thing but obviously being aware of how things fit into the larger universe. It’s a really fun, creative exercise.”
This kind of co-operation between directors is undoubtedly an essential part of the MCU’s success. With various characters appearing in both solo films and team-ups, it’s vital that a level of character consistency is maintained in order to make the MCU as believable as possible as a fictional world. There’s no point in Scott Lang being a wise-cracking smartass in Ant-Man, only for an Avengers director to come in and deliver a completely different interpretation of the character and it’s this level of authenticity that separates the MCU from a more traditional “series” franchise like James Bond or the Batman movies of the 1990s where new directors can come in and give their own take on the characters and material.
The constant communication Reed speaks of is also indicative of the level of dedication shown by many of the Marvel Studios directors and although their determination to tell long story arcs over the course of several films is incredibly ambitious, the hard work is telling in the finished product and is a key difference between the MCU and other, less successful, shared universe franchises. Ant-Man and The Wasp‘s titular heroes may have been absent in the first round battle against Thanos but many will be hoping that Reed’s collaboration with the Russos indicates a sizable part for the duo in Avengers 4.
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