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It's funny to point out that Marvel's Ant-Man And The Wasp and Avengers 4 were both filmed at the same time last year in the same Atlanta studio -- but you really wouldn't really know it watching the former title. While the latter is surely going to be a star-studded affair unlike anything audiences have ever seen, the Ant-Man sequel very much exists in its own small corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and only focuses on its core group of characters. All the same, you'd think that director Peyton Reed would have been tempted at some point to wrangle some extra heroes into his blockbuster, but he recently explained to me why that wasn't his move:
I always envisioned this as a standalone movie. Obviously when you see the movie you'll see how it ties into the larger universe, but I like that Hope and Scott and Hank are operating in this little corner of the universe. And then you sort of... you know how it ties into the larger thing, you know the timeline, but they're doing their own thing over there.
There are two different kinds of Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, the big crossovers and the small standalones, and it's definitely in the latter category that Peyton Reed sees Ant-Man And The Wasp -- which is why fans shouldn't expect the superhero comedy to be overloaded with major Marvel characters. It surely would have been easy to throw a few of them in, given that they were all in the nearby vicinity while filming was happening at Pinewood Studios Atlanta, but Reed ultimately didn't feel that their contributions would have been in line with what he was trying to accomplish with his film.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Peyton Reed during the Los Angeles press day for Ant-Man And The Wasp, and it was during that conversation I asked about his decision not to throw a fun surprise name into the action of his movie (with Anthony Mackie's cameo as Falcon in the first Ant-Man in the back of my head the whole time). Reed cited the scale of the project and narrative being the driving force behind the decision, but further stressed that it was an extension of part of the nature of the comics. Said the director,
And I like that because it reminds me of the Marvel comics where you have the Avengers doing something here, and Spider-Man is doing something, and Black Panther is doing something, and Iron Man... they've got their own thing. And then there's cross-pollination. And this felt like we had already set up... we had enough characters to service in this movie. It was exciting just telling the Scott-Hope partnership story, [which] was a big deal. And introducing Wasp. That to me was exciting and a big responsibility.
You can watch Peyton Reed discuss the lack of Marvel superhero cameos in Ant-Man And The Wasp by clicking play on the video below:
Starring Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michael Pena, Hannah John-Kamen, Lawrence Fishburne and Michelle Pfeiffer, Ant-Man And The Wasp will be crawling/flying into theaters everywhere domestically this Friday, July 6th. Be sure to check it out (it's a blast), and keep heading back here to CinemaBlend for more from my interviews with the cast and filmmakers behind the blockbuster.