The Sly Way Ant-Man And The Wasp References The Big Lebowski

Ant-Man And The Wasp Scott Lang Bathrobe

As we've written about, director Peyton Reed took more than a few references with him into the making of Ant-Man And The Wasp. For example, the idea of starting the story years after the first was inspired by the opening of Empire Strikes Back, and the whole narrative is reminiscent of titles like After Hours and Midnight Run. It's very easy to see these influences if you know to look for them, and this goes for The Big Lebowski as well - which Reed recently confirmed to me had a key impact on Paul Rudd's costuming in the movie:

When we talk about the Elmore Leonard and the sort of Noir and crime influences, there is a hint of Big Lebowski in there. There's a reason why Paul Rudd is in a bathrobe for the beginning when he first comes in and sees Pym's laboratory. It's the idea that you can't really have a passive hero in the way Lebowski is in that movie in a Marvel movie, but we wanted to flirt with it with Scott.

We regularly get to see Marvel Cinematic Universe movies about heroes who are ready to jump into action at any given moment, but Ant-Man And The Wasp is a very different kind of Marvel blockbuster. Paul Rudd's Scott Lang, who has spent a little bit too much time in prison, is just trying to live a responsible life, but that turns out to be a luxury he can't afford. Much like Jeff Bridges' The Dude in The Big Lebowski, he's unwittingly part of a much bigger plot going on in the world around him, and that connection was driven home by the wardrobe department on the film by having one of Rudd's key pieces of costuming be a bathrobe.

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Peyton Reed last week for a big deep dive into the making of Ant-Man And The Wasp, and it was during this conversation that the subject of The Big Lebowski was raised. It led to a serious discussion about Scott Lang's big motivations in the story, doing everything he can to try and keep his nose clean, and it was actually very important in determining who Scott is at the start of the film. Said Reed,

Scott has reached a point where, after the events of Ant-Man and [Captain America:] Civil War, and maybe particularly Civil War, where, again, he was threatened with being in prison and away from his daughter, maybe it's just there's no place in his life to be Ant-Man. He's hanging around his apartment, and then just by sheer necessity gets plucked out because Hank and Hope need this psychic breadcrumb that he has in his head.

Going into more detail than that about the plot of Ant-Man And The Wasp starts to get into spoiler territory... but if you've seen the movie, you're in luck! Our full interview with Peyton Reed is now available on this week's episode of the Hero Blend podcast, so give it a listen!

As for Ant-Man And The Wasp, the movie will be arriving in theaters nationwide on Thursday night, and is expected to hit big this weekend. Check it out, let us know your thoughts, and stay tuned here on the site for a lot more from my interviews with the movie's cast and filmmakers.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.