Ant-Man Director Peyton Reed Reveals The Help He Got From Stan Lee

Stan Lee as a bartender in Ant-Man

Stan Lee always made a point to cameo in Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, but it turns out that wasn't all he was doing on set. Ant-Man director Peyton Reed recently revealed that the man behind so many of Marvel's great characters assisted him in filming Ant-Man by discussing with him some of the tips and tricks that had been learned drawing the character for the comics. Specifically, the importance of framing a shrunken Ant-Man with normal sized objects in order to impart to the audience the difference is size. According to Reed...

On the first day, I actually got to have a great conversation with him about the conversations he had to have with artists all the time about putting something in the frame that tells you about the scale of Ant-Man. And low angles are going to be your friend and all these sort of rules he had in his head to tell whoever it was going to be like Jack Kirby or Don Hecker or whatever artist was drawing at the time.

The entire gimmick of Ant-Man is, of course, the fact that he can shrink down to a tiny size. The joy of reading a comic book or seeing him in a movie is getting to experience that strange world of a man the size of an insect. The environment is just as much the star of an Ant-Man story as the superhero, something which Stan Lee apparently took some time to relate to Peyton Reed as Reed was getting ready to direct the first Ant-Man movie.

And as Peyton Reed explained during a recent Q&A session following a screening of Ant-Man and the Wasp (via IMAX), this conversation was useful, as many of the same issues that can crop up when creating an Ant-Man comic were also important when creating an Ant-Man movie. Just because the medium and the technology were different, didn't mean the fundamentals of the character had changed.

I said we have the same issues in this movie with visual effects. If you're doing a medium shot on Ant-Man when he's shrunk, he no longer feels tiny. He feels normal. So all those issues he dealt with in the comic panels, we were dealing with in sort of a moving, visual, more sophisticated way but they were the same exact issues.

Overall, it seems fair to say that these issues were overcome in both Ant-Man films. It was nearly always clear what the audience was looking at, and what size our characters were, due to the way that everytime objects appeared incredibly massive, or sometimes incredibly tiny, in order to convey that information.

We know we'll see Ant-Man again very soon in Avengers: Endgame, though how the character is important, or how is size will play a role, we still don't know. We'll find out this April.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.