SPOILERS for AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR as well as ANT-MAN AND THE WASP. I imagine that most everyone is already aware of the big twists in those particular films whether you’ve seen them or not, but consider that your warning. ANT-MAN AND THE WASP had the honor of being the first MCU film to be released in the wake of AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, and given that they took place around the same time, director Peyton Reed couldn’t completely ignore the groundbreaking events of INFINITY WAR.
As we know, Thanos (Josh Brolin) brought AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR to a close by snapping his fingers and turning half of the universe (as well as a great many MCU heroes) to dust. Most of ANT-MAN AND THE WASP took place before the big snap, but the film’s post-credit scene caught up with the INFINITY WAR timeline and found several members of the cast feeling the effects of Thanos’ victory. While Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) was in the Quantum Realm harvesting quantum energy, Hope (Evangeline Lilly), Hank (Michael Douglas), and Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) waited for his return, only to find themselves victims of the snap and leaving Scott trapped. While speaking during a Q&A at Collider‘s IMAX screening of ANT-MAN AND THE WASP, Peyton Reed spoke about how early he knew about the INFINITY WAR ending and how he planned on incorporating it into his film.
I knew really early on. When we started the writing process, I knew. What I didn’t know was how it was going to factor into our movie. So the tricky thing about that was knowing everyone having seen Infinity War was going to come into Ant-Man and the Wasp and be looking for clues. ‘How’s this fit into the timeline?’ And we don’t give any clues for some time. We give clues that it’s after Civil War. And we started talking about having actors walk in front of monitors with events in the background of what’s going on, and that just seemed lazy to us and we’d seen that before and we wanted do something different and more striking. And in our outlining process, we kicked that problem down the road a little bit.
And then we did this thing in the lead up to the end credits what we jokingly called ‘The Parade of Resolutions’. And the idea was to have these extremely neat resolutions one after the other. Scott’s back, he’s made it off house arrest, he’s reunited with Cassie, the X-Con guys get the Garribidean Project so their company is going to be saved, Hank has saved Janet so he’s grown the house on some tropical island, and Scott and Hope are on a date with Cassie at the drive-in where they’re shrunken down, and everything’s great! And Ant-Man and the Wasp ends as it’s supposed to end. Everything is really colorful with the credits sequence at the end, and then, oh, what’s this?
Peyton Reed added that they were hoping to catch the audience as off-guard as possible, so that when you “come back and see the three of them dusted it’s just this gut-punch. That felt like the absolute Ant-Man way to deal with it. Because you can’t do what Infinity War did it because it’s the most dramatic swing imaginable in a movie, and in a Marvel movie. And so we wanted to do it our way.” Reed made sure to speak with the Russo Brothers, as well as INFINITY WAR screenwriters Stephen Marcus and Christopher McFeely, to discuss how the scene should play out. “Marcus and McFeely pitched an idea for the scene and we all kind of built off that idea. It involved Scott and it involved Luis’ van and a new Quantum Tunnel 2.0, but it was very collaborative thing,” Reed said. “So there is a lot of back and forth, which is really fun. This one was tricky because with the ending of Infinity War, there’s not a bigger dramatic swing you can take with a movie. We knew if we introduced that concept too early in Ant-Man and the Wasp, because we talked about that early on, and if you introduce it too early, then that’s all anyone cares about because it threatens to dramatically take over your story.“
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP is now available on DVD/Blu-ray/4K Ultra HD.