When it comes to Marvel films whenever there’s a commentary track it tends to be a lot of fun. But I have to say that the Ant-Man commentary may in fact be their most entertaining one yet. Pairing director Peyton Reed and actor Paul Rudd made for some very informative and thankfully quite funny insights behind the scenes of Marvels major-mini blockbuster. Today I’m going over some of the most interesting pieces from the commentary. So strap in and enjoy.
-Peyton Reed Worried About Michael Douglas’ De-Aged FX-
“If it didn’t work, it was the first scene in the movie. And you’re in danger of losing some of the audience” said Reed. Thankfully Lola Visual Effects did an impressive job.
-The Opening Scene-
The scene was written to add Hank to the MCU history. Reed said they wanted, “to retroactively insert him into the history of the Marvel cinematic universe.” Cornish wrote an early draft, but Rudd and McKay tweaked it to what it is in the film.
-The Date of Recording-
The commentary was recorded when the film was heading into it’s third weekend in theaters.
-Luis’ Cut Intro-
Originally when Scott got out of prison Luis was going to greet him by playing “In Your Eyes” while holding an iPhone over his head. They cut the joke after finding out how expensive the song would be to license.
The whole Baskin-Robbins scene was the brain child of Rudd and McKay. “Adam McKay and I, were figuring okay, what’s another good introduction to see how far the character has fallen? And Baskin Robbins said yes.” Reed states he wanted to show Scott was trying to make an effort to go straight taking an honest job.
-Finding Lang’s Moral Center-
There was a bit of give and take between the writers and Marvel over how morally ambiguous Scott could be. They didn’t want him to be violent, but not so saintly either.
-Pinewood’s Debut Film-
Ant-Man was the first film to shoot on the new Pinewood stage in Atlanta Georgia. Most of the cast and crew signed the wall once shooting wrapped.
-The Found Footage Inspiration-
All the old S.H.I.E.L.D. footage of Ant-Man’s different missions was visually based off the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film.
-The Toy Rabbit’s Design-
Rudd and Reed disagreed over what the stuffed animal should look like. Rudd wanted a weird Boohbah-esque stuffed creature while Peyton wanted something that would make the audience wonder why a father would give that to his daughter, but she ends up loving it. Reed’s weird bunny won that round.
Due to McKay’s busy schedule and Rudd busy acting in the film writing team Andrew Barrer and Gabe Ferrari did punch-ups on the script while filming. They’ve been promoted to writing Ant-Man and the Wasp’s script based off Rudd and McKay’s story.
-Selling the Scale-
Whenever Scott is small they’d often put something in the shot like a hair or screw to show the proper scale of Ant-Man.
-Filming for Scale-
Medium shots of Ant-Man in shrunken form were for the most part nixed from the film as it too often made him feel normal sized. Reed states that close-ups and wide shots were used to help properly convey scale.
-The Irony of Craft Service-
On the day they were filming with the lamb in Pym Labs the caterer served lamb chops. Reed hopes that it wasn’t intentional.
-Fighting an Avenger-
Rudd and McKay wrote the scene with Scott fighting Falcon to show that he’s learned how to use the suit and ready for his final heist.
-Feige’s Disney Love-
According to Reed producer Kevin Feige is a huge Disneyphile. When he heard Pena whistling “It’s a Small World” he fell in love with it.
-Server Bank Design-
Reed state he wanted Pym Tech’s server bank to look similar to Tokyo’s nighttime cityscape.
The death of Ant-tony was thought up by Reed as he wanted to illicit emotion from the audience over the death of an insect.
The hardest scene for Rudd to shoot was trying to get the Ant-Man helmet on while handcuffed in the back of the cop car. According to Reed in one take Rudd nearly pulled his ear off trying to get the helmet on.
-The Bedroom Scene-
Between the fight scene between Ant-Man and Yellowjacket and Scott’s return from the Quantum Realm Reed wanted to give it a feel of an 80’s Amblin Entertainment film. Something in the vein of Poltergeist or E.T.
Rudd and Reed stated they wanted the dinner scene at the end of the film to show how everyone at the table has come to accept each other. Paxton and Maggie see that Scott is a good man and Scott sees that Paxton isn’t his rival.
-Whose Side Are You On?-
Throughout the end credits Reed continues to badger Rudd about Captain America: Civil War and whose side he’s going to be on. Rudd plays coy the entire time and even when he answers truthfully he backpedals immediately.
-Reed’s Pitch For Civil War-
As the credits wind down Peyton decides to pitch his idea for what the story for Captain America: Civil War ought to be. He states that the entire film should be all the previous Marvel characters dressing up in period uniforms and re-enacting The Civil War. I’d love to see that get made into a film.
These are just a handful of the stories Paul Rudd and Peyton Reed in the commentary, but there are plenty more. I highly recommend any Marvel fan give it a listen. And if you like it listen to any of Rudd’s other commentaries (the one he did with Neil LaBute on The Shape of Things is a great listen). As usual, what are your thoughts? Will you give this track a listen to now? Are you excited to see where the story progresses with Ant-Man and The Wasp?