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This past weekend, the 12th film in the MARVEL Cinematic Universe (MCU) arrived in theaters, keeping the perfect record intact by securing a 12th consecutive #1 spot at the box office. While MARVEL’s ANT-MAN came in just shy of its projected $60M mark in the U.S., scoring the top spot was no easy feat for a film based on an obscure character that was even more “out there” than last year’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. Now, as Phase Two of the MCU comes to a close and Phase 3 begins, I’m sharing some words from a conversation with ANT-MAN Director Peyton Reed and MARVEL Studios head Kevin Feige – a conversation about the future of the MCU, women in that universe, and the genesis of ANT-MAN. If you haven’t seen ANT-MAN and wish to remain spoiler-free, now’s your chance to stop reading because I’m about to sting you in the next paragraph. Here we go…

“I think it’s one of my favorite quotes of any of our films,” explains MARVEL Studios chief Kevin Feige as he speaks out about Evangeline Lilly’s final line in ANT-MAN – “It’s about damn time.” That statement comes during one of MARVEL’s famed mid-credits scenes, one that sets up Lilly’s Hope Van Dyne to don the suit of THE WASP for future adventures in the MCU, something that many readers saw Feige confirm in a video over at Yahoo! Movies this weekend. As Michael Douglas’ Hank Pym finally opens the door to reveal to Hope that an upgraded version of the suit once worn by her mother awaits her as part of a larger destiny, audiences know that another female hero will be a part of the MCU in Phase 3 – something that’s been drawing huge applause.

“We want to see powerful women because we all have powerful women in our lives. That’s the way of the world,” Feige continues. “When it comes to Hope, it was a big part of the development of the movie – in particular when Peyton came on board and when Evangeline was about to come on board. The big question was, ‘Well, why isn’t she in the suit?’ She could easily be in the suit. In the movie that we’ve made, she is clearly more capable than Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is to be in the suit.”

Family dynamic and the relationships between parent and child are a big part of ANT-MAN, something the truly sets the film apart from it’s companions in the MCU. The relationship between Hank and Hope is so strained in the beginning of the film, but that credits sequence and reveal of THE WASP are really the key to the mend. About that sequence, Director Reed explains that “both figuratively and literally she’s finally allowed to spread her wings and it’s because her dad finally realizes that she has value. He’s sorta able to let go and accept that she’s a powerful person.”

Peyton Reed and Kevin Feige
Peyton Reed (left) and Kevin Feige | Photo by Louise Bishop, MomStart

So how did Reed, a director known for comedies like BRING IT ON, DOWN WITH LOVE and THE BREAK UP, get involved with ANT-MAN? It was actually a long time coming, and he’d been really close to helming a MARVEL movie in the past…

“I developed FANTASTIC FOUR for a time, and that’s where I first met Kevin,” he recalls. “I did not end up doing that movie, but it was something that I really wanted to do, and I actually came in and pitched on GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY [ed: word is he came really close],  so when the opportunity for ANT-MAN came up, I really jumped at the chance! I knew the character from the comics and had wanted to work with Paul Rudd for a long time — it just made sense. When I came in and met with Kevin — I feel like we were of ‘like mind’ about what the movie could be. I’d wanted to do this kind of movie for a long time — specifically I had wanted to do a MARVEL movie.”

ANT-MAN is in theaters everywhere right now. Get tickets via Fandango. Read my review right here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine

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