"My first day arriving at Pinewood Studios in Atlanta on 'Ant-Man 1' was an extremely memorable day, for probably obvious reasons. Coming at it, really hitting the ground running, prepping that movie with a very short amount of time. That’s extremely memorable, and jumping in and just the enthusiasm of everybody on the crew who was there making that movie happen. So that was number one."
"The very first day of shooting on 'Ant-Man and the Wasp,' because speaking for myself and for Paul and Evangeline, the idea that we were coming back to make a sequel to that movie was really thrilling. It meant that audiences had embraced the characters in this world. It was really, really gratifying. So it was fun. It was very different coming into this movie. We sort of had a proof of concept with the first movie and were coming in to do this one, but also being able to lean into the comedy a little more."
"I would say the third one was the first day that Evangeline had in full costume as the Wasp. That was something that we all had talked about for such a long time, but particularly between Evangeline and myself, the idea of, 'Okay, Hope is finally going to get the suit in this movie and be a fully formed hero.' We've been through all the story and screenplay and prepping and getting the suit design. Evangeline walking out and shooting with that suit was super exciting. I think it felt like a little bit of a reward for all of us."
"Number four, I think for me would be honestly, on both movies, any day working with Michael Douglas. As a director, to be able to work with someone who is a bona fide Hollywood legend,like Michael, I always looked forward to those days, because it’s not only seeing the character of Hank Pym and having him by this great actor, but it’s also me as a movie freak in our downtime being able to sit around and ask Michael questions about movies he’s made in the past and the movies he’s produced and starred in. He very much has an old school Hollywood approach to just being on a set, which for Michael means no matter who’s working that day, he’s always early to set and he’s there reading his New York Times and there’s something just very old school about it. He’s setting a tone and comes to work, and I love that."
"I think on this movie, the scenes that we shot in the X-Con offices, with Luis and Kurt and Dave and the scenes where Walton Goggins is there. I love that stuff because I’ve always been a fan of Walton Goggins, who plays Sonny Burch in the movie. There’s definitely a film noir vibe going on in 'Ant-Man and the Wasp.' And those shoot days really felt like, oh, this is a really sort of noir Marvel movie and this probably really starts to feel like what we talked about from the beginning of this movie. That’s a really exciting thing."
"I think one of the things in 'Ant-Man and the Wasp' that we were always trying to figure out, it’s such a simple thing, but figuring out this at the very beginning when Scott is housesitting and babysitting Cassie on the weekend and he’s got custody and he builds this elaborate cardboard maze they go through to give her an idea of, 'This is what it would be like to shrink down. This is what it was like when I was Ant-Man.' It was really fun doing that because it really cemented what we had hoped would be a big part of 'Ant-Man and the Wasp' which is that Scott/Cassie relationship. And I liked that about the movie, that with all these big action sequences and Giant Man and The Wasp and Ant-Man and all that stuff. And it was a really tactile scene about a father and a daughter, and it really is one of the things that’s very different tonally about 'Ant-Man and the Wasp' in the context of all the Marvel movies. So I have really great memories of those days."
We asked Reed if the scene where Scott builds the elaborate maze in his house was inspired at all by Bill Watterson's charming 2017 indie film Dave Made a Maze, which is also about a guy who builds an elaborate cardboard maze in his house with a similar aesthetic.
"No, you know what? Someone told me about that movie after the fact. It really was inspired by the idea that Scott Lang was going to be on house arrest for two years. And we knew that a big part of that was he was sharing custody of Cassie and the incredible lengths he would go to to entertain her. It also served our story to kind of setup the fact that Scott Lang maybe missed the days of being 'Ant-Man.' So it really kind of came about from there. Like in the first movie, we’d gone through real anthills and done a real heist into a facility. So doing a real visually dumbed down, tactile version of it with Cassie was just fun. But yeah, someone showed me that movie later."
"Number seven for me I think happened to be a phone call in a prep office on 'Ant-Man and the Wasp,' which was the call confirming that Michelle Pfeiffer had said yes to play Janet Van Dyne. I’ve spoken about this before in interviews as far back as the first 'Ant-Man,' the flashback scene, and obviously we needed to see Janet Van Dyne. And we hired someone to do that, but in my telling the casting agent what we were looking for, I said she should have really big, beautiful eyes and ideally, it would be Michelle Pfeiffer, right? So by the time we got the second movie and wanted to expand on that back story, she really was my one and only choice. I spent time meeting with her and talking to her about the character in the movie and everything. When someone like Michelle Pfeiffer says yes on your movie and it’s your dream casting, that’s way, way up there as a great day on the movie. That was a big one for me."
"Number eight for me I think also was a day on 'Ant-Man and the Wasp,' the first day of shooting Hank Pym's laboratory set, which was the shrunken lab. And it’s interesting because that was designed by Shepherd Frankel, our production designer. We’d spent a lot of time in prep talking about the idea that it’s made up of found objects that are small things that have grown large and large things that are shrunken small, keeping the audience a little off balance in terms of like, the size and scale, and that this giant quantum tunnel… I had brought in drawings and pictures of the old Irwin Allen TV show, 'The Time Tunnel,' as our visual reference. But we were talking about that whole thing, and but the set turned out to be the largest practical set that’s ever been built for an MCU movie.
"It's kind of counterintuitive. You'd think it would be, like, the Sanctum Santorum or Avengers headquarters, but a lot of that is done digitally. It was the largest practical set. On the first day that the actors showed up on that set, they were blown away. It sort of confirmed my theory that it’s great to give actors something real and tactile to react to as much as you can on a movie like this, to just inhabit that space. So that was just—it’s crazy. You build a set like that, they cost so much, it looks so amazing, and you shoot it, and then it goes away. It’s an amazing thing about making movies. It just doesn’t exist anymore. I wish it did. It’d be a great Disneyland attraction."
"I developed 'Fantastic Four' for about a year around sort of 2002 or 2003. I remember when Marvel was in their office off of Beverly Glenn and Santa Monica. Avi Arad was still involved and Kevin was a junior executive there. I always remember Kevin listening. I think that’s my biggest memory of Kevin. And when Kevin spoke in those meetings, it was always smart. You knew this was the guy who knows all of these characters and knows all these storylines and it not just someone who crammed and did their homework because it was part of the job. This was somebody who was passionate about these characters. I mean, there’s no way I think anybody would’ve known that Kevin was going to go on and do what he did, in terms of creating the MCU. But I do know from those meetings that he had very strong points of view about the characters and was really smart and clearly integral in this cast, which back then seemed like an even crazier cast. How do you make these very heightened, four-color characters drawn on comic book pages so you can feel they come to life in a movie, on set. So I have memories of him always being there and being able to fully see into that world, you know? And I think he was eager to do big characters like the X-Men and Fantastic 4 and The Avengers, but also be incredibly well versed on not just the maybe B, C or D-level characters, but even the X, Y and Z-level characters. He knows all of them. It’s astounding."
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)