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'Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania' director aims for 'the big Avengers movie'

Don't step on this insect-inspired superhero.

By Gina Salamone
Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

Don't step on this insect-inspired superhero. The director of the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is promising big things for the third film in the series starring Paul Rudd. And he's dead set against it playing second fiddle to other Avengers movies. 

"People felt like, 'Oh, these are fun little palate cleansers after a gigantic Avengers movie,'" Peyton Reed, director of the previous two Ant-Man flicks as well as the threequel out in February, told Entertainment Weekly"For this third one, I said, 'I don't want to be the palate cleanser anymore. I want to be the big Avengers movie.'"

"I metaphorically kicked in Kevin Feige's door," he jokes of getting that message through to Feige, the president of Marvel Studios

Rudd returns as Ant-Man/Scott Lang, while Freaky actress Kathryn Newton steps in as Cassie Lang, Scott's daughter, who was played by a kid in the prior Ant-Man films. "One of the single most intriguing things that I was excited to do in this movie was progress the Scott-Cassie relationship," Reed told EW. "It's been central to all the Ant-Man movies, the big difference here being that, as a result of Endgame, Cassie is now a young woman. She has become a scientific mind in her own right. She's been going through Hank Pym's old journals and notebooks, and has really latched on to this idea of quantum science and quantum technology."

Rounding out the cast are Evangeline Lilly as Wasp/Hope van Dyne, Michael Douglas as Hank Pym, Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet van Dyne, and Jonathon Majors as Kang the Conqueror, the villain of Quantumania.

"I grew up a real Marvel comics nerd, and there are a handful of antagonists in the Marvel comics universe who are all-timers," Reed said. "Loki, obviously. Doctor Doom from the Fantastic Four. And Kang the Conqueror. In conversations with Kevin Feige and Marvel, it was like, 'I want to put Ant-Man and Wasp up against a really formidable villain in this movie, and so we're doing Kang the Conqueror.

"In the comics, Kang has dominion over time, he's a time traveler. His situation is a little bit different in this movie, which I won't spoil for you, but he's someone who, [while] we live very linear lives, from childhood to death, Kang doesn't exist that way. It struck me as interesting to take the tiniest Avengers — in some people's minds maybe the least powerful Avenger — and put them up against the most powerful force in the multiverse."

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, a sequel to 2015's Ant-Man and 2018's Ant-Man and the Wasp, hits theaters everywhere Feb. 17, 2023.

Looking for more blockbuster cinema? Jurassic World Dominion, Nope, and Halloween Kills are now streaming on Peacock.