Geek Interview: Director Peyton Reed On Ant-Man And The Wasp: Nano Battle!

With today’s opening of the latest Marvel-themed attraction at Hong Kong Disneyland, Ant-Man And The Wasp: Nano Battle!, Geek Culture caught up with the director of Ant-Man and Ant-Man and the Wasp, Peyton Reed, in Hong Kong, to find out more about the experience in directing for the new ride.

Geek Culture: How was filming for the attraction different from the movies?

Peyton Reed: I think it was different in a way that we’re not telling a long story, but more of a condensed story. The thing that’s similar about it is that rapport between Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and the Wasp (Evangeline Lilly). So it was important for me, as the director to maintain that same sense of humour that they had in the movies, but to do an entirely new experience and adventure with them in the ride. The idea is to really give it an immediacy, and the fact that they are talking to you, the person who is going on the ride, they are bringing you into this adventure, so it is interactive in a way that the movies can’t be. The movies play all over, but you have to be here at Disneyland Hong Kong, where its the only place in the world you can see this particular Ant-Man and the Wasp adventure.

GC: Which aspect of the ride are you most proud of?

PR: Having gone on the ride, the most exciting part to me, I think, is to be competitive. *Laughs* I was sitting next to Kevin Feige. Kevin had been on it a couple of times. So for Kevin, I hate to admit it, but his score was about twice what mine was. So now I’m eager to go again and again, just to get my score up.

From left: Kevin Feige, Peyton Reed, Jessica Hsuan and Paul Rudd.

GC: Could you share some memorable moments when filming for the ride with Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly?

PR: I think it’s always whenever you have Paul Rudd in the mix, you’re gonna laugh. It’s an important thing for us to keep the energy and kind of keep the sense of humour because I think it’s really one of the things which sets Ant-Man and The Wasp apart from some of the other Marvel characters is that sense of humour.

When they have the suits on there are always wardrobe malfunctions. So there’s a particular part where you’re shrunk down and you see a giant screen with giant-sized Ant-Man and the Wasp looking at you. I remembered shooting that and they had their helmets on. They kept bumping their helmets and hitting each other in the head so that was a thing to be mindful of when we were shooting. They make it look so effortless, because Paul and Evangeline play these characters and they really they own these characters.

Paul knows exactly who Ant-Man is, who Scott Lang is, and Evangeline does the same with the Wasp, so I just remember the filming being really really fun, because they had never shot anything like this. They’ve done movies, but they’ve never done something like theme park attractions and that’s a different thing – you’re telling a story in a much more condensed amount of time. So that was fun for them to do.

GC: Are there any special Easter Eggs in the attraction that viewers can look out for?

PR: There’re tons of little Easter Eggs even as you’re going through the pre-show line and watching the screens. All these items that have appeared in some of the Marvel movies, and even in some of the Marvel one-shots (short films included in Blu-ray releases). They’re very obscure little things, and that’s one of the things I liked about working within that whole Marvel Cinematic Universe. The connectivity between all the different stories, and Nano Battle! really does kind of tie-in to the Iron Man Experience attraction as well. I love that about it. Also, when we were shooting, there were also certain phrases that Paul and Evangeline spoke that weren’t in English (but in Cantonese).

Catch Paul Rudd speak a bit of Cantonese at the end.

As our limited time with the director drew to a close, we managed to squeeze in one last question to find out what his take was on the Ant-Man vs Thanos Anus aka “Thanus Theory”.