The latest evolution of the Marvel Cinematic Universe introduces the newest member of the Avengers: “Marvel’s Ant-Man.” Armed with the amazing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, master thief Scott Lang (played by Paul Rudd) joins forces with his new mentor Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) to protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit. Full of humor and heart, as well as awesome special effects, this action-packed adventure will be released in early December on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD–complete with never-before-seen deleted scenes, making-of featurettes, a gag reel and audio commentary.
What better way to celebrate the in-home release, and by chatting with actor and screenwriter Paul Rudd and to discover his thoughts on the daring heist adventure.
Alan W. Petrucelli: Do you get nervous before scenes with such an esteemed group of actors?
Paul Rudd: I get nervous because I’m walking into a pretty well-established group that a lot of people know and love. To be the new kid at school was always a bit of a nerve-racking experience, but it was more exciting than anything else. It’s been great.
AWP: Are you excited that “Ant-Man” is about to hit shelves?
PR: When you work on a project like this, you put your heart and soul into it. You work on it for a long time and you’re proud of it, so you certainly want it to be seen. It’s really nice to know that people like the movie enough to want to buy it on DVD and Blu-ray to watch repeatedly at home.
AWP: How much do you enjoy all the bonus features?
PR: Whenever there’s a movie that I really love, I always get the Blu-ray to hear the commentary. I want to listen to the voiceover and see deleted scenes because it’s a little bit like taking a film class. I always think it’s really cool to hear directors talk about what they are trying to accomplish with a specific scene. It’s fun to hear their stories, but I find it most interesting when it gets technical. I think you can learn a lot from the extras, and I love the thought of hearing about what was going on while people were shooting a project. It’s like being privy to hearing conversations that you aren’t normally privy to.
AWP: Did you work on many Ant-Man scenes that didn’t make it into to the final cut of the movie?
PR: There were quite a few scenes that you didn’t see in the big screen version of the movie, so you’ll definitely see some of them on the Blu-ray. Working on this script, one of the first things I thought of was: If you steal a suit and then you stumble across what this suit can do and you’ve just gotten out of jail and you’re a thief, what would you do? There was a whole montage scene that we called ‘the wish-fulfillment sequence’ and I always figured it would be a fun part of the movie. We came up with lots of different scenarios and things that I could do in the suit. We shot a bunch of those, but they didn’t make it to the theatrical version.
AWP: Marvel loves to hide Easter eggs and secret references within their movies. Were you thinking about these when you were writing the screenplay?
PR: Not really. At that point in the process, you’re just dealing with the story at hand. [“Marvel’s Ant-Man” co-writer] Adam McKay and I were aware that we were making a heist movie, so you start with the heist structure. It seems like in every heist movie, the thieves do a test run and it never goes well, so we sat with that idea for a while. We had fun coming up with different scenarios. For example, what if Ant-Man wound up fighting somebody that’s not just an average guy? What if it was one of The Avengers? We’d think of things like that for the movie we’re working on, but we never have ideas like, ‘Oh, we could do this now and we can connect the dots three movies later.’
AWP: At what stage did you start to think about the stinger scene at the end of the credits, when the Wasp costume is revealed?
PR: I never know where those are going, what they are doing, or even if they’ll do one, so sometimes those ideas come around later. However, I always knew that this movie was going to be a good introduction to Wasp. That was in the script, so as we were writing it we were thinking it would be part of the movie. I didn’t know how they were going to separate it from our story; they figure out some of that stuff in post-production.
AWP: At what stage did you know that Falcon was going to be part of “Marvel’s Ant-Man”? Did you consider any other characters from The Avengers for the scene?
PR: That was a scene we created when we were writing the screenplay. At first, we were thinking, ‘Oh gosh, Ant-Man should fight an Avenger. How great would it be to see him fight an Avenger? No one would see it coming.’ And then we pitched it to Marvel. We said, “Falcon would be cool. That would be a really interesting fight.” We ran it by [President of Marvel Studios] Kevin Feige and he agreed.
AWP: Many fans were blown away by that scene. How tough was it to keep Falcon’s participation in the storyline secret?
PR: It was really, really hard. But to be honest, it’s hard to keep anything secret. There are people on the hunt to find out any kind of information, so you’re always thinking, ‘I hope this doesn’t get out.’ You always hope for the best, but you’re always thinking that something will leak. It’s impossible to keep everything secret.
AWP: Yet that scene was a complete surprise for the audience.
PR: Yeah, which was great. Part of the fun of going to see a movie is down to the fact that you want to be surprised. Scenes like that are thrills for people who are really passionate about the story.
AWP: Which scene in the movie is your proudest achievement?
PR: When Falcon swoops in; that was cool. Even when we were shooting it, or even when we were writing it, we were thinking, ‘Oh, wow… The hairs on my neck are standing up because this could be such a cool movie moment. Does this mean that the other Avengers will now know about his existence?’ It was fun to think about that kind of stuff.
AWP: How did you come up with the idea for the terrifying bunny toy in the movie? It’s another scene-stealer!
PR: When my son was a baby, he was really into a show called “Boohbah”, which was a very weird show. It got me thinking that Scott and his daughter should have a connection that only they share. I thought the idea of him giving her a birthday gift of a very weird stuffed animal would be funny, as well as sweet and interesting. And it’s not saccharin. It’s not like he’s giving her a teddy bear or something like that. I wanted it to be an unidentifiable thing, similar to a Boohbah or a Teletubby, but we would make up our own. That’s how I imagined it, but I never wrote it in the screenplay as a terrifying-looking bunny.
AWP: Did you have much input into the look of the bunny?
PR: When we were getting ready to shoot the movie, they brought it out and showed it to me. I was actually bummed out about it. I told them it wasn’t what I wanted; that it’s not cool for a father to give his daughter something this terrifying. Plus, it was so tiny. I know he has no money, but it was going against what I imagined in my mind. To the credit of Peyton Reed–and this is why he’s the director of the movie–he said he thought it was good, and that it was what we wanted to go with. He had OK’d it, as had Kevin Feige, who knows what’s up – and they were right. But it was something that was always a sticking point with me. I’m like, “I don’t want to give her a terrifying-looking rabbit!”
AWPB Did the bunny have a name in your script?
PR: No, it wasn’t even a bunny in the script. You know what it was? I think I put down as a cat.
AWP: It’s been revealed that Ant-Man appears in “Captain America: Civil War.” What’s it like to work with Captain America actor Chris Evans?
PR: It’s been really great fun, and it’s also made this whole experience seem much more real in a way. Well, I always knew it was real and I certainly felt like I was part of the Marvel family with Ant-Man–but to stand around and see Captain America, and to see Iron Man, and to know that I’m in scenes with them was just mind-bending. It was really cool.