The Marvel Cinematic Universe is one gigantic, mammoth beast of a film universe. The films bleed into one another. Timelines overlap, and oftentimes, they lead directly into the events of the next. With all this in mind, it’s not really a huge surprise that directors from one film can have some sort of hand in another. It’s something we’ve known for a while, and it’s usually just a matter of us wondering HOW much input directors have in other films.
Most recently, Ant-Man and the Wasp was a film that featured a pretty interesting post-credits scene. In it, we see the Decimation occur off-screen as Ant-Man is in the Quantum Realm. The Decimation, for those who don’t know, is the universe-altering event that occurred when Thanos snapped his fingers, pretty much eliminating half of all living beings. Given this was such a huge part of Avengers: Infinity War, it makes sense the Russo Brothers, who directed the film, would have a bit of input into that post-credits scene.
Speaking with Collider, Ant-Man and the Wasp director Peyton Reed opened up about the input they had:
“We all talked—it was Paul, Chris McKenna and Eric Summers—and we sat down with the Russo Brothers and the screenwriters Marcus and McFeely about the timeline, but there was still a discussion with our movie in terms of who was going to get dusted. Who was going to be on the parking deck. At one point we talked about, ‘Is Bill Foster up there? Is Eva Starr up there? Do they all dust out?’ but then it became a percentages thing. It’s supposed to be 50%, so it can’t be, ‘Really? All of them went? That seems different than what I saw in Infinity War?’ There were certain things that we knew. [Avengers: Infinity War screenwriters] Marcus and McFeely pitched an idea for the scene and we all kind of built off that idea. It involved Scott and it involved Luis’ van and a new Quantum Tunnel 2.0, but it was very collaborative thing.
There was a lot of back and forth, because I’ve talked about this on the first Ant-Man, I was editing and I had the Russo Brothers and Marcus and McFeely come in the editing room, and I showed them, I think it was the sequence where Scott breaks into Hank’s house and does the whole thing with the safe and steals the suit and showed them a bunch of other stuff, I think including the first Luis montage, but to just give them an idea of the tone of Ant-Man and how Paul was playing Scott Lang so they could write for him for Civil War. So there is a lot of back and forth, which is really fun. This one was tricky because with the ending of Infinity War, there’s not a bigger dramatic swing you can take with a movie. We knew if we introduced that concept too early in Ant-Man and the Wasp, because we talked about that early on, and if you introduce it too early, then that’s all anyone cares about because it threatens to dramatically take over your story.
There was a lot of discussion about—you saw the scene with the fan and the dust swirling on the parking deck—but like location-wise, where is it going to be? Who’s it going to be? That kind of stuff. Once we landed on the idea and it made sense for both movies, or for all three movies, that was a pretty exciting day. I’ll call it a ‘breakthrough’, I guess.”
It’s always nice to hear about the cross-pollination between filmmakers in this world. Given how different each of these movies can feel, it’s easy to assume they’re very hands-off, and while I’m sure that has been the case in the past and is currently with some movies, the fact they team up when it matters is a huge comfort.
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