'Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania' — Unpacking Hank Pym’s Ant Obsession
It's finally time to “pay off Hank’s love of ants over three movies.”
“Ants can do a lot of things but they still need a leader.” -Dr. Hank Pym, Ant-Man (2015)
Dr. Hank Pym loves ants. If you ask him, ants are cool and can do hundreds of amazing things — many of which he’s actually tapped into, thanks to his Ant Training Device that uses electromagnetic waves allowing the user to communicate with and control them. And considering the Pym Particles he’s created that allow users to shrink down to small sizes while maintaining unbeatable physical strength (just like ants!) he himself becomes the “Ant-Man,” a title he then passes on to Scott Lang, along with the Ant-Man suit.
So while he might no longer be brandishing the mantel of Ant-Man, Hank is without a doubt the embodiment of Ant-Man inside and out, if only because he knows deep down inside ants are cool, and it’s about time everyone gives them some respect! Hank’s admiration for the insects is never more apparent than in Marvel Studios Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, because he not only mentions, multiple times, that he likes ants, but he’s finally completely embracing his enthusiasm, too.
“I wanted to write Hank Pym as just the cockiest guy in the world, no one quite gets his thing, ants have always been kind of a joke in these three movies, and I just wanted to slow burn Hank Pym for the entire movie,” Writer Jeff Loveness explains. “Let people rag on ants, have people take some shots at ants, and let people knock him for about two hours of the movie, but Hank gets to prove just how cool ants are.”
While others, including even the other Avengers, have made fun of the idea of an “Ant-Man,” Hank will no longer hear anything about it. If you have a problem with ants, you’re going to have to take it up with him.
“It's a weird thing, like the obsession with ants and the notion of Ant-Man is still weird and still a little bit funny, but also awesome — totally awesome,” Producer Stephen Broussard tells Marvel.com with a chuckle. “I think that was just a bit of an acknowledgment of like, this is a weird obsession for this guy who's totally owned it.”
For the new movie, the creative team also wanted to get back to a core Ant-Man that hasn’t lately been front and center: talking to ants. Director Peyton Reed adds, “That was always the most whacked-out part, and I loved it.”
As the movie opens, Hank has long abandoned the title of Ant-Man and is enjoying quiet time at home with his family, now that he’s reunited with all of them again. He’s also using Pym technology for mundane things which aren’t exactly creating waves of change. “He's using that particle technology to grow a small pizza into a large pizza to save $8, and it just was like, what are you doing, man?” Reed gasps.
But as Broussard points out, this is exactly what Hank needs right now. “Hank’s earned a moment to breathe. He had been on the outs with his daughter for many years. He had struggled to find a legacy for where the suit could go. His wife had been lost to the Quantum Realm. He's in a good place. The Hank of this film is a little more relaxed. He's a little more sure of himself — not looking around every corner as he was in the earlier movies.”
All of that changes when the entire family is accidentally sucked into the Quantum Realm and Hank’s old habits kick into high gear. While he’s let Scott run wild as Ant-Man for the last two movies, now he’s been thrust into the battle, too.
“When the challenges of this movie come to his doorstep, he's in a good place for it,” Broussard continues. “He's kind of ready for it. Hank knows his moment and he knows when it's time to shine. He's building upon all these decades of being essentially a super spy, which is what Ant-Man was in the 1.0 versions of that character, to who he is today as the patriarch of this extended family who will protect it at all costs.”
So while Hank once again gets his time to shine, so does his obsession with ants — and the ants themselves. As Loveness jokes, Hank’s fascination with the insects gave everyone the opportunity to finally “pay off Hank’s love of ants over three movies.”
“The movie's still called ‘Ant-Man,’” Broussard adds. “We wanted to make sure that that core aspect of what this franchise is didn't get lost, so it was important to us that [the ants] played a big part.”
As for what Star Michael Douglas has to say about all this ant talk, even he jokes, “I love ants.”
“I’m just happy to see [the ants] play such a key role with all the incredible special effects we have going on, and all the things to find out that it comes back to the core of what Ant-Man is all about,” He explains. “They didn’t let me down.”
BIG and small things await! Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is now playing exclusively in theaters.
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