‘Quantumania’ Director Peyton Reed on How Jonathan Majors Disrupted the Comedy Franchise

While Ant-Man and Ant-Man and The Wasp might not be categorized as divisive films, the action comedies haven’t been every fan’s cup of tea. Criticized for being too silly and not featuring enough action, the first two films in the franchise have been small-scale films serving as palate cleansers after big Avengers events. Returning director Peyton Reed set out to make Quantumania something much larger and much different and the latest trailer for the film looks like he may have succeeded. No director can do it alone, however, and Reed had quite a bit of help in the form of franchise newcomer Jonathan Majors, who plays one of Marvel Comics great villains, Kang the Conqueror, and who Reed credits with bringing “an entirely different energy to the set” and disrupting the comfortable tone of the franchise.

Majors wields an incredible amount of talent and charisma and, according to Reed, his presence as the film’s villain on the set of Quantumania was “intimidating.”

Jonathan brought an entirely different energy to the set. The Ant-Man movies have always been comedies. I like to have a really relaxed, fun set so that the actors can go in front of the camera and feel comfortable trying weird stuff. It’s a safe space. And Jonathan came in as this disruptor—this very intimidating force.

Peyton Reed

Reed’s words call to mind impactful performances such as those by Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight and Bill Skarsgård in It where the actors inhabited to roles so fully that their co-stars were put aback. Reed believes that Majors intensity served as the perfect foil to co-star Paul Rudd‘s trademark goofiness, highlighting the significant gap between the two characters.

It was so great to put that energy up against Paul Rudd’s energy, and it mirrored what we were doing in the movie itself. A lot of people might consider Ant-Man the ‘weakest’ Avenger: ‘What can that guy do? He shrinks and talks to ants. That’s ridiculous.’ Putting that guy up against Kang the Conqueror, who’s the most powerful being in the multiverse—that seemed really exciting to us.

Peyton Reed

From the looks of things in the latest trailer, Rudd’s Scott Lang is in for a world of hurt as he goes up against a Kang, who Reed calls “one of the great antagonists in the comics.” The brutal beating Lang took has fans thinking Quantumania might be the end of the road for the character. With the movie’s premiere just over 5 weeks away, fans won’t have to wait long to find out.

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