Ant-Man and the Wasp may be one of the most family friendly Marvel movies. It’s a comedy with a light touch and kids will like all the shrinking and giant effects. For Paul Rudd, it was more important that Scott Lang is a father than that he’s a superhero.
“This theme of parents and children runs throughout the film, fathers and daughters,” Rudd said. “It’s something that’s relatable because whether or not we have children of our own, many people do, we all have parents.”
The original Ant-Man already established Lang’s relationship with his daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson). Rudd was excited to see Scott and Cassie reconnect.
“I have a daughter roughly the age of Cassie in the film,” Rudd said. “She’s a little bit younger. While I know for a fact she’s going to want me to build a slide after she sees the film, which is really hard to do in a New York apartment, I know what it’s like to spend the evening playing with Barbie dolls.”
Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) does not have children, but she is Hank Pym (Michael Douglas)’s daughter. She finally gets to be The Wasp at long last. In real life, Lilly is a mother who has a different take on comic book movies than she does.
“I have a seven-year-old son and he loves violent movies,” Lilly said. “He likes to taunt me by telling me, ‘Mom, I love violence’ because he knows I hate it.”
Ant-Man and the Wasp take on Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), a woman who is still feeling the effects of a quantum accident that affected her as a child. Although she is at odds with the heroes, Ghost is not a villain.
“When [my son] talks about good guys and bad guys in movies, I always feel a responsibility to clarify to him, ‘Honey, you know that there really is no such thing as a bad guy, right? That there are only just good guys who have made so many bad choices, they’ve forgotten how to make good choices.’”
Lilly is glad to be in a movie that shows kids they don’t need to defeat their opponents.
“A true hero’s job is to remind them of their goodness, not to annihilate them, to kill them,” Lilly continued. “It’s to help them redeem themselves. I think that’s applicable to life. You’re teaching children that when you encounter someone that might have a different opinion than you, that doesn’t mean they’re a villain. Maybe you want to try to understand them first.”
It took two movies for Hope to get a suit, but she really deserved one before Scott. Hank had just been a tad overprotective. Ant-Man and the Wasp proves he should’ve gone with her all along.
“I think in the first one it was pretty clear, she would be really good at this,” Rudd said. “Scott was never really sure how he could be Ant-Man and still be a good parent, that those two things can coexist, that’s really what we wanted to hang this thing on, that dilemma.”
So come for the thrills and spectacle. Stay for the heartwarming family message.
“That’s the glue,” Rudd said. “That’s the soul of it, the love that a family shares and how we need each other. Parents need their kids, kids need their parents.”
Ant-Man and the Wasp is now in theaters.