Ant-Man and the Wasp director: Russo Brothers helped with post-credits scene

Ant-Man and the Wasp director Peyton Reed put together the film's jaw-dropping post-credits scene with a little help from his friends.

The helmer revealed at a Q&A following Collider's IMAX screening of the flick that Avengers: Infinity War directors Joe and Anthony Russo, along with screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, helped craft the scene which tied the lighthearted heist flick to the larger events of the MCU — namely, the eradication of 50% of all life in the Universe, due to Thanos' fateful finger snap.

You will recall (and if you haven't seen Ant-Man and the Wasp, spoilers) that the scene features Scott Lang using a new, van-sized Quantum Tunnel to enter the Quantum Realm to harvest Quantum Particles (it's like they just put "Quantum" in front of everything), as Hank Pym, Hope Van Dyne, and the recently rescued Janet Van Dyne monitor his progress. As Scott is going about his business, he suddenly loses contact with the rest of the team — due to the fact that, heartbreakingly, they've all been dusted in the Snap (or, as it's retroactively been branded, the Decimation). Scott is left stranded in the Quantum Realm; thanks to the trailer for Avengers: Endgame, we know that he will manage to extract himself, although we do not yet know how.

In response to a query from Collider's Scott Weintraub as to what Reed knew about Infinity War and when he knew it, Reed gave up a fascinating trove of details that gives us some insight about the inner workings of Marvel Studios, and how they are able to keep plot elements consistent between films — indeed, between franchises. "I knew [about the Decimation] really early on," Reed said. "When we started the writing process, I knew. What I didn't know was how it was going to factor into our movie. So the tricky thing about that was knowing everyone, having seen Infinity War, was going to come into Ant-Man and the Wasp and be looking for clues. 'How's this fit into the timeline?' And we don't give any clues for some time… we started talking about having actors walk in front of monitors with events in the background of what's going on, and that just seemed lazy to us."

The director then revealed how the ending of Ant-Man and the Wasp slowly took shape, with the intention basically being to lure the audience into a false sense of security by having the film tie up all of its narrative loose ends, with a nice little bow on top, before delivering the kicker in the post-credits sequence. "We did this thing in the lead up to the end credits what we jokingly called 'The Parade of Resolutions,'" he said. "And the idea was to have these extremely neat resolutions one after the other. Scott's back, he's made it off house arrest, he's reunited with Cassie, the X-Con guys get the Garribidean Project so their company is going to be saved… and everything's great! And Ant-Man and the Wasp ends as it's supposed to end. Everything is really colorful with the credits sequence at the end, and then, oh, what's this?" He continued, "Janet's in street clothes, and there's Luis' van, and they're sending Scott in for some Quantum healing particles and they mention Ghost, so you're spinning like, 'Oh, they're progressing the story.' We wanted to try and catch the audience as off-guard as possible, so when he's left there and you come back and see the three of them dusted, it's just this gut-punch."

Mission accomplished, Mr. Reed. He then went on to elaborate the role that Infinity War's directors and writers played in restraining him from introducing any Infinity War elements in his film's main narrative, and pinning down how the post-credits scene should play out. "[It 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," he said. "We all talked… and we sat down with the Russo Brothers and the screenwriters Markus 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?'" (Incidentally, we can't believe it took someone this long to coin that phrase.) 

He went on, "Markus 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 a very collaborative thing… 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."

Ant-Man and the Wasp's post-credits scene is certainly one of the most memorable in a franchise packed to the brim with them, leaving audiences hanging on that image of the dusted remains of Hank, Hope, and Janet blowin' in the wind. We'll surely learn the characters' ultimate fates when Avengers: Endgame drops at the end of April — but first, we'll get our formal introduction to the hero that just might spell doom for Thanos in the form of Captain Marvel, which hits screens on March 8.