Director Peyton Reed and his crew have a tall order in front of them with Ant-Man 3, which kicks off a new MCU Phase while bringing easily the biggest stakes of any solo Ant-Man movie to date. Introducing the prime version of Kang the Conqueror while diving into the Quantum Realm across nearly the entire plot, Quantumania will be anything but a walk in the park for the MCU's smallest Avenger after he saved half the universe in Avengers: Endgame.
Reed and his team have noted that this movie takes a big turn from its two predecessors, upping the scale in terms of action and drama while also keeping the same family dynamic that drove the first two movies forward.
And while the challenges in the plot itself are massive, Rudd also recently looked back on how difficult it was to shoot the movie and bring it to life.
Paul Rudd on Ant-Man 3's Challenges
Speaking with Men's Health, Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania star Paul Rudd addressed how struggled to physically prepare for the movie.
Just over a year after being named the Sexiest Man Alive, Rudd noted how it was "so much harder" for him to "get back into shape" for this third movie compared to Ant-Man and The Wasp. He even opened up by saying that he got down on himself due to his clothes not fitting the right way, saying that he "wasn’t in a good mood" before production started:
"I worked really hard to get back into shape for Quantumania, and I realized, Oh my God, this is so much harder than it was [for the last Ant-Man project]. I had fallen off more than I had in the past. All of a sudden my clothes fit tight. And I thought, God, this sucks. I can’t even wear these pants. So I’d say to myself, Well, I might as well just eat some of these cookies. I was irritable and self-conscious. I just wasn’t in a good mood. I really beat myself up."
Rudd shed some light on how focused he can be if he has to be in shape for a movie, but he also explained that he tries to "find the happy medium" between getting into shape and taking things easy:
"I can be a hyper-focused person if I have a goal. If I’m doing one of these movies and I know that in four months I have to do a shirtless scene, I’m pretty dialed in. I also try and find the happy medium. I could work out hard and eat perfectly and I’ll still look worse than most of the other Avengers."
Co-star Evangeline Lilly also had similar comments about how difficult the movie was to film in January 2022, calling Ant-Man 3 "the hardest one [they've] made" due to the COVID-19 lockdowns:
"We finished filming at the end of November, and I think, hands down, it was the hardest one we’ve made. It was the most difficult. It was the only one we’ve made during the Covid lockdowns. That just adds such an incredible complication to making a movie. It adds a lot of stress. It makes things very impersonal because you can’t see faces."
Looking back on how intense the shoot was, Lilly also shared her own feelings that this movie "might be the best one yet" after the experience she and the crew had during production:
“Film sets are already impersonal enough, there is so much that goes on and so much that has to get done in a short amount of time, and the intensity level is really, really high. So it was a very trying experience doing the film with Covid measures. But I actually think…what we did, the stuff we shot, the material we managed to get, I think it might be the best one yet.”
How Ant-Man 3 Put Rudd Through the Wringer
Even though Paul Rudd certainly knows how to keep himself looking youthful as he moves further into his 50s, he made no qualms about Ant-Man 3 being his hardest MCU challenge to date. While the pandemic-induced delays almost certainly played a big part in making this movie so difficult, getting back into superhero shape was no easy task for Rudd.
From all of the promotional material that's come for this film, Rudd appears to be at his best as his Scott Lang looks to take on his biggest adversary yet in Kang the Conqueror. This movie will be the most emotionally and physically taxing one yet for the MCU's tiniest Avenger, as has been shown in multiple shots from Ant-Man 3's trailers, and there's even been reason to think that Rudd's hero may not make it out of this story alive.
And considering this threequel is just the first step toward the MCU's next Avengers-centric outing, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, fans are anxious to see how Rudd's hard work pays off on the big screen.
Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania is set to premiere in theaters on Friday, February 17.