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Editor Dan Lebental has been a big part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, working on Iron Man, followed by Iron Man 2, Thor: The Dark World, Ant-Man, Spider-Man: Homecoming and now Ant-Man and the Wasp, which he edited with another Marvel alum, Craig Wood.
Wood edited the first two Guardians of the Galaxy films and is on board for Vol. 3 of the franchise.
In the Ant-Man sequel, which opens Friday, Paul Rudd returns as Scott Lang/Ant-Man and this time teams up with Hope Van Dyne/the Wasp, played by Evangeline Lilly, as they attempt to rescue Hope’s mother, Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) from the Quantum Realm. In the meantime, they must also ward off the mysterious villain the Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen).
Lebental is now in London to begin work on Spider-Man: Far From Home but took a break to talk with The Hollywood Reporter.
You’ve been a big part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since you edited the first Iron Man. What do you most enjoy about telling these stories?
The goal was always to take this genre and infuse it with real human emotions. It has been rewarding in the sense that we advanced the genre past two-dimensional characters. I personally get great joy out of working comedy into the stories. As long as the comedy doesn’t betray the stakes, then it becomes another added dimension.
You edited the first Ant-Man film. What did you find most compelling about telling Scott Lang’s origin story?
I liked how it was the flip side of the coin to Iron Man’s origin. Scott Lang was a down-and-out loser with a heart of gold, whereas Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) had to find his heart. But in the center of both stories stands the aspect of technology that is unleashed in a Pandora’s box sort of way that is ultimately dangerous. Especially in the wrong hands. This reflects well on our times.
For Ant-Man and the Wasp, how will his character develop and how will he be tested?
Ant-Man now has to find the balance that will allow him to be the hero and yet still fulfill his responsibilities to those he loves.
And how does the dynamic change with the addition of the Wasp?
Wasp is the smarter, more qualified and better trained hero who finally has her chance to shine. And she storms into this movie with relish. She is played by Evangeline Lily in a very realistic way and not feminized with unrealistic beauty shots.
You’re starting on Spider-Man: Far From Home. What can you tell us about that film?
I can’t say much about the new Spider Man, but I will offer up that it will be both grander in scale and even funnier than the last one. The rest of the story will have to wait.
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