‘Ant-Man’ Director Peyton Reed Is a ‘Back to the Future’ Legend
We probably don’t have to tell you that this weekend sees the release of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, the newest entry in the Marvel/Baskin-Robbins Cinematic Universe.
Quantumania was directed by Peyton Reed, who also helmed the previous two Ant-Man movies — not to mention comedies like Bring It On, Down with Love and every episode of the underrated TV flop The Weird Al Show. But before all that, Reed significantly impacted another iconic sci-fi-comedy franchise: Back to the Future.
Reed began his career by directing behind-the-scenes documentaries for Back to the Future Part II and Back to the Future Part III. He also made The Secrets of the Back to the Future Trilogy, hosted by Kirk Cameron, who somehow refrained from commenting on whether or not Marty and his godless scientist pal would be left behind during the rapture.
Later, Reed directed the live-action wraparound segments for the Back to the Future cartoon that featured Christopher Lloyd and an oddly mute Bill Nye. Most consequentially, Reed co-wrote a beloved staple of 1990s theme-park attractions: Back to the Future: The Ride. As anyone who visited Universal Studios in the 1990s remembers, the ride involves visiting Doc Brown’s Institute of Future Technology, where he has created a whole fleet of time-traveling DeLoreans — because apparently all of his significant ethical concerns about meddling with the laws of nature mysteriously evaporated sometime after the last movie.
Further proving that Doc probably shouldn’t have attempted to exploit his potentially universe-ending invention for a quickie business venture, Biff steals one of the DeLoreans, and you (and presumably your nauseated parents) are tasked with chasing him throughout history, nearly getting eaten by a T. rex in the process.
Reed and his co-writer Mark Cowen reportedly saved the project from being a total disaster. Before their involvement, some of the ideas kicking around for the ride included making the experience a laid-back travelogue in which the DeLorean visits historical figures such as Leonardo DaVinci and the Wright Brothers or pegging it to a goofy storyline in which Doc Brown battles his evil twin brother who had never been mentioned up to that point for some reason.
Instead of Nega Doc, the pair suggested bringing back Biff, the villain from literally every other Back to the Future story. And with a little advice from Back to the Future co-writer Bob Gale, they hammered out a script that felt more in keeping with the rest of the franchise. According to the ride’s senior project manager, Steven Marble: “It took Peyton Reed to nail it. Once he was handed the problem, he solved it.”
No word on whether any major blockbusters have come from the team who created Waterworld: A Live Sea War Spectacular.
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