I was honored to be invited to the #AntManandWaspEvent, a Disney press junket for Marvel Studios Ant-Man and the Wasp movie, Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger, and Disney Junior’s Fancy Nancy. As a guest, my expenses were covered in return for a series of articles about my experiences and reviews of the programming.
The incredible and impressive Laurence Fishburne, movie star walks into our interview room. We give him the round of applause he so richly deserves for not only his role as Dr. Bill Foster in Ant-Man and the Wasp but also because of the legacy he has built for himself with his movies and in his role on Blackish. In return, he so genuinely says to us, “I have to say it’s very, very, very impressive what you’re doing.” This man, this star, was impressed with what we are doing. Laurence Fishburne was such a gentleman and answered all of our interview questions with great, detailed answers. It was such a joy getting to know him and to understand the man behind Dr. Bill Foster. For Laurence being a comic book movie star wasn’t just a role for him, it’s something he’s passionate about. Take a look.
About Marvel Studios’ new movie Ant-Man and the Wasp
From the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes ANT-MAN AND THE WASP, a new chapter featuring heroes with the astonishing ability to shrink. In the aftermath of CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, Scott Lang grapples with the consequences of his choices as both a super hero and a father. As he struggles to rebalance his home life with his responsibilities as Ant-Man, he’s confronted by Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym with an urgent new mission. Scott must once again put on the suit and learn to fight alongside the Wasp as the team works together to uncover secrets from the past.
Ant-Man and the Wasp will be released in U.S. theaters on July 6, 2018.
Take a look at the Ant-Man and the Wasp movie trailer to see what you can expect.
Get to know Laurence Fishburne , the Movie Star & Comic Book Geek
Growing up a comic book fan
It was pretty neat to learn how much comic books have been a part of Laurence Fishburne’s life from a very young age.
I started reading comic books when I was very young. Probably like eight or nine years old. And I always read DC and Marvel. I love them both.
Laurence Fishburne’s favorite comic books
- Spider Man
- Fire Man
What comic book character would Laurence Fishburne like to play?
Knowing that Laurence enjoys reading comic books and that it seems Marvel has introduced A LOT of new comic book characters, I wanted to know who Laurence felt should be introduced next. I asked, “Is there a superhero or villain character that you feel is worthy of their own movie next?” His response showed just how extensive his knowledge of comic books is and what comic book characters Laurence would like to play himself. I’ll break down his response by character.
Ohh, of the more obscure ones. Captain Marvel comes to mind but this character already has their own movie. It’s coming. And there’s been a gender change. What I love about Captain Marvel, if you don’t know the history of Captain Marvel, Thanos is a Captain Marvel villain. Captain Marvel is kickin’ his ass regularly. So I’m so excited to see that.
After Infinity War I think we’re all excited to see Thanos get defeated.
Brother Voo Doo
There was a character that I would have loved to have done if they were ever (a movie). I couldn’t do it now at my age. It would be a character that a younger actor should do at this point. There was a character in Marvel Universe called Brother Voo Doo who was kinda freaky and weird and supernatural. That would be a cool thing to see.
Then there are some villains who probably should have had some movies, like the character that Thomas Hayden Church played, the Sandman. He could have had an interesting thing because the Sandman was a villain, kind of, but there was also this other part of him. There was this humanity in him that could’ve been interesting.
Laurence also shared that it would be awesome to be involved with a Dr. Hank Pym prequel that Michael Douglas was suggesting needed to be done.
Marvel Versus DC
Since Laurence Fishburne has been in both Marvel and DC superhero movies, we had to ask which superhero universe did he prefer.
I’m grateful and happy to be a part of that small group of actors who’ve been in both universes. For anybody who thinks I’m perhaps disloyal to one or the other all I can say is, look, I paid money for both comic books.
That gave us a laugh out loud moment. And heck I think Laurence has shown us his talent and ability to play both hero and villian in DC and Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies. I won’t spoil which one he plays as Dr. Bill Foster in the Ant-Man and the Wasp movie.
Getting involved in the Marvel movies
Laurence Fishburne first involvement in MCU films came as the voice of Silver Surfer.
I’ve been reading (comic books) for a long time, been watchin’ the movies, too and I ran into the director of the Fantastic Four movie, Rise of the Silver Surfer. His name’s Tim Story. I said to him, I’m Norrin Radd (an alias for Silver Surfer). And he said, ‘who?’ I said, Norrin Radd. He was like, who’s Norrin Radd? I had to tell him about the origins of the Silver Surfer and Galactus. I was like, I should play that part in it, so he was kind enough to cast me to do the vocal performance in that movie. That was my first foray into the Marvel Universe.
How then did Laurence Fishburne get involved with the Ant-Man and the Wasp movie. He explains it below.
I don’t know, three or four years back …I couldn’t help myself. I wanted very much to be a part of the MCU because of the way it was progressing. They were doing such great things. Louis D’Esposito and I had worked together about thirty years ago. I asked to have a meeting with him and said, ‘I’ll do whatever you need me to do but I really would like to be a part of the MCU if there’s any way that you can see that I can do that.’ They came back and said there’s this character, Bill Foster, who I was not aware of – oddly enough – because I wasn’t an Ant-Man reader.
Yes, of all the comic books Laurence Fishburne had read Ant-Man was not one of them. I’m just glad that didn’t let that keep him from being in the movie. Laurence later told us he was so eager to be a part of another Marvel movie, he would have been a fly on the wall.
I was very, very just happy to jump in all four feet. I mean, I would- I would have played a fly on the wall. I would have played a piece of debris in the Marvel Universe.
Heroes Versus Villians
Given a choice does Laurence Fishburne have a preference towards playing a superhero or a villian? Hmm, his answer makes me think he may actually prefer the role of a villian. What do you think?
Villainy. There’s nothing wrong with villainy. Villainy is great. If you go way, way back forty years. you can see I did a lot of villainy roles.
Laurence added later on, “Heroes, villains, whatever it is, as long as you can make them human then it’s fun. That’s the objective as to whether it’s a hero or a villain you want to humanize them and allow the audience to have the experience of maybe I don’t like what he’s doing or maybe I don’t like what she’s doing, but there’s something in them that reminds me of me.”
Being a role model in an inclusive Marvel Cinematic Universe
In the Ant-Man and the Wasp movie, Laurence Fishburne plays Dr. Bill Foster a biochemist who is also African-American. It was not lost on Laurence that in playing that role he has the potential to be a role model for youth watching the film. He had this to say about MCU being inclusive and his role in it.
It’s great because Marvel was being inclusive and doing things that were diverse as early as ’68. Black Panther appears in the comics of ’68. Goliath appears in the ‘70s. Sam, the Falcon, appears in the ‘70s. Robbie appears in the ‘70s. Women are always out front in the Marvel Universe, and have been since the beginning. It’s nice that MCU has been able to take the source material and bring it into the now, to be a real reflection, or at least a closer reflection, to what the real world looks like.
Laurence Fishburne really was a genuine and kind actor. His answers were thoughtful and I hope you’ll get to the theaters to see him as Dr. Bill Foster in Ant-Man and the Wasp.
Need more convincing to take the kids to see Ant-Man and the Wasp? Check out our 7 Reasons You MUST SEE the Ant-Man and the Wasp Movie with Your Kids.
Get ready to watch Disney Marvel Studios Ant-Man and the Wasp at your local theater starting July 6, 2018!
- Learn more about the Ant-Man and the Wasp movie at any of these links
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- Get to know the talent behind the Ant-Man and the Wasp movie with these Interviews with the cast and producers
- Evangeline Lilly (Hope Pym / Wasp)
- Hannah John-Kamen (“Ghost”)
- Michael Douglas (“Dr. Hank Pym”)
- Director Peyton Reed
- Paul Rudd (“Scott Lang / Ant-Man”) interview
Our #AntManAndTheWaspEvent continues Thursday with my Laurence Fishburne (“Dr. Bill Foster”) interview. You can get caught up with our#AntManAndTheWaspEvent anytime by clicking on #AntManAndTheWaspEvent,
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