“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” screenwriter Jeff Loveness was tasked with creating the most ambitious “Ant-Man” movie yet and introducing the MCU’s new Thanos-sized villain, Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors). The results have been somewhat disastrous. Not only is “Quantumania” one of the worst-reviewed Marvel films in history (its 48% on Rotten Tomatoes nearly matches the “Eternals” record-low score of 47%), but the film dropped 69% at the box office in its second weekend, marking the second-biggest drop in MCU history.
“To be honest, those reviews took me by surprise,” Loveness recently told The Daily Beast about the extreme critical bashing “Quantumania” faced. “I was in a pretty low spot… Those were not good reviews, and I was like, ‘What the …?’”
“I’m really proud of what I wrote for Jonathan [Majors] and Michelle Pfeiffer [scientist Janet Pym],” Loveness added. “I thought that was good stuff, you know? And so I was just despondent, and I was really sad about it.”
Loveness got in better spirits after he decided to attend a public screening of “Quantumania” after the negative reviews came out. The screenwriter listened as audience members laughed at many of the jokes he added to the script.
“I’m like, ‘Goddamn! No, [the reviews] are wrong! I’m right! MODOK is great!’” he said of watching the film on opening weekend. “I’m pretty happy with it overall, and I think I learned how to take a punch this week. And now that I learned that it’s not too bad, I can just get on with making things.”
“Quantumnia” marks Loveness’ Marvel Cinematic Universe debut. He got his start in Hollywood as a writer on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” before he jumped to Adult Swim’s “Rick and Morty” and won an Emmy for the show’s fourth season episode “The Vat of Acid Episode.” Loveness told Variety that his goal with the “Quantumania” script was “to make a type of adventure movie that I loved growing up.”
“With Paul Rudd, we had the opportunity to do this throwback ’90s dad protagonist, the way Robin Williams in ‘Hook’ or ‘Jumanji’ feels,” Loveness said. “You have this playful superhero that most people think is pretty low stakes, and the pitch we had was what if he’s accidentally in an ‘Avengers’ movie basically by himself, completely out of his depth? That felt like a really fun challenge to tackle.”
Loveness is sticking with Marvel and is currently developing the script for “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.”
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