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Sunday June 16th 2024

Ant-Man And The Wasp | 2018

Ant-Man and the Wasp film location: 18th Street, Potrero Hill, San Francisco
Ant-Man and the Wasp film location: Scott Lang's apartment: 18th Street, Potrero Hill, San Francisco | Photograph: Google Maps

Ant-Man And The Wasp poster

Although based at Pinewood Atlanta Studios, Georgia, there’s much more of the real San Francisco setting than there was in the first Ant-Man movie.

The basic rule being: if there are hills, it’s San Francisco; if it’s flat, it’s Atlanta (particularly along the much-used Peachtree Street).

Ant-Man and the Wasp film location: Buena Vista Avenue, Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco
Ant-Man and the Wasp film location: Dr Pym’s Victorian Gingerbread house: Buena Vista Avenue, Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco

▶ The prologue’s flashback to Hank Pym’s (Michael Douglas) life with his wife Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer), before she disappeared into the Quantum Realm, briefly features the Pym house, at 601 Buena Vista Avenue West in San Francisco’s famed Haight-Ashbury district.

▶ The story proper follows on from Captain America: Civil War, with Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) under house arrest for breaking those pesky old Sokovia Accords, at his home, above/alongside neighbourhood bookstore Christopher’s Books, 1400 18th Street at Missouri Street, in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill district.

Leaving a cheerfully compliant oversized ant wearing his ankle tag, Scott is spirited away by Hank Pym’s daughter, Hope (Evangeline Lilly), who believes he can help rescue her mother from the subatomic limbo in which she’s been trapped for years.

Ant-Man and the Wasp film location: Harrison Street, Oakland
Ant-Man and the Wasp film location: the site of Dr Pym's lab: Harrison Street, Oakland | Photograph: Google Maps

▶ She drives him to the deserted-looking office block where Pym currently houses the lab containing his tunnel to the Quantum Realm. No, you’ll find no block here. It’s the Harrison Street Parking Lot, 1515 Harrison Street at 15th Street, in Oakland, across the bay from San Francisco.

There’s a good reason an empty lot was used. When Hope and Hank Pym move on, the entire block is quickly shrunk to wheelie-luggage size and loaded into the car. It’s easy to pop the CGI building into any convenient location. And that’s going to happen a lot.

▶ With a quick glimpse of the Oakland Bay Bridge, we head into San Francisco and a meeting with black-marketeer Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins) at his ‘Oui’ restaurant. Suddenly, we’re in Downtown Atlanta, where this is 200 Peachtree Street NW. It's the Whitehall at 1927 Southern Exchange Ballrooms, now an events space – and a wedding venue if you’re a die-hard Wasp fan (or a Sonny Burch fan for that matter).

Burch supplies Pym with tech parts but now he’s eager to move into Quantum technology with the help of Pym’s lab.

They’re both wrongfooted when the minilab is snatched by a mysterious entity with the ability to pass through walls.

▶ Now without a base, Scott and Hope hide out with Scott’s business partner Luis (Michael Pena) and his crew at the premises of ‘X-Con Security Consultants’ business, above 'J&J Jewellers'.

If anything looked like set-dressing to hide a real location, it’s that ostentatious ‘J&J’ sign. But, no – that’s a real business at 76 Peachtree Street SW near MLK Jr Drive, a few blocks south of the ‘Oui’ location. It doesn’t look like the store is going to benefit from the publicity – it seems to have closed down.

Ant-Man and the Wasp film location: Sather Gate, Sather Road, Berkeley
Ant-Man and the Wasp film location: Hank, Hope and Scott enter the university campus: Sather Gate, Sather Road, Berkeley | Photograph: Wikimedia

▶ Hank Pym needs help from his old partner Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne) who’s working at the University of California, Berkeley.

With Hope and Scott, he enters the campus via the famous Sather Gate, on Sather Road running north from Bancroft Way. This was once the main entrance to the University, but since expansion of the grounds, it now just separates the centre of the campus from Sproul Plaza.

▶ That’s all we see of Berkeley. Foster’s lecture theatre is the White Hall of Emory University, 201 Dowman Drive in Atlanta.

Emory is no stranger to the screen, having appeared in 2000’s Road Trip, Into The Wild (the real Chris McCandless graduated from Emory), Hidden Figures, Marc Webb’s 2017 Gifted, with Chris Evans, and TV’s Stranger Things .

To track down the whereabouts of the stolen lab, the technology of the original Ant suit is needed. Wouldn’t you know it, Scott’s daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson) has unwittingly taken it to ‘Show and Tell’ at school.

Ant-Man and the Wasp film location: Morningside Elementary School, Virginia Avenue, Atlanta
Ant-Man and the Wasp film location: retrieving the suit from Cassie's school: Morningside Elementary School, Virginia Avenue, Atlanta | Photograph: Google Maps

▶ The ground here is flat, so it looks like we're remaining in Atlanta. ‘Brookemont Elementary School’ is the Morningside Elementary School, 774 Virginia Avenue NE in the Virginia Highland district northeast of Downtown.

▶ The lab can now be tracked to an extraordinary Modernist concrete home, where it’s being held by Ava (Hannah John-Kamen) who, having been subjected to “molecular disequilibrium”, has acquired the ability of being able to pass through solid objects. She’s being helped fight this painful, and apparently terminal, condition by Bill Foster.

I would happily have assumed this to be a studio set but, amazingly, this is a real (and private) residence: 22 Woodlane Drive in the city of Newnan, about 40 miles southwest of Atlanta. New owners have proudly named it the Quantum house, and you can follow its Twitter account.

Recovering the lab, Hank, Hope and Scott restore it to its full scale in ‘Muir Woods’. You’ll remember that’s the giant redwood forest north of San Francisco which is visited by Scottie and Madeleine in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic Vertigo.

Hitchcock didn’t film in the real woods and neither does Peyton Reed. This is a forest near the Pinewood studios in Fayetteville.

It doesn’t take long for the feds, led by Jimmy Woo (Randall Park), to find the trio and take them into custody, allowing the lab, once again, to fall into the clutches of Ava, aka Ghost.

It’s a tough job, keeping size-changing tech wizards imprisoned, especially when they’re aided by an army of relentlessly obedient ants.

Ant-Man and the Wasp film location: Baker Street, Atlanta
Ant-Man and the Wasp film location: escaping from the police department: Baker Street, Atlanta | Photograph: Google Maps

▶ The three brazenly exit the police station via an anonymous doorway beneath White Oak Kitchen and Cocktails on the south side of Baker Street NW at Peachtree Street NW, just a couple of blocks north of the ‘Oui’ location. Yes, there’s a bit of a slope here – the production did manage to find one of the few hills in Atlanta.

Ant-Man and the Wasp film location: Filbert Street, San Francisco
Ant-Man and the Wasp film location: tracking down the stolen lab: Filbert Street, San Francisco

▶ We’re back on the trail of the stolen lab, briefly in the real San Francisco, driving east on Filbert Street towards the twin spires of Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral (familiar from Dirty Harry) and Coit Tower (Vertigo and Doctor Dolittle), a stretch of road you might recognise from Bullitt.

▶ The lab has been blown up to full scale again in one of those suitably deserted industrial areas that, according to the movies, every city has.

Marvel fans may be familiar with this spot from the beginning of Captain America: Civil War, when it was used as the ‘Lagos’ market where fighting off an attack goes horribly wrong.

This was an area known as The Gulch, on Ted Turner Drive SW and Mitchell Street SW, just southwest of Downtown Atlanta. That huge block is, predictably, being developed, becoming the Centennial Yards apartment complex, with the Gulch becoming its parking area.

A bit of misdirection from Scott sees the lab conveniently shrunken and grabbed, leading to a crazy car chase through San Francisco, referencing films from Bullitt to What’s Up Doc?

There’s really no way of reproducing the city’s famous hills so much of the sequence is the real thing.

Ant-Man and the Wasp film location: Lombard Street, San Francisco
Ant-Man and the Wasp film location: negotiating the the switchback curves of Lombard Street: Lombard Street, San Francisco

▶ How can any self-respecting chase through the city avoid the famous set of switchback curves on the 1000 Block of Lombard Street between Leavenworth and Hyde Streets in Russian Hill, self-styled ‘Crookedest Street in the World’? Ant-Man and the Wasp ups the ante with some spectacular car flips (which were achieved with extremely convincing digital effects).

The street is seen in plenty of madcap chases including Disney's The Love Bug and Peter Bogdanovich's 1972 screwball comedy What's Up Doc?

By the way, if you're a visiting location spotter, don't forget that on the next block east, 900 Lombard Street was the home of James Stewart in Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 Vertigo.

Ant-Man and the Wasp film location: Mitchell Street, Atlanta
Ant-Man and the Wasp film location: Stan Lee's cameo as the old San Francisco stoner: Mitchell Street, Atlanta | Photograph: Google Maps

▶ Stan Lee puts in his regular cameo as a Sixties stoner, on Mitchell Street at Ted Turner Drive – yes, right alongside the Gulch location in Atlanta.

Ant-Man and the Wasp film location: Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco
Ant-Man and the Wasp film location: Sonny Burch boards the boat: Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco

▶ Sonny Burch, now with the lab, is chased to Fisherman’s Wharf, where he boards a Whale Watching boat tour and it’s up to giant Ant Man to take charge and fling it ashore.

Fisherman’s Wharf is the bustling waterfront tourist area of the city, packed with seafood restaurants and souvenir shops. Nevertheless, it remains an active fishing port. It's easily accessed by the F Market streetcar, but you can travel the historic Cable Cars – the Powell-Hyde cable car line runs to Aquatic Park, at the edge of Fisherman’s Wharf, and the Powell-Mason cable car line ends a few blocks away. It's featured in several films, naturally, but most famously in James Bond movie A View To A Kill.

▶ To the amazement of tourists, the lab suddenly reverts to its full size at the foot of Pier 43 with its historic Ferry Arch.

Ant-Man and the Wasp film location: Broadway, Pacific Heights, San Francisco
Ant-Man and the Wasp film location: diverting the feds with the giant Ant suit: Broadway, Pacific Heights, San Francisco | Photograph: Google Maps

▶ The giant (empty) suit left at the beautifully decorated Pacific Heights condo at 1999 Broadway on the corner of Laguna Street, provides a distraction as they all make a getaway. The feds are wrongfooted again.

As Ava and Foster slip away via an alleyway in San Francisco’s Chinatown, all the story threads are resolved.

▶ With Scott freed from his two-year confinement, he visits Cassie at his ex-wife Maggie’s (Judy Greer) house, 840 Clemont Drive NE, back in Atlanta’s Virginia-Highland district and, guess what, it really is only yards from her school location.

▶ Hank and Jane take a well-earned break on a tropical beach, carefully packing their lovely Haight-Ashbury house into the hand luggage to be reconstituted in a new sundrenched surrounding.

This is Kahana Bay Beach in Hauula, along Kamehameha Highway on the northeastern coast of Oahu, Hawaii. Its comparatively remote location means there are limited facilities.