Thank you to Marvel Studios for hosting me during my visit to the set of Ant-Man and the Wasp. While there, we met and interviewed Evangeline Lilly. She’s kind of a big deal.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is already filled with some pretty kick-ass female characters, but when Ant-Man and the Wasp arrives in theaters we get the MCU’s first female title character.
“There’s Black Widow and there’s Scarlet Witch and there’s other women, and they’re doing amazing things and they’re in The Avengers… Why is this so special?” thought Evangeline Lilly when people were telling her how excited they were about the film. But the first time she saw the title, Ant-Man and the Wasp? “It sort of hit me what it meant for just the female population, period, to see a woman’s name in a title in Hollywood.”
In a time when so many stories of harassment or discrimination in the film industry are coming out, a film where women are powerful is important. Even though Evangeline typically feels empowered, she confessed to letting that get chipped away by brushing aside the hurts and wounds she sometimes goes through. “I feel I need to carry on with my work, to carry on being a mother, to carry on building a career and a life,” says Evangeline. “It’s been such an interesting thing to be the Wasp at a time when I’ve been feeling extremely vulnerable and emotional…Hope is the heart of the film. I hope that she really drives the narrative of the people you care about and why you care.”
The Wasp mantle was teased at the end of the original Ant-Man film, but the first time we’ll see her in action will be in Ant-Man and the Wasp. That wasn’t always the plan. Evangeline was originally set to appear in Captain America: Civil War. “Marvel Studios decided that if they were going to introduce another female superhero, rather than just throwing her into an ensemble, they should give her an origin movie.” So instead of serving as an accessory to the fight in Civil War, we’ll see a fully developed character story. “If anything, they’ve made amazing, sweet, poor Paul Rudd is an accessory to the Wasp,” jokes Evangeline.
Don’t expect the same Hope van Dyne you met in Ant-Man to appear in Ant-Man and the Wasp. A lot has changed in the past two years. “She looks really, really different in this film and she behaves quite differently,” says Evangeline. “She resolved some very, very big baggage she’d been carrying for 30 years.” Hope has been working with her father since the last film to rescue her mother, creating a new father/daughter bond. “That whole kind of hard, cold exterior that you saw in the first film is just gone and she’s a totally new woman.”
The script went through several rewrites throughout the filming, which led Evangeline to an epiphany about her character. “Hope’s arc is essentially about needing to realize she can’t do everything on her own, and that she’s better with a partner, and that she’s better when that partner is Scott, and that they really need each other,” says Evangeline. “I think that there is just a beautiful message for women in this film about, essentially, what our most powerful assets are, and I think that is our heart and our compassion.”
That ties directly into what she hopes females will take away from the film. “We can’t do it all, and everyone tells us we can, and it’s a very unfair expectation to put on us, and I think we all feel like we’re failing at everything because we’re trying to do it all… We [should] ask for help when we need it, and that’s ultimately what Hope needs to learn in this film.”
Stay tuned for all of the Ant-Man and the Wasp action
All this week I’ll be sharing more from the visit to the Ant-Man and the Wasp set. On Saturday I’ll be heading to LA for the #AntManAndTheWaspEvent. I’ll be posting it all on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram during the event and then right here on the blog in the coming weeks! Ant-Man and the Wasp is in theaters on July 6, 2018. You can pre-purchase tickets now.
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 is directed by Peyton Reed and stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Pena, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Tip “T.I.” Harris, David Dastmalchian, Hannah John Kamen, Abby Ryder-Fortson, Randall Park, with Michelle Pfeiffer, with Laurence Fishburne and Michael Douglas.