Marvel's Phase 2 slate of movies was features a wide slate of superheroes, but none were (literally) smaller than Paul Rudd's Scott Lang. Rudd starred in the 2015 summer blockbuster as the titular Ant Man, a film cenetered around a thief turned collaborator with the biochemist Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), who gains the suit that shrinks him down to the size on an ant, allowing him to talk to and control other insects. Viewers responded to the film's humor, and a lighter change of pace from the increasingly serious - though likewise very successful - Avengers films.
Ant Man not only introduced Lang as a superhero, it also laid the groundwork for Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) to take up the moniker of The Wasp. With the sequel aptly titled Ant Man and The Wasp, it's clear that Hope will join the shortlist of female superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We now have more information about what her role might look like in the follow up.
Peyton Reed is returning to direct the sequel, and has already been vocal about his enthusiasm for the project. In an interview with EW, Reed goes on to discuss Lilly's role in the movie, and what motivates her specifically. We already know that Scott is driven by his need to provide for his young daughter and make her proud of him. Hope's motivations - though certainly impacted by her mother's mysterious disappearance - are still less developed.
“Evangeline is an amazing actress. The first movie was really about her coming into her own as a hero, even though we didn’t see her suit up yet. So we’re so excited about now being able to show her fully formed and what she is as a superhero. Her power set, how she fights, and what are the injustices that matter to her that she wants to right. That’s part of the really fun thing of the next movie.”
Reed also commented on The Wasp being cut from Civil War, and the difficulty that comes from being a part of such a massively successful franchise - one where each film aims to be bigger and better than the next.
“It just didn’t make sense for Wasp [to be in Civil War] because there’s so many characters in this movie, and you really want to see her become a hero and really spend time with her ... The challenge in Ant-Man and the Wasp is just topping everything that comes before. But that’s a challenge I think with every Marvel movie, with every hero movie. You don’t want the audience to get bored and feel like, oh man, I saw that in the last movie. You always got to give them something different.”
Lily's characters and chemistry with Rudd was one of the high-points of the first Ant-Man, and focusing on the duo as equal superheroes in the sequel is a smart move, rather then keeping her as the sidekick/love interest. Exploring her backstory will allow them to develop her more fully, and possibly create one more female Avenger, joining Black Widow, Scarlet Witch and eventually Captain Marvel. Hopefully, Ant Man and The Wasp will perform well enough at the box office to green light The Wasp stand-alone film that there has already been rumblings of.
Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange– November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther –February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.