When it came to crafting the fighting style of her character in Ant-Man & the Wasp, Evangeline Lilly made sure to honor the source material. Marvel has already had a stellar year thanks to the runaway success of both Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War. Naturally, the sequel to 2015's Ant-Man is unlikely to pull in similar numbers, but it's still poised to be another hit for Marvel Studios. Ant-Man & the Wasp is tracking higher than the original, meaning the third and final MCU film of 2018 should exceed expectations.
Part of the reason Ant-Man was so successful is that it took the comedic and standalone tone of something like Guardians of the Galaxy and applied it to a more grounded and relatable story. Of course, the film still had plenty of fantastical sequences and great action beats, which helped to sell what on paper is quite a silly hero. And now that the Wasp - one of the original Avengers in Marvel Comics - is firmly in the mix, the size-changing fight scenes should be better than ever.
During Screen Rant's set visit to Ant-Man & the Wasp, we heard from star Evangeline Lilly about what it was like to help craft the physical prowess of Marvel's newest hero. And as it turns out, the actor had a lot to say about it.
"I do mitts, [because] I love them. And she needs to be able to punch and not look like she can’t punch, not look like Scott Lang when he punches. [Laughs] And then also finding the personality for the stunt people. So, we work together in front of a mirror and we’ll try different things together. And often, they might do a fight move that looks exactly the way you would actually want to injure someone. And I’ll say, okay, but wouldn't it be pretty if [Laughs] -- throw up some flair into there that gives it the flavor of the comic books."
Though Lilly let her stunt double handle the big stuff, she made sure that once the other person landed, her own acting lined up. Part of that involved honing the Wasp's particular fighting—and flying—style and separating it from Ant-Man. To do so, Lilly turned to the source material of her namesake.
"She is very, very graceful in the comic books. She’s very feminine. She’s not a kind of legs apart, grounded, gritty. She’s got pointed toes and long limbs and she’s very elegant. And I really wanted to hang onto that. Marvel are very good at modernizing their superheroes, but I always think you wanna taste the original 1960s character you first fell in love with. And so, we’re really tryin' to do that with the fight style. And I influence that a lot with the stunt people."
For Lilly, it wasn't enough for the Wasp to simply be unique, but for the character on screen to honor the traits from the page. Of course, Lilly isn't playing the original 1960s Wasp. That would be Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet van Dyne. Though she was only teased in the first film, the search for Janet in the Quantum Realm will be a big part of Ant-Man & the Wasp. And once they find her, one of the final founding Avenger from the comics will finally join the modern-day MCU.
Soon enough, however, Lilly's character may actually join the page. Marvel has come close with the introduction of Nadia Pym, the long-lost daughter of Hank who Janet adopts (giving her the last name van Dyne). The story—and first name—are certainly different from the film, but the new Ant-Man & the Wasp comic brings together the younger Wasp and Scott Lang for a story not far removed from the films. So perhaps someday, Lilly's work will influence the comics the way she pulled from the page for Ant-Man & the Wasp.
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019