After months of speculation, Edgar Wright’s imminent Ant-Man has slowly started meting out its big casting news – Paul Rudd is Ant-Man! Michael Douglas is, well, also Ant-Man! Michael Pena will be there, too! – and it appears that the film is now going gunning for a female lead.
THR reports that former LOST star Evangeline Lilly is “in early talks to star as the female lead,” and while “is unclear who Lilly would play…it is not intended to be a one-off appearance.” While we’re not ones for major speculation, it seems fairly obvious that there’s a particular Marvel universe character that would fit that bill – Wasp!
Though THR does not indicate that the role Lilly is pursuing is one of the superheroic variety, the reveal that the part is not intended as a one-off implies that she’s most likely someone with deep roots in the Marvel world. Moreover, Wasp is the leading lady most often associated with Ant-Man – she’s just a natural fit for the film and the expansion of the Marvel universe.
Wasp’s backstory is also intertwined with Ant-Man’s Dr. Hank Pym (the role that Douglas will be playing, as Rudd will be playing one of two younger incarnations of Ant-Man himself), and while that might involve a little bit of engineering to get all the pieces to line up, Wright doesn’t seem adverse to moving things around to craft a new spin on the Marvel tale. Traditionally speaking, Wasp is Janet van Dyne, the daughter of Vernon van Dyne, a scientist and associate of Dr. Pym and the victim of a terrible alien monster attack. Shaken after the attack, Janet convinced Pym to give her some of his “Pym particles” (to shrink down), along with a few modifications that gave her wings and stings (energy blasts) when she was in Wasp form. Along the way, the duo helped form The Avengers and engaged in plenty of romantic complications. Wasp’s bond with Ant-Man makes her an obvious pick for the film, and her eventually essential role in The Avengers would recommend her for inclusion in the universe Marvel has been steadily building.
As is the case with just about every high profile role in any comic book universe, Wasp casting has been the subject of massive speculation. Rashida Jones was most recently bandied about as a possible Wasp, a move that would have made sense, at least chemistry-wise, as she and Rudd previously starred together in 2009’s I Love You, Man and were pretty charming as an engaged couple in the film. Other rumored leading ladies included Eva Longoria (who has also starred alongside Rudd, in the dismal Over Her Dead Body) and Olivia Munn (who had a small part in Iron Man 2).
Ant-Man will hit theaters on July 17, 2015.
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