Evangeline Lilly
Credit: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

So Evangeline Lilly might be playing a key role in Ant-Man: Good news all around! Lilly is still best known for her work on Lost, where she managed to make Kate into an appealing heroine despite the fact that the show never figured how to give her good flashbacks. (Or flashforwards.) (Or flash-sideways.) (Spoiler alert?) But she was a lot of fun playing Human Female in Real Steel, and by all accounts was good as Elf Female in 2 Hobbit 2 Smaug. She throws a mean right hook. She was in a movie that won Best Picture. It makes sense that Marvel would want to hire her.

But what, exactly, are they hiring her for? Variety thinks she’s playing the daughter of one Ant-Man and the lover of another (Michael Douglas and Paul Rudd, respectively.) There’s not really a character like that in the comic books — further proof that the Edgar Wright project will depart considerably from the source material. But there is a love interest central to the Ant-Man mythology: The Wasp, a.k.a. Janet Van Dyne. Born to a wealthy New York family, The Wasp was originally conceived as a wacky mid-century socialite, and although she eventually became a bit more serious, that never stopped her from changing her costume practically on a monthly basis. Basically, she started out as Katherine Hepburn in Bringing Up Baby but then became Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face.

So is Evangeline Lilly playing some version of the Wasp? The Wasp is brunette, and Lilly is brunette. The Wasp is fit and fashionable, and Lilly has been described as having the Best. Butt. Ever. She disputes that idea, which in itself offers further proof of her Wasp-ness: Janet Van Dyne as a character is at once glamorous and relatable. On Lost, Lilly played a character who stood at the center of a romantic triangle, but who was also an active participant in the frequent bursts of thrilling action: An important trait for a character who needs to have chemistry with Paul Rudd but also make “Shrinking Down to Tiny Size and Flying With Weird Bug Wings” looks cool.

There’s also the fact that it’s difficult to conceive of what other comic book characters Lilly would be playing. Ant-Man as a character doesn’t have the kind sprawling supporting cast that clusters around Iron Man or Captain America. (She could theoretically be playing someone like Spider-Woman or Captain Marvel, but that seems like it would require some serious extra set-up in a movie that already has two Ant-Men.) And it’s possible that she’s playing a totally original character — or a character like Astrophysicist Jane Foster who is basically an original creation with a familiar name. And it makes sense that Marvel would want to expand its roster of female heroes. So let’s say there are 4-1 odds that Lilly is playing the Wasp. For comparison’s sake, the chances are 10-1 that she’s playing Jocasta, 1000-1 that she’s playing Thanos, and 1-1 that someone in Ant-Man will make a joke about how all the cool superhero names were taken.

2015 movie
  • Movie
  • 115 minutes