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Evangeline Lilly’s Hope van Dyne (a.k.a. the Wasp) may share the power of miniaturization with Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang (a.k.a. Ant-Man) in Ant-Man and the Wasp (out July 6), but the film is a big deal for the Lost actress. The Wasp is, after all, the first female superhero to appear in the title of a Marvel Cinematic Universe film. “It means a lot to me,” says Lilly. “If I’m honest with myself, I feel a lot of pressure to make sure that it is everything that the world wants it to be.”
The film concerns the quest by van Dyne, Lang, and scientist Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) to rescue Janet van Dyne — that’s Hope’s mother and Hank’s wife — from the Quantum Realm, an alternate dimension into which she disappeared decades previously. “Scott entered the Quantum Realm in the first film and came back, which is something they thought was impossible,” says Lilly. “The question has arisen, ‘Can Janet come back?’ So the entire film, my character is hell-bent on finding a way to get into the Quantum Realm and bring her back.”
Janet is played by none other than Batman Returns actress Michelle Pfeiffer. “She hasn’t done one of these films since she played Catwoman with Tim Burton,” says director Peyton Reed. “It was really interesting to bring her in and get her up to speed on all the mythology and her place in this world.”
The film’s main villain is Ghost, who in the Marvel comic universe has traditionally been male, but in Reed’s film is played by actress Hannah John-Kamen (Ready Player One). “The Ghost character could be male, female, anything, so it just seemed more interesting to us [to cast a woman],” says Reed. “Ghost’s primary power is the ability to ‘phase,’ which allows Ghost to move through solid matter. She has all sorts of strange versions of that phasing power — it proves quite difficult for Ant-Man and Wasp to deal with.”
Other new characters include Walton Goggins’ low-level criminal-type Sonny Burch and a former colleague of Hank Pym’s named Bill Foster, played by Laurence Fishburne. “He was a blast,” says Rudd of the Matrix star. “He told me what it was like shooting Apocalypse Now and hanging out with Marlon Brando. That was just about the coolest day of work I’ve ever had.”
See exclusive images from Ant-Man and the Wasp below and watch the film’s trailer, above.