Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang aka Ant Man takes wing again – and this time, he has company. In Ant-Man and the Wasp, the superhero suits up with Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), whose powerful alter-ego is the titular winged insect.
Peyton Reed, who also made the 2015 Ant Man, is back to direct the sequel, which will be released in India on July 13.
This is the 20th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is set two years after the events of Captain America: Civil War (2016) but before Avengers: Infinity War (2018), which was released in April. Lang is under house arrest after escaping from prison – where he and other superheroes on Captain America’s side had been detained – at the end of Civil War. He is trying to spend time with his estranged daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson) and bring her up to speed with his life as Ant Man.
The 2015 film had introduced Lang as a petty thief who takes on the mantle of Ant-Man after Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), the superhero’s creator, approaches him. Though Hope appeared as Hank Pym’s estranged daughter and Lang’s romantic interest in the 2015 film, the sequel sees her come into her own as the Wasp, whose abilities often overshadow those of Ant-Man.
A key part of the sequel will be Hope’s quest to find her mother Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer), the original Wasp. In Ant-Man, Hope learnt that Janet, who she believed was dead, had disappeared into an alternate dimension called the Quantum Realm. “The big mission is to find Janet,” Reed told entertainment portal Slash Film in an interview. “What that means ultimately for our characters on a personal level is one thing, and what it means for the larger world is another thing, and all the other things are really stumbling blocks on the path. There is a big bad that has a very unique relationship to our characters.”
If Ant-Man was the hero of the 2015 film, the spotlight is on Hope in the 2018 production. “It’s ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp,’ and so it is important to tell those stories separately and invest in each of the characters’ journeys and arcs in the movie,” Reed told Slash Film. “One of the big things about this is what’s going on with Hope and the fact that she has...the mission that is happening with her, entirely separate of Scott, is vital and it’s her mission. It’s not her dad’s mission.”
Marvel Studios President Kevin Fiege had said in a 2015 interview that though “Hope is infinitely more capable of actually being a superhero”, her father had roped in Lang to take on the mantle of Ant-Man as he did not want to put his daughter in harm’s way. A mid-credits scene set the stage for her ascension in the sequel.
As the trailer reveals, that elevation includes a new suit, one equipped with wings and blasters, much to Ant-Man’s chagrin. In a recent interview to BackstageOL, the actress mocked male stars in the Marvel superhero films for complaining about their suits being uncomfortable.
“Have men not had the life experience of being uncomfortable for the sake of looking good?” Lilly said in the interview, pulling out her big heels on camera. “And they’re just like, ‘What is this? This sucks! Why? Why do we have to go through this?!’ Whereas a woman is like, ‘I don’t know. This is, like, normal.’”
That comfort might come in handy when Ant-Man and the Wasp encounter a new villain in the film, Ghost, played by Hannah John-Kamen.
While Ghost is a male character in the comics, Reed thought it would be better to give her a female voice in the movie. “The Ghost character could be male, female, anything, so it just seemed more interesting to us [to cast a woman],” Reed told Entertainment Weekly. “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.”
Meanwhile, the familiar and friendly faces that return for the sequel include Scott’s former prison cellmate Luis (Michael Pena) and crew members Dave and Kurt (Tip “TI” Harris and David Dastmalchian).