Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is kicking off Phase 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with a microscopic bang. At the global press conference for the film, the main cast got to speak on how their respective characters have evolved since 2015’s Ant-Man. Despite being the third entry in the Ant-Man and the Wasp series, the film marks Paul Rudd’s fifth and Evangeline Lilly’s fourth appearance in the MCU.
On Hope van Dyne’s evolution, Evangeline Lilly stated, “Well, Hope started the first Ant-Man film a very cold, detached, very isolated woman. She didn’t have a lot of relationships in her life. She had a lot of broken relationships in her life, and over the course of these three films, I’ve had this incredible arc to be able to play where she has, in that time, repaired her relationship with her father. She’s reunited with her long-lost mother. She’s fallen madly in love with Scott, and she’s become a stepmom to Cassie.”
Lilly continued, touching on Hope’s current state in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, saying, “So her life is just full of relationships, and it’s full of love, and she is really a blossomed version of the woman that we met, and you see that in the work that she’s doing in the world. She’s thriving and taking that love and spreading it around by trying to do right in the world and fix issues that are massive like global warming and housing crises, and she’s doing it with success.”
But, of course, not everything is all perfect for Hope. “There’s this little missing piece, which is that she had always fantasized about her mom coming home one day. I think because that fantasy started when she was 8 years old, it was, ‘We’re gonna be best friends, she’s gonna tell me everything, and we’re just going to be so close.’ Then she really keeps Hope on the outside, and that’s a wound that is festering at the beginning of the film,” Lilly explains.
Our heroes have certainly gone through quite the journey. Hope van Dyne lost her mother when she was just a child. In the 1980s, Janet van Dyne (along with her husband Hank Pym) were both agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. when they were trying to stop a soviet missile from striking the United States. Janet decides to go “subatomic” and shrink even smaller, going between atoms, and successfully disarms the weapon. However, she disappears into the Quantum Realm and is believed to be dead for 30 years by her loved ones.
Scott Lang graduated from MIT with a degree in engineering. Upon discovering his employer is intentionally overcharging its customers, Lang is fired and breaks not only into the company’s headquarters to give the money back, but also broke into the CEO’s mansion and ended up in prison for three years. Once out, he just wants to be a proper father to his daughter Cassie. Later on, due to the events of Avengers: Infinity War, Scott gets stuck in the Quantum Realm for five years, losing even more time with Cassie. Now he’s playing catch-up. After Janet is rescued from the Quantum Realm, things don’t stop there, as secrets and new trials ahead threaten to tear them apart.
On Scott Lang’s feelings about being a superhero, Paul Rudd states, “I think that he really does, wanna be a dad, and this is his main focus. So he always had kind of a love-hate relationship with it, I think, but now I feel as if he’s accepted it. He is happy that all of that seems to be in the rearview mirror, and now we get to have kind of a normal life, have some time together.”
But once again, this all changes when our heroes get sucked into the Quantum Realm. “It doesn’t last, obviously, as long as maybe he thought it would. But I think that he’s grown a lot over the course of nine years or so that we’ve been doing these movies. I mean, this is a guy who started off – he had a regular job. He was brought into this group and has no innate super abilities, but then he went up and fought Thanos. So he’s experienced a thing or two, and he’s accepted who he is.”
On being a father to a now-young adult Cassie, having lost so much time without her, Rudd continued, “When we start this movie, it’s present day. The events of Endgame… everything has already transpired. I wouldn’t say he’s taking a victory lap, but others might say that. And he’s written a book, a memoir, ‘Look Out For The Little Guy’, and he’s explained everything that’s been going on in life and his experiences with the Avengers, but now he is ready to have some time, be a normal dad. And there are some issues there because we missed out on a lot, and I kind of want to recapture some of those years. Cassie’s older, she has ideas of her own, so we’re trying to grapple with all of that.”