How Evangeline Lilly’s Character Changed During The Ant-Man Rewrites

When Edgar Wright decided to split with Marvel and leave Ant-Man, the name of the person helming the project wasn’t the only thing to change about the movie. Adam McKay and Paul Rudd teamed up to do rewrites of the script, and while the story developed by Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish was maintained, many new and different elements were introduced. One of the more significant elements to change was Evangeline Lilly’s character, Hope Van Dyne – as her role in the movie went from being a darker femme fatale to being someone with more emotion and humanity.

A couple weeks ago, I had the immense pleasure of sitting down one-on-one with the actress to talk about her role in the big new Marvel Studios film, and it was during our conversation that she explained the metamorphosis that Hope Van Dyne went through as the script began getting changed. So who was Hope originally? As Lilly put it,

Originally she was a very sort of film noir kind of character. She was almost, like what you would expect out of a legit graphic novel or a comic book - which I loved, by the way. I was sold. I was like, ‘Yes, this is going to be so much fun to play a real caricature, almost, of this woman!’

In the finished cut of the film, you can still see glimpses of this in Hope. Throughout the film, she actually works right alongside the central villain Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), and is believed to be his closest confident. Instead, she is actually working with her father, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), and trying to stop Cross before he sells off dangerous shrinking technology o the highest bidder. In her words, the "skeleton:" on the character as we see her in the movie waqs always there, but Adam McKay and Paul Rudd’s rewrites wound up softening some of the harder edges. Lilly explained,

What really ended up happening with the rewrites is I think she just developed more dimensions and more humanity, became a little bit more relatable, little bit more accessible, a little less of sort of untouchable caricature and more of a human caricature.

The more "human" approach Evangeline Lilly mentions is a very important part of who her character in Ant-Man is, as her complicated relationship with her father is a key source of conflict in the movie. It’s also used as a base to generate some really great performances from both Lilly and Michael Douglas.

Fortunately, the wait for you to see them for yourself is almost over as the Marvel film will be out in theaters on Friday, July 17th.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.