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Compared to some of its comic book movie counterparts, Ant-Man was a relatively small affair. Sure, it made $517 million worldwide, but that’s only good for ninth most in Marvel’s superhero stable. Still, it performed better than most expected, and laid the groundwork for many things in the MCU moving forward. One of the key things the filmmakers wanted to accomplish was introducing Hope van Dyne, giving the Wasp an entry point into this cinematic world.
As Ant-Man gets ready to hit the digital home video market on November 17, director Peyton Reed sat down for a lengthy interview with USA Today, and talked about why they gave Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) the Wasp costume at the end of the film. He said:
We knew it would be incredibly satisfying to introduce her getting the costume because she so deserves it. Part of the arc between Hank Pym and Hope van Dyne is Hank realizing, I’ve got this incredibly capable person right here and I’m finally realizing what I thought was protecting her has really been holding her back. And he rewards her with this suit. It felt satisfying in the moment but of course everybody wants to see Evangeline in the outfit — me being one of them — and a kickass hero.
Peyton Reed will also direct the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp in 2018, and while we’ll see Paul Rudd’s size-shifting Ant-Man next year in Captain America: Civil War, this will be our first introduction to Hope as the Wasp, picking up the mantle from her presumably late mother.
This is exciting and interesting for a number of reasons. First, the Wasp is a great character with a long history in the comics and has been a key member of the Avengers. Second, though it’s a co-headlining gig, she’ll be the first female superhero to front a Marvel movie. While there are a few female heroes kicking around the MCU, most notably Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow (and though they’ll be featured more moving forward, Scarlet Witch and Gamora have only really shown up once a piece).
This is something Reed has talked about before. When Hope finally gets the Wasp suit in one of the post-credits scenes, her final line is, “It’s about damn time.” While this obviously means it’s about damn time that her father finally trusts her and realizes that she doesn’t need to be protected and sheltered all her life, Reed also interpreted it as:
It’s about damn time: We’re going to have a fully realized, very, very complicated hero in the next movie who happens to be a woman.
Ant-Man is available digitally starting November 17, and on physical media on December 8. Ant-Man and the Wasp is scheduled to open July 5, 2018.