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Slowly but surely, the women of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are getting the same kind of spotlight as the men. A Black Widow movie seems to finally be in the works and next year sees the debut of the first solo female superhero led film, Captain Marvel. Before we get there though, this summer sees a female superhero getting co-billing in Ant-Man and the Wasp. But Evangeline Lilly's Hope van Dyne isn't the only fierce female character in the film. In a switch from the comics where the character is male, Hannah John-Kamen will portray the villain Ghost. When speaking about why he made the switch in a recent interview, director Peyton Reed had this to say:
The Ghost character could be male, female, anything, so it just seemed more interesting to us [to cast a woman]. 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.
Whenever a character has their sex or race changed from the source material, there is always some contingent of people who take huge issue with the divergence and there are usually strong arguments to be made for and against the change. With Ghost I don't think there should be any huge uproar. As Peyton Reed told Entertainment Weekly, the Ghost character could be male or female, it isn't that important to Ghost's identity. Ghost is a male in the comics but he has never even been given a name and his maleness is not crucial to his identity.
Changing Ghost to a woman does make things a bit more interesting, because we have seen countless male villains in the MCU but really only one female, Cate Blanchett's Hela. The MCU has often been criticized for its one-note unmemorable villains and switching the variables up isn't a bad way to try and improve. Women can be evil, too, and I think Hannah John-Kamen can bring the goods to the role. The actress was recently seen in Ready Player One being almost comically evil and while that over the top-ness might have been slightly out of place in that film, I think she will be fun to watch in Ant-Man and the Wasp.
The interesting question now is how exactly the villain Ghost will fit in to the overall story. Ghost is traditionally known for his corporate espionage, and like the Pym shrinking technology Ghost's phasing abilities are well suited to thievery and sabotage. Perhaps she will be attempting to steal the Pym technology for the film's other villain, Sonny Burch, who will be played by Walton Goggins? We now know that Ant-Man and the Wasp will be about the search for Janet Van Dyne, with Hope van Dyne finally getting to become the Wasp, a role she was born for and one that she takes to right away. How Ghost fits in exactly remains to be seen, but I can't wait to see her and the Wasp go toe-to-toe. The shrinking abilities going up against Ghost's phasing powers should make for some truly creative and exciting fights.