Marvel Comics have been around for decades, and while the Marvel Cinematic Universe has honored many of the stories that have taken place in the source material, the live-action films have largely eschewed some of the more controversial subplots. One such narrative thread is Ant-Man hero Hank Pym's domestic abuse, and while that's a famous moment in comic book history, Ant-Man and The Wasp director Peyton Reed recently opened up and admitted that the Ant-Man team never wanted to adapt that version of Hank. Reed explained:
There's never been an onus on us in the MCU movies to have any real fidelity to specific stuff in the canon. Fans may want certain things but it really never occurred to us from the very beginning to be a part of it, even as far back as Edgar [Wright] and Joe [Cornish]'s original drafts for the first Ant-Man. It wasn't like taking a cape off Superman and people being in uproar, it was that one storyline. I think that's the thing in Marvel Comics; all the artists and writers sort of adapt the characters in different decades to sort of do what they wanted to do with it, and that wasn't the Hank Pym that we wanted to tell.
So while Hank Pym striking Janet van Dyne is certainly canon in the comics, it's not the canon that anyone involved in Ant-Man or Ant-Man and The Wasp wanted to adapt when it was decided that the characters would make the transition. Hank Pym abusing his wife is not as fundamental to his personality as Superman's cape is to his, so leaving it out of the MCU ended up being a fairly easy move for Peyton Reed and his team.
Peyton Reed's remarks during his interview with Yahoo Movies also emphasizes something that has become notable throughout the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. No matter how dark a film like Avengers: Infinity War may get, certain elements of the comics arguably have very little chance of making it to the big screen. Whether it's Tony Stark's alcoholism (which was barely hinted at in Iron Man 2), or the incestuous relationship between Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver depicted in the Ultimate universe, the filmmakers who adapt these stories aren't necessarily beholden to that specific continuity when they bring these icons to the big screen.
Ant-Man and The Wasp is still in theaters, so if you have not seen it yet, make sure to check out our review of the film and then head out to see it on the big screen. From there, Scott Lang will return next year to help round out the Phase 3 slate of films when Avengers 4 debuts in theaters on May 3, 2019!