To date, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has included only three feature films that focus on a single female superhero: 2019’s “Captain Marvel,” 2021’s “Black Widow” and 2022’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”
Evangeline Lilly is hoping Marvel is in the mood for a fourth.
“I’m going to make a pitch that I think it might be time for a Wasp standalone film,” the actor told Variety at the premiere of “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” on Monday. “Do we agree? Do we agree?”
Lilly has played Hope Van Dyne since 2015’s “Ant-Man,” and when the character became the Wasp for 2018’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” she shared title status with Paul Rudd’s shrinking Avenger. Other than a brief appearance in “Avengers: Endgame,” however, the character has remained largely unexplored in the MCU, and Lilly is hoping that can change.
In a follow-up interview with Variety on Tuesday, Lilly said that she’s especially interested in exploring what she calls Hope’s “shadow side.”
“At the very, very beginning, you have this sense that like there was a darkness in her that could have gone the wrong way,” she says.
Lilly brings up a scene in “Ant-Man” in which Hope utilizes the ear-piece her father Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) uses to control ants to have the insects swarm the house and darken the room.
“I really want to know more about that,” she says. “Everything else since then has been really about her competence and her integrity. But there’s more to her than just competence and integrity. What are the things that are dangerous for her? What are her vices? What are the places where if you poke her, she might fall apart or she might turn to the dark side? That’s where I would want to go.”
Beyond movies (including “The Marvels” with Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris and Iman Vellani, set for July), Marvel Studios has also mounted a half-dozen TV series for Disney+ that are centered on women: “WandaVision,” “Ms. Marvel” and “She-Hulk Attorney at Law” have already premiered their first seasons, while “Ironheart,” “Echo” and “Agatha: Coven of Chaos” are all scheduled to debut later in 2023. Out of 60 confirmed past and future MCU productions, that is 10 total titles explicitly about women superheroes — or just under 17%.
While Lilly is keen for Hope to get her own moment in the sun, she’s also unsure how much longer she’ll be playing the character.
“Gosh, that’s a hard question,” she says with a nervous chuckle. “These are a commitment. They take a lot to do, and I have two kids at home. Every time that call comes in, I take a deep breath and go, ‘Whoa, am I ready for this? Am I willing to do it again?’ But every time I do. I do it again.”
Angelique Jackson contributed to this report.