The fate of Ant-Man‘s Evangeline Lilly has been revealed after the actress risked getting the “Gina Carano” treatment from The Walt Disney Company and Marvel.
On February 17, 2023, Marvel Studios debuted its 31st feature film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023) from director Peyton Reed. Acting as the third installment in Reed’s Ant-Man trilogy, which also includes Ant-Man (2015) and Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018), Quantumania sees the micro-sized Avengers tackle Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors) in a screenplay from Jeff Loveness.
Anticipation was high for the inaugural Marvel Phase Five movie off the back of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022), but even with the star power of Paul Rudd (Scott Lang/Ant-Man), Evangeline Lilly (Hope van Dyne/Wasp), Michael Douglas (Hank Pym), and Michelle Pfeiffer (Janet van Dyne), Quantumania failed to stick the landing with many. Corey Stoll (Darren Cross/M.O.D.O.K), Bill Murray (Lord Krylar), and William Jackson Harper (Quaz) also star.
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An early critic analysis revealed there were problems with the second Ant-Man sequel, and now the film sits at the bottom of the Rotten Tomatoes pile with a score of 47%; the audiences are proving to like it better, which is probably all that matters at this point, and the opening weekend box office outperformed expectations so it may not all be over for the Ant-Man franchise just yet.
But the drama of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania began long before it hit the big screen.
Ant-Man‘s Evangeline Lilly and the risk of being fired from Marvel
Back in 2020, amid the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ant-Man‘s Evangeline Lilly made a statement about freedom in relation to the widespread restrictions caused by the virus. Her comments were met with distaste and backlash; the Lost actress eventually apologized for her words, stating that she intended to add some calm into the discourse, which backfired.
Then last year, Lilly posted to social media to stand with those taking part in anti-vaccination protests in her bid to support “bodily sovereignity.” The Ant-Man star made an impassioned statement about how “no one should be forced to inject their body with anything against their will”, and that she was pro-choice before COVID and still is.
Again, Lilly was criticized for her comments, with Ant-Man cast members like Kurt actor David Dastmalchian even calling her out. Now, after rumors of being removed from the MCU, Lilly has spoken out on her choice to show support for this cause and how Marvel reacted to her comments.
Speaking to Esquire, Lilly said she asked herself about “600 times” whether she should post her opinions and beliefs considering her career and the blockbuster franchise she is currently employed by. The actress compared her thoughts to a pebble and said that if she shoots the pebble, its going to “wake the giant.” She told Esquire that she wanted people to understand they could say no.
Then, on the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast, Lilly revealed how Marvel felt about her choice to be vocal about her anti-vaccination sentiments. She said (via Variety):
“They’re very respectful. In fact, I’ve had direct conversations with them that I have instigated and they’ve always said, ‘That’s not our business. That’s not for us to tell you how to live your life or what opinions to have.’
Related: After ‘Ant-Man 3’ Flops, ‘The Marvels’ Release Has Been Scrapped
Lilly went on to say that she received a “really supportive” phone call from her Ant-Man director Peyton Reed, who said that any rumors of the actress being removed from the franchise “didn’t come from Marvel and didn’t come from us,” telling her to ignore them.
The Wasp actress navigated a risky situation in sharing her more controversial thoughts to social media. Two years ago, The Walt Disney Company famously fired Star Wars actress Gina Carano from The Mandalorian and any other associated Lucasfilm projects like the now defunct Rangers of the New Republic. Carano’s firing came after months of problematic social media posts.
The future for Ant-Man in the MCU
After the events of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, it seems that both Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly are here to stay. As the franchise moves into its fifth Phase, all eyes are on how Kang will play his role in the Multiverse Saga and how the next generation, including Kathryn Newton’s Cassie Lang, will become the new wave of Avengers in Kevin Feige’s MCU.
It can be expected that the main cast of the Ant-Man franchise will appear further down the line in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty (2025) and Avengers: Secret Wars (2026).
Do you think Marvel should have gotten involved or not? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!