‘Ant-Man’ Star Passed on ‘X-Men’ and ‘Wonder Woman’ Before Joining MCU

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Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) and Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) in 'Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania'

Credit: Marvel Studios

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023) has united some great talent…

Ant-Man, Stinger, and Wasp in 'Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania'
Credit: Marvel Studios

It can be very surprising who decides to be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Actors who fans would have never thought in a million years would be interested have joined with great success or are planning to. Just look at Harrison Ford, for example! Though the star got his start with Lucas and sci-fi, it hasn’t really been his bread and butter. What gets even more interesting is when actors have reached a point in their career where they can be choosy, and they still opt for Marvel!

Harrison Ford and William Hurt
Credit: ABC/ Marvel Studios

Related: ‘Ant-Man 3’ Becomes A Must-Watch, Includes Monumental Post-Credit Scenes

Beyond Harrison Ford, there have been many other big-name actors who, like Ford, have seen the great product that Marvel Studios is able to produce and want to be a part of it. Tommy Lee Jones, for instance, a famously choosy actor, was in the Marvel Cinematic Universe way back in Phase One, fitting in perfectly as the stern Colonel Phillips in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011). Of course, who could forget the outstanding actor Anthony Hopkins’ role as Odin in the Thor franchise, among many others? Maybe that’s why it comes as a surprise when people turn down roles from the studio.

Anthony Hopkins as Odin in Thor: Ragnarök (2017)
Credit: Marvel Studios

That very well could have been the case with Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) star Evangeline Lilly. The actress recently made some comments that spoke to her fastidiousness when it comes to the superhero genre and, were it not for the right circumstances, could have kept her out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe! In her comments, reported by Variety, the star spoke about two significant roles in the comic book genre that she turned down flat.

Evangeline Lilly as the Wasp in 'Ant-Man and the Wasp'
Credit: Marvel Studios

The roles? One was a role in the highly successful X-Men franchise! If that wasn’t enough, she turned the offer down from Hugh Jackman Himself! Jackman apparently approached Lilly in the time after X-Men: First Class (2011), after the actress was fresh off Lost, and she turned him down, saying that it simply didn’t interest her! She did admit to feeling a little guilty about it, saying that she felt rude in her response.

Evangeline Lilly as the Wasp (left) and Paul Rudd as Ant-Man (right)
Credit: Marvel Studios

The other role would have brought together controversial Marvel alum Joss Whedon. The filmmaker was slated to make a Wonder Woman movie and wanted to cast Evangeline Lilly in the eponymous role. Her response?

“It didn’t appeal and there was nothing about the meeting that like, jazzed me or made me think like, ‘Oh, I’ve gotta do this.’ Nothing clicked. Nothing felt good…I am way too authentic for my own good. I mean, it’s not good. If I am not impressed, you’ll know. And maybe you shouldn’t know sometimes.”

Whedon’s Wonder Woman obviously never materialized, and instead of a film with a Marvel director and a Marvel star, audiences were treated to Patty Jenkins’ interpretation of the hero, starring Gal Gadot as the protagonist. While there were most certainly more factors, including “creative differences,” perhaps Lilly’s bluntness contributed to Whedon’s vision not being created, which, given that Wonder Woman (2017) is old DC Extended Universe’s currently highest-rated film on Rotten Tomatoes, is all for the best.

Gal Gadot as Diana Prince in 'Wonder Woman' (2017). Credit: Warner Bros.
Credit: Warner Bros.

Related: After ‘Ant-Man 3’ Flops, ‘The Marvels’ Release Has Been Scrapped

Audiences can see Lilly next in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which is currently in theaters. The sequel stars Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man, Evangeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne/The Wasp, Kathryn Newton as Cassie Lang, Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror, Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet van Dyne, and Michael Douglas as Hank Pym, and Corey Stoll as MODOK. Quantumania promises humor, action, and drama as Scott (Rudd) goes head to head against Kang (Majors), setting up the “Kang Dynasty.”

What do you think about Evangeline Lilly turning down those roles? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments below!

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