Next year will not only see the release of Marvel’s gigantic sequel Avengers: Age of Ultron, but also the long-in-development Ant-Man, which has had a difficult road in getting to the big screen. Few names were ever brought up for the female lead in the film besides Evangeline Lilly, who plays Hope Van Dyne in the film, but the actress has revealed that she almost refused to appear in the film.
“Initially, I was like, no way. No way.” Lilly told BuzzFeed. “And then they said, ‘Paul Rudd’s playing the lead.’ And I was like, ‘Oh sh*t. I love Paul Rudd. I really want to work with him!’ So I was like, ‘OK, well, send me the script. I’ll read it and I’ll consider it.’ And then I started watching Marvel [Studios] movies, which I hadn’t done before. … I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to movies — like, the popcorn-munching movies, I never go see them. I was pleasantly surprised. I thought, these are actually incredible — they’re making fantastic films.”
Lilly also spoke about Wright’s departure and that she almost considered walking away after the director did.
“We all, I think, signed on very enthusiastically with Edgar. We were excited to work with Edgar. We were fans of Edgar. So when the split happened, I was in the fortunate position where I had not signed my contract yet. So I had the choice to walk away, and I almost did. Because I thought, Well, if it’s because Marvel are big bullies, and they just want a puppet and not someone with a vision, I’m not interested in being in this movie. Which is what I was afraid of.’
“I finally got the script literally the day before I was supposed to go in for fittings…I saw with my own eyes that Marvel had just pulled the script into their world. I mean, they’ve established a universe, and everyone has come to expect a certain aesthetic [and] a certain feel for Marvel films. And what Edgar was creating was much more in the Edgar Wright camp of films. They were very different. And I feel like, if [Marvel] had created Edgar’s incredible vision — which would have been, like, classic comic book — it would have been such a riot to film [and] it would have been so much fun to watch. [But] it wouldn’t have fit in the Marvel Universe. It would have stuck out like a sore thumb, no matter how good it was. It just would have taken you away from this cohesive universe they’re trying to create. And therefore it ruins the suspended disbelief that they’ve built.”
The actress does mention that after meeting Wright’s replacement Peyton Reed she “signed on and I never looked back.” Lilly also went on to talk about both her character in the film and the blending of two Ant-Mans in the film.
“I thought Edgar’s idea to blend the [Hank and Scott] stories was brilliant,” she says. “You’re going to have fans up there who insist that you tell the story of Hank Pym, and fans up there who will be more on the Scott Lang side of it. … I think we are going to come close to pleasing them all. And what’s cool is that, you know, Janet Van Dyne is my mom. Hank Pym is my father. I was raised by two superheroes. I’m no schlump. I’m a pretty smart, competent, capable, kick-ass female. She’s very cool.”
Another female actress set to appear in the upcoming film is Judy Greer, though her role in the film has yet to be revealed, until now. Speaking with Hey U Guys, Greer revealed she’s playing Paul Rudd’s ex-wife in the film.
“I’m Paul Rudd’s estranged ex-wife,” Greer confirmed. “We have a daughter together and our relationship is, well, estranged, but I feel like my character is still rooting for him to succeed. I guess that’s about as much as I can say.”
Greer and Lilly are joined by Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Peña, Abby Ryder Fortson, David Dastmalchian, Wood Harris, John Slattery, Gregg Turkington and T.I. in the film. Ant-Man is set for the July 17, 2015 release.