Michelle Pfeiffer has played her fair share of slinky villains on the big screen, so it was refreshing to see her as a bonafide superhero in Ant-Man and the Wasp. But admit it: you would still pay big bucks to see Pfeiffer chew the scenery as the Big Bad once again. And that’s almost the way it turned out for the Ant-Man sequel, according to director Peyton Reed.
While ultimately the Ant-Man and the Wasp villain was played by Hannah John-Kamen, with a cursory appearance by Walton Goggins, Reed reveals that Pfeiffer’s Janet van Dyne was almost made the Big Bad of the Ant-Man sequel. Talk about family drama.
In a recent interview with CBR, Ant-Man and the Wasp director Peyton Reed revealed that a few fan theories surrounding Janet van Dyne (Pfeiffer) — particularly a few that theorized that Janet might eventually be a villain — were actually considered by the creative team at some point in the process. “I can say that it was certainly one of the things that we talked about,” Reed teased, adding:
“We had so many discussions as we were first formulating the story. It was the big question in the movie: is Janet still alive down there after 30 years? Who is she now? How’s she been affected by the environment? It was the one thing that we really sort of had to formulate, what was going to happen to her, what it was going to lead to next, and how much of that we reveal in this movie.”
But Reed couldn’t elaborate any further, saying cryptically, “If I say or reveal anything more about Janet, there’s going to be a Marvel sniper that’s going to shoot me in the neck with a tranquilizer.”
This isn’t the only change that Janet’s Wasp went through since early story development. Concept art for her original costume suggested further adventures for her character in the Quantum Realm, while a deleted scene hinted at Janet’s connection to vast Quantum civilizations. While these elements didn’t play out in the theatrical release of Ant-Man and the Wasp, it could hint at a larger role for Janet and Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) — both of whom were dusted alongside Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) following the events of Avengers: Infinity War — in Avengers 4.
“She mentions tardigrade fields, she mentions time vortexes as these warnings to Scott about what not to get involved in,” Reed said in a previous interview. “These things might prove valuable. They’re not just randomly spouted off in the moment.”
Could Reed’s original plans to have Janet as the villain also prove valuable come Avengers 4? Probably not, but it is fun to think about Michelle Pfeiffer giving a fabulously vampy performance as a villain once again.
Ant-Man and the Wasp is now available in digital and Blu-ray release.
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