Michelle Pfeiffer’s Original Wasp is a Villain?
Ant-Man and the Wasp will hit the cinema in 17 days (15 days for Hong Kong & Taiwan both opens on July 4), there still, STILL nothing about Michelle Pfeiffer’s character – The Original Wasp Janet van Dyne, SCREEN RANT shred a very interesting article today and made wild guess that her character could be the hidden big villain in the movie.
Ant-Man and the Wasp has been playing coy about the film’s villain, the Quantum Realm, and the search for Janet van Dyne, but they may all be related if the original Wasp turns out to have broken bad. Thanks to our Ant-Man 2 set visit, Screen Rant learned quite a bit about the upcoming Marvel movie and how it will develop the ideas from the first film. For one, the mysterious Quantum Realm will come back into play in a major way. Scott, Hope, and Hank will attempt to re-enter the dimension to help rescue Janet, but what state she’ll be in is unclear.
We’ve heard that rescuing Janet may have larger ramifications beyond our heroes and their personal investment in her salvation. We also know next to nothing about Ant-Man 2‘s supposed villain Ghost. In fact, there’s a good chance Ghost will turn out to be something of a red herring with a less expected villain taking the true big bad role.
Janet has spent three decades inside the Quantum Realm, and it’s not clear what effect it’s had on her. Between that and the vague plot points, it seems possible that Marvel’s big twist when it comes to Ant-Man and the Wasp will be the reveal that Janet van Dyne has become a villain.
Though Ant-Man was ostensibly about Scott Lang stepping up as a replacement for Hank Pym as the size-changing hero, a big part of the plot revolved around the relationship of Hank and Hope Pym and how the loss of their wife/mother affected them. From there, the concept of the Quantum Realm was introduced, which ended up serving as the climactic setting of film. The mysterious location has been teased by Kevin Feige and others as playing a big role in the future of the MCU, with Doctor Strange already visiting similar places and Captain Marvel said to involve the Quantum Realm.
Back when Hank and Janet operated as Ant-Man and the Wasp, the latter shrunk down to the subatomic level in order to defuse a warhead. With her size-changing regulator turned off, she kept shrinking and went down to a version of the Microverse from the comics known as the Quantum Realm. It’s implied that she keeps shrinking indefinitely, but the Janet van Dyne poster we recently saw suggests she at some point reached a balance and began exploring her new home.
We naturally don’t know much about what function Janet will have in Ant-Man and the Wasp, but with Michelle Pfeiffer cast in the role we know she’ll play a decent part. Scott Lang is the key to rescuing Janet in the film, as he receives some sort of signal that she’s still alive. Teaming with Hank and Hope once again, they’ll journey to the Quantum Realm and explore it more fully than in the first movie. It’s assumed they’ll then encounter Janet, who has somehow gained new items of clothing, altered her suit, and been nourishing herself somehow all these years.
There’s been no indication that Janet will even escape the Quantum Realm in the movie, although it seems likely the mission will succeed – Pfeiffer is set to appear inAvengers 4, after all. Then again, Marvel is known for big twists in their films and it could be Pfeiffer was attracted to the role for its atypical nature. Some form of closure or reunion for the Pym-van Dynes is guaranteed, but if the MCU is truly hoping to surprise audiences and continue their current trend of sympathetic villains, then a change for the worse in Janet could be perfect.
Janet may have undergone changes in the Quantum Realm, and the movie will certainly address this. During our set visit, we learned that questions regarding how Janet has aged and survived will all be addressed in the movie. But when the subject arose of how her 30 years of isolation in a subatomic dimension may have affected her mental state, the Marvel wall of secrecy went up. It’s perfectly possible that Janet will be a little kookier but otherwise her regular self and the team will all become one big happy family once she’s out of the Quantum Realm. However, there certainly seems to be evidence pointing towards a darker turn for the character.
Though Ghost was assumed to be the big villain in the film, all involved with the movie have continually pointed out that she’s really one antagonist. In fact, it’s been said the team will face many obstacles and antagonists in the movie, with the concept of a big bad being skirted around. Clearly, there’s something more to Ghost than it was at first assumed.
In the comics, Ghost has been a hero, villain, and something in between. Therefore, there’s really no telling what role Hannah John-Kamen’s character will play in the plot. This alone could be cause for the mysterious nature of Ghost, but there could be more to it. Janet’s isolation and time in the trippy, interplanetary Quantum Realm could have easily driven her mad. Likewise, it may have changed her ideology or even caused her to resent Hank. Any of these could see her emerge as a villain, or at least else another antagonist.
From Loki to Killmonger to Thanos, Marvel has been moving more and more towards sympathetic villains. Gone is the mustache-twirling of a typical comic book film, and instead the antagonists are more the heroes of their own story. It’s safe to assume that Ghost will fit this mold, as the character’s roots of being an anti-corporate hacker certainly don’t make her an outright villain – and if it turns out she has a deeper relationship with Hank and the others, that will only further her case. But with Hank and Scott both walking certain moral lines, it would be a shame if Janet’s story was a simple one of a damsel in distress.
Regardless of the character’s alignment, the updated look of Janet at least hints she’s been holding her own and surviving this whole time. She was a superhero, after all, and her needing to be rescued is less a knock on her abilities and more an indication of just how treacherous the Quantum Realm is. That being said, Marvel Studios has become such a hitmaker thanks to its inventive choices, and that’s become truer over the past few years. Shocking audiences with the reveal that Janet has had a change of heart while in the Quantum Realm would not only make for solid entertainment, but it allows a redemptive character to be introduced.
Hank and Scott are both characters seeking redemption, something that Luis, Kurt, and Dave even share as ex-cons. Luis starts a business in Ant-Man 2 with the other guys in an attempt to go straight, and Scott will join in to help provide for his daughter. The idea of salvation is a big part of the Ant-Man franchise already, and continuing that theme through Janet and Ghost would help to make Ant-Man into The Flash of the MCU – someone who always sees the good in people.
We don’t know what shape Janet’s villain role could take, if it even exists, but an antagonistic Wasp means the movie could end on a darker note but one with hope for the future. It would also ensure the same through-lines of Janet, the Quantum Realm, and redemption run into Ant-Man and the Wasp‘s inevitable sequel, which could truly see the original Wasp reform and come back into the fold.
By Matthew Erao for SCREEN RANT