Ant-Man star Evangeline Lilly turned down two superhero roles before MCU

Evangeline Lilly in Ant-Man and the Wasp: QuantumaniaMarvel Studios

Evangeline Lilly, one half of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’s duo, hasn’t always been keen on superheroes – she turned down two roles before entering the MCU.

In 1989, Tim Burton’s Batman was an early forecast of the pop culture domination to come. Blade paved the way for Spider-Man and X-Men, and after a slump in the mid-aughts (Daredevil, Elektra etc), the MCU came roaring to life with Iron Man in 2008.

Some believe they’ll go the “way of the Western”, but there’s no sign of superhero movies slowing any time soon; Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania – the 31st movie in the franchise! – is set for a $255 million opening weekend, and Kevin Feige wants his empire to last for more than 80 years.

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However, according to Evangeline Lilly, they were a “lower” form of entertainment until Marvel stepped up its game.

Evangeline Lilly turned down an X-Men movie

During a recent appearance on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Lilly recalled Hugh Jackman asking her to do an X-Men movie. Even Wolverine himself couldn’t convince her.

“[He] was like, ‘Hey, so, the X-Men guys are asking me if I would approach you because they know that you won’t talk to anybody. They knew I was working with you and were interested to know if it would ever interest you to do an X-Men thing.’

“I was like, ‘No. It doesn’t interest me. I’m not interested.’ I was like… I feel like such a dick because I’m talking to an X-Men! The X-Men! And I’m telling him, ‘No that doesn’t appeal.’ Like, what? I felt so rude!”

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It’s unclear who she’d play in the X-Men, but Joss Whedon had her marked for a specific role: Wonder Woman. Unfortunately, Lilly “had no desire and he could tell”, and she was “too young to be polite” about it.

“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,” she said.

“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.”

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Lilly knows she maybe “burned a bridge” with Whedon, but she’s “okay with that… I was okay with not having everyone in Hollywood wanna work with me.”

“I just always had to do what felt right for me. And honestly I wasn’t into superhero movies and that’s the main reason why, in both of these instances, I just kind of felt like I don’t know what I get out of this,” she said.

A still from Ant-Man 3Marvel Studios

And then, something changed. Lilly made her MCU debut as Hope van Dyne, aka the Wasp, in 2015’s Ant-Man. Her hero is now part of the package, returning in two Ant-Man and the Wasp sequels as well as appearing in Avengers: Endgame.

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“I often was very critical of them. Like, I was known to mock them and treat them as lower forms of entertainment until Marvel came around,” Lilly added.

“When I did, I was like, ‘Oh, they’re doing something very different and very cool.’”

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is in cinemas now. Check out some of our coverage below:

Ant-Man 3 review | Ending explained | Who is Kang the Conqueror? | Darren Cross as MODOK explained | Has Kang already killed an Avenger? | Who is Victor Timely? | What is the Quantum Realm? | All Marvel movies in order