|Hope van Dyne|
|Marvel Cinematic Universe character|
|First appearance||Ant-Man (2015)|
|Full name||Hope van Dyne (née Pym)|
|Significant other||Scott Lang|
|Origin||San Francisco, California, United States|
Hope van Dyne (née Pym) is a fictional character portrayed by Evangeline Lilly in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film franchise, loosely based on the Marvel Comics character Hope Pym. Portrayed as the daughter of Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne, she was a senior board member of her father's company, Pym Technologies, and later inherits the superhero identity of Wasp from her mother, using a suit containing shrinking technology to shrink to the size of an insect and also fly with insect-themed wings.
After rekindling her relationship with her father, Van Dyne and Pym work together to bring back Van Dyne's mother who was previously trapped in the Quantum Realm. After doing so, Van Dyne and her parents fall victim to the Blip. When the three are restored to life, Van Dyne joins the Avengers in a battle against an alternate Thanos. Afterwards, she heads the Pym van Dyne Foundation, continues a relationship with Scott Lang, and becomes a step-mother to Cassie Lang. She is later trapped in the Quantum Realm alongside her family and works with them to defeat Kang the Conqueror.
She first appeared in the 2015 film Ant-Man and later in Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019) and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023). Lilly also appears in the Disney+ animated series What If...? (2021) as an alternate version of the character. She is noted for being the first superheroine to be a titular character in a MCU film, preceding Captain Marvel, Black Widow, and Shuri.
Concept, casting, and creation
Joss Whedon, the writer and director of The Avengers, originally intended to have the Wasp appear in the film due to potential scheduling conflicts preventing Scarlett Johansson from appearing in the film as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow. Whedon wanted Zooey Deschanel to play the role of Wasp.
In 2013, actresses Jessica Chastain, Emma Stone, Rashida Jones and Bryce Dallas Howard were in talks to play the female lead in the then-upcoming Ant-Man film. In February 2014, Evangeline Lilly was rumored to be cast in the role while Edgar Wright was still slated to direct. When Wright left the film later in the year and was replaced by Peyton Reed, Lilly was reluctant to take the role until she read the revised script and got a chance to meet with Reed. After reading the revised script, she felt that the film was also "pulled" more into the MCU than Wright's version adding that while Wright's version was "incredible" and would have been great to film and watch, "it would not 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".
Reed and Lilly alongside Paul Rudd, who was set to star as Scott Lang, contributed ideas to the revised script to help flesh out Lilly's character, who received a fuller arc and more action sequences as a result. One of the important things for Reed when joining the film was emphasizing both Hope and Janet van Dyne more, given the Wasp being "a crucial part" of the Ant-Man comics. Hope shares her last name with her mother rather than her father, Hank Pym, as "statement of her ambivalence toward her father". Lilly noted that the name change "emphasizes the challenges the two characters need to overcome in order to reconcile, as well as reflects the tragedy of Janet's loss that created the rift in the first place".
Appearances and personality
The character Hope van Dyne first appeared in Ant-Man (2015). Van Dyne is introduced in Ant-Man as the daughter of Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne and a senior board member of Pym Technologies who helps Darren Cross take over the company. Throughout the film, character progression brings Hope closer to becoming a hero. Lilly described her character as "capable, strong, and kick-ass", but said that being raised by two superheroes resulted in Hope being "a pretty screwed up human being [...] and the clear message sent by my name is that I'm not a big fan of my father and so I took my mother's name." She added that Van Dyne's "arc in the movie is trying to find a relationship" with Pym. Feige said that Van Dyne was the more obvious choice to take up the mantle of Ant-Man, being "infinitely more capable of actually being a superhero" than Lang, and that the reason she does not is because of Pym's experience with losing her mother, rather than sexism, which Feige felt would not be a problem for Pym in modern times. At the end of the film during a mid-credits scene, Van Dyne is offered a prototype for a new suit from her father in which she notes that it's "about damn time".
In 2016, Kevin Feige revealed that Lilly was to appear as the Wasp in an original draft of the film Captain America: Civil War (2016), but her scenes were cut because "there were so many characters in Civil War that [they] didn't want to do her a disservice". Reed himself noted that "Scott almost did call Hope" but "the Russo brothers, along with their screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, felt that there was too much story riding on the backs of too many characters to do justice to Wasp".
In October 2015, after the release of Ant-Man, Marvel Studios announced a sequel, titled Ant-Man and the Wasp, with a scheduled release date of July 6, 2018, with Lilly confirmed to reprise the role. She made her debut as the Wasp in Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018). In the film, Van Dyne takes on the Wasp mantle from her mother, for which her father outfits her with a similar suit. The writers were excited to properly introduce the character as the Wasp, showing her "power set, how she fights, and what are the injustices that matter to her". Lilly felt the character had "incredible satisfaction" in becoming the Wasp, "something that she has been waiting for her whole life, which is essentially an affirmation from her father". Her relationship with Lang was more complicated than in the first film, and included anger towards his actions during Captain America: Civil War. Lilly felt it was important that Hope "be an extremely empathetic and compassionate person" and "to always push for feminine qualities to be apparent when she is dealing with situations". In her fight sequences, Lilly wanted to move away from the more masculine Muay Thai and mixed martial arts style of fighting she learned for the first film, noting that Hope moves differently than a man, so her fights should have "elegance, grace and femininity" with "a signature style" young girls could enjoy and emulate. Lilly worked with the writers to help ensure Hope was able to "represent a modern woman" without becoming the stereotype of a motherly figure. Madeleine McGraw portrayed a younger version of Hope van Dyne.
In late 2016, two new Avengers films were announced to arrive in 2018 and 2019. Lilly confirmed that Hope van Dyne would appear in the second Avengers film (eventually titled Avengers: Endgame) saying that her character would not appear in the 2018 instalment (Avengers: Infinity War) in order to preserve her reveal as the Wasp in Ant-Man and the Wasp which was released the same year. The Wasp eventually appeared during the final battle of Avengers: Endgame (2019). In 2021, Lilly voiced an alternate version (variant) of Van Dyne in What If...?. Another version of Wasp was originally set to appear in the first draft of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness as a part of the Illuminati with head writer, Michael Waldron, revealing that Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch "just clapped her hands and smushed the Wasp".
In 2019, Lilly reprised her role in the inspired media attraction of the MCU, Ant-Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle! in Hong Kong Disneyland. In 2022, she also reprised her role in the immersive family dining experience Avengers: Quantum Encounter on the Disney Wish cruise ship. Disney noted that it "is set within its own universe". In the experience, Van Dyne and Lang demonstrate quantum tech to the audience which causes them to be attacked by Ultron; Avengers Ms. Marvel, Captain America and Captain Marvel are called in to help defeat him.
Lilly reprised her role as titular superhero in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania which was released in the United States on February 17, 2023. On her role in the final instalment of the Ant-Man trilogy, Lilly noted that she was "really excited to have a chance to show a side of [Van Dyne] where she would make mistakes, she would be fragile, and she wouldn't always have the right answer". In the film, Van Dyne is shown to be in a good place in which Lilly noted "that she's been trying to get to for a long time", having healed her relationship with her father, succeeded in saving her mother, fallen in love with Scott and is now a step-mother to Cassie. With her relationship with Cassie, Van Dyne "sees her as a little girl who needs coddling or protecting". Contrastingly, her relationship with her own mother at the beginning of the film is the polar opposite where Janet tires to protect Van Dyne by not letting her in. After the film's release, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Lilly noted that Hope didn't "change a lot in [Quantumania]" adding that "there wasn't somewhere [Van Dyne] needed to get to or go other than just to repair a little wound in her relationship with her mom". Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania writer, Jeff Loveness, explained that there was a scene in the film which showed Van Dyne having a son which "would've come in the 'probability storm' scene" but was cut because it "didn't fit in the flow".
Wasp suit and costume design
An unfinished version of Van Dyne's Wasp suit made its first appearance in the Ant-Man (2015) mid-credit scene. It was navy blue with golden and red strips of colour around, and was not seen in full until the film's sequel in 2018. The suit was called a "significant upgrade" from Lang's, can shrink Van Dyne and has wings which can retract into the back of her suit — in comparison to Ant-Man who utilises ants for aerial transport. The suit also features "Wasp stinger" blasters. The suit was based on drawings by concept artist Andy Park, designed by British costume designer Louise Frogley and "required a four-month period of research and development before filmmakers arrived at a satisfactory result". In an interview with Screen Rant, Lilly noted that Van Dyne's suit is an upgrade from Scott Lang's suit due to the fact his suit was Hank Pym's from the 1960s. Lilly also compared the suit to Iron Man's armour because both do not need buttons to activate the suit.
Throughout the films, Van Dyne's hairstyle has seen three different changes including a bob cut, a ponytail and a pixie cut. For the first film, Joanna Robinson of Vanity Fair criticised the use of Van Dyne's hairstyle saying "the most extreme thing Hope wears is that severe haircut". Her ponytail, which made its debut in the second film, received critical acclaim with Mashable writer, Angie Han, noting that it was not a "fancy sci-fi updo or anything" but rather a "plain old messy ponytail, the likes of which you've seen on every long-haired woman at the gym". She added,
It may not sound like a big deal but that one detail speaks volumes about who Hope is [...] The MCU movies' first true leading lady isn't a literal goddess, or a mysterious spy, or a space assassin – She's a down-to-earth lady who's just like us. And that means she pulls her hair back when she beats up bad guys.
In Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Van Dyne's suit received an ugrade. Paying homage to the original Janet van Dyne costume, Van Dyne's suit was more "comic-accurate" being "bug-like and brightly colored" with black and yellow colours. Her hairstyle was in a pixie cut for the film as Lilly had shaved her head four years prior and the call was made to do "another callback to the original Wasp in the comics" as she "often had a little short, dark pixie cut". The hairstyle received generally mixed reviews.
Differences from the comics
Original comic derivations
Throughout the mainstream Marvel comics, the superhero character, Wasp, was Janet van Dyne, who debuted in the anthology series Tales to Astonish #44 (June 1963, plotted by Stan Lee, scripted by H.E. Huntley, and drawn by Jack Kirby) as Henry "Hank" Pym's partner, having become the Wasp to avenge the death of her father, Vernon van Dyne. Janet co-starred in Tales to Astonish as the Wasp until #69 (1963–65) and was a founding member of the Avengers, appearing in the first issue. Throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Janet van Dyne is portrayed by Michelle Pfeiffer and is introduced as the wife of Hank Pym and mother to Van Dyne in Ant-Man (2015) and was presumed dead after she shrunk to subatomic level to stop a nuclear missile, becoming trapped in the Quantum Realm.
Van Dyne is an original character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and was loosely based on the concept of supervillain Hope Pym, also known as the Red Queen, who is also the daughter of Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne. Hope Pym existed in the MC2 lineup alongside her twin brother, Henry Pym Jr. Conversely, the filmmakers of Ant-Man "decided to reimagine [Van Dyne] as a more sympathetic character" and she "didn't give in to her hate the same way her comic book counterpart did and even began aiding her [estranged] father once she found out that a new villain was going to abuse his technology".
Nadia van Dyne
While Hope van Dyne does not appear in the mainstream Marvel Universe canon (Earth-616), Nadia van Dyne was created "as a comic version" of her. "Nadia" is a Russian language translated name of "Hope". In July 2016, Nadia was introduced as the Unstoppable Wasp in the comic book issue of "Free Comic Book Day 2016 Civil War II" as the daughter of Hank Pym and his first wife Maria Trovaya. Nadia was originally recruited into the Red Room and eventually claimed the Van Dyne name after being adopted by Janet.
Fictional character biography
Hope van Dyne was born to high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne, and grew up in San Francisco, California. She becomes estranged from her father after he hides the circumstances of the disappearance of her mother and sends her to boarding school. His subsequent cold and distant behavior towards her also causes her to adopt her mother's maiden name. She later becomes the chairman of her father's company Pym Technologies and was the deciding vote in casting him out as CEO.[a]
Meeting Scott Lang
In 2015, Van Dyne seeks out Pym's help after finding out how close the new CEO, Darren Cross, is from replicating the Ant-Man shrinking technology. Cross plans to mass-produce and sell this technology as military hardware known as the Yellowjacket suit.
In response, Pym recruits convicted thief Scott Lang to become the new Ant-Man to steal the Yellowjacket from Cross. Van Dyne is against using Lang, believing herself to be the superior choice. Pym refuses to let her use the suit, so she calls the police on Lang after he steals the Ant-Man costume from Pym's house, despite Pym wanting him to. After Pym breaks Lang out of jail, Van Dyne reluctantly helps train Lang to fully harness the Ant-Man suit's abilities. While Hope still holds resentment towards Pym, she begins to reconcile with her father after he reveals that her mother shrank herself down to disarm a missile and became trapped in the subatomic Quantum Realm. Consequently, Van Dyne and Pym work together to successfully aid Lang in thwarting Cross' plans by destroying the Pym Technologies headquarters. Afterwards, Van Dyne and Lang begin a relationship.
Later, Pym reveals to Van Dyne a new Wasp prototype suit that he and Janet had started to make, and offers it to her.
Rescuing Janet and resurrection
In 2018, Van Dyne and Pym are in hiding due to Lang's involvement with the Avengers,[b] in violation of the Sokovia Accords. The two subsequently cut ties with Lang who is placed on house arrest. Despite being on the run, Van Dyne and Pym start investigating ways to bring back Janet from the Quantum Realm.
They briefly open a tunnel to the Quantum Realm and after receiving a call from Lang who is having dreams of Van Dyne's childhood experiences with her mother, the two work out that Lang had unknowingly become quantumly entangled with Janet. They manage to kidnap Lang, leaving a large ant with Lang's ankle-monitor on as a decoy so as not to arouse the suspicions of the FBI agent Jimmy Woo. Van Dyne dons the Wasp suit for the first with Lang as the Ant-Man and the two arrange to buy a part needed for the tunnel from black-market dealer Sonny Burch. Van Dyne is attacked by the quantumly unstable Ava Starr who has teamed up with Pym's ex-college Bill Foster, to use the tunnel to cure Starr of her fatal molecular instability. Van Dyne and Lang fight the rival parties to keep their quantum technology safe so Pym can travel into the Quantum Realm to save Janet. Pym manages to successfully bring Janet back from the Quantum Realm and Van Dyne reunites with her mother. Van Dyne also meets Lang's daughter, Cassie Lang.
Sometime later, Van Dyne, her parents and Lang plan to harvest quantum energy to cure Starr's condition. However, Van Dyne and her parents disintegrate, falling victim to the Blip, leaving Lang trapped in the Quantum Realm for five years in present time.[c]
In 2023, Van Dyne is restored to life and is brought by Masters of the Mystic Arts to join the final battle against an alternate Thanos. A week after the battle, Van Dyne, alongside her restored parents and Lang, attends Tony Stark's funeral. She then returns home and spends time with Lang and Cassie.
Exploring the Quantum Realm
After being revived from the Blip, Van Dyne buys back her father's company and renames it the Pym van Dyne Foundation, which utilizes the Pym Particles in new and innovative ways to advance humanitarian efforts. She continues her relationship with Lang, alongside furthering her role as a step-mother to Cassie. Van Dyne also holds resentment for her mother who refuses to talk about her time spent in the Quantum Realm.
After being bailed out from jail by Van Dyne and Lang, Cassie reveals that during the Blip, she began to read Pym's work on the Quantum Realm and with the help of Pym and Van Dyne, created a device that could make contact with the Quantum Realm. Despite Janet's protests, upon opening the device, Van Dyne, Lang, Cassie, Pym and Janet are pulled into the Quantum Realm. Van Dyne, separated from Lang and Cassie, finds her parents and begins to explore the city inside the realm. The trio meet Lord Krylar, a former ally of Janet's, who reveals that things had changed since she left. He sells them out to the man with whom he works for, which causes the trio to fight Krylar's men, flee and steal his ship.
After confronting her mother, Janet reveals to Van Dyne that she is indirectly responsible for Krylar's boss, Kang's, uprising of the realm, having helped rebuild his Multiversal Power Core after he was "exiled" before enlarging it beyond use. Van Dyne reconciles with her mother, noting that they must not let Kang escape the realm. The trio arrive at the enlarged Multiversal Power Core which has created a probability storm. Van Dyne flies into the storm to save Lang, who had made a deal with Kang after he captured Cassie, and help him acquire the power core. Kang, however, retracts the deal he initially made with Lang, capturing Janet and seemingly destroying her ship with Pym on it.
Pym, who is saved by hyper-intelligent evolved ants, helps Van Dyne and Lang as they make their way back to Kang, in which they commence an uprising against Kang and his army with the help of Cassie, Janet and the residents of the Quantum Realm. While seemingly having beaten Kang, Van Dyne and her family manage to make their way back to their reality through a portal powered by Kang's Multiversal Power Core. Van Dyne flies back through the portal to rescue Lang, who was pulled back into a fight with Kang, and the two defeat him by knocking him into it destroying the power core, causing him to be pulled into oblivion. Cassie reopens the portal on her end for Lang and Van Dyne to return home and the family happily resume their life.
Several alternate versions of Van Dyne appear in the animated series What If...?, with Lilly reprising her role.
Death of the Avengers
In an alternate universe, Van Dyne was recruited as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent by Nick Fury, but was killed during a mission in Odesa, Ukraine. Her death drives her father to get revenge on Fury by disrupting his recruitment mission for the Avengers Initiative.
In an alternate 2018, Van Dyne succeeds in bringing her parents back from the Quantum Realm. However, Janet has been infected with a quantum virus which has subsequently turned her and Pym into a zombie. Within 24 hours, the virus spreads across the Northwestern United States with Van Dyne escaping and becoming one of the sole survivors of Earth.
After saving Bruce Banner, who was sent to Earth to warn humanity about Thanos, Van Dyne, alongside other survivors (including Peter Parker, Bucky Barnes, Okoye, Sharon Carter, Kurt, and Happy Hogan) leave their base in New York City and travel to Camp Lehigh where a cure is said to be in development. En route to Camp Lehigh, the team are attacked and Van Dyne becomes infected. She sacrifices herself by turning giant to allow the others to escape and she carries the surviving team to the camp, eventually succumbing to the virus.
Since her inception within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, version of Van Dyne have appeared in various Marvel Comics-based media. She appeared in the animated Ant-Man series, voiced by Melissa Rauch, Avengers Assemble, voiced by Kari Wahlgren, and Marvel Super Hero Adventures, voiced by Marlie Collins.
She also appears in a few crossover Marvel video games titles using the Wasp alias created by Marvel Games: Marvel Puzzle Quest, Lego Marvel Avengers, Lego Marvel Superheroes 2, Marvel Contest of Champions, Marvel: Future Fight, Marvel Avengers Academy and Marvel Strike Force.
For her role in the first Ant-Man film The A.V. Club writer, Sam Barsanti noted that, "Hope is much more well-suited [...] to be a superhero than Paul Rudd's Scott Lang" but she didn't "get to do nearly as much stuff". Contrarily, for Ant-Man and the Wasp, Stephanie Zacharek, writing for Time, felt that "the focus on Lilly as a better hero than Rudd was just checking off boxes in the name of gender equality". Amon Warmann of Yahoo! News praised Lilly's voice role as Van Dyne in the fifth episode of What If...?, "What If... Zombies?!", feeling that she "gave the episode's strongest performance" and that "Hope's final act of going giant size for the first time in the MCU was beautifully played".
Van Dyne's role in Ant-Man and the Wasp was often received with higher praise than compared to the first film with Insider writer, Kirsten Acuna, noting that, "Wasp is even more enjoyable to watch on screen". She added that "not only can she build great tech, but she's also an expert at hand-to-hand combat" and that her and Lang "are pretty great to see working side by side". Vox writer, Alex Abad-Santos. agreed saying that in the sequel, "Lilly's Hope van Dyne was the smarter, tougher, better-trained character" and that "the movie fully acknowledges that Hope is the more adept superhero by letting her lead the way in these sequences".
On Lilly's role in Quantumania, ScreenGeek writer, Mark Salcido, noted that Van Dyne was "stilted" and sidelined to Rudd's Lang, but added that she had a few "rare touching moments between her and Pfeiffer". Conversely, The Hollywood Reporter writer, Frank Scheck, found "Lilly's Wasp has plenty of moments to shine" but noted that it was "frustrating to see the main characters separated into various groups for long stretches of the film". In a review for the film, IGN writer, Joshua Yehl, noted Lilly's small role, saying that it "feels strange for a character who's mentioned in the title". TheWrap writer, Alonso Duralde, also wrote that Van Dyne felt "admittedly lost among all [the] characters" and that "despite the Wasp's inclusion in the title", the "superhero comes off as a bit of an afterthought once all is said and done". Daily Bruin writer, Francis Moon, also felt that "Lilly takes a backseat with no development of her character Hope or her alter-ego, the Wasp" in the film.
In 2018, after appearing in Ant-Man and the Wasp, Van Dyne became the first superheroine to be a titular character in a Marvel Cinematic Universe film, preceding Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel, Natasha Romanoff in Black Widow and Shuri in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Amelia Rayne Kim of Screen Rant noted that Van Dyne becoming the Wasp "not only made sense for the narrative but it prevented her from being simply a supporting character or a love interest". Kim added that her titular introduction "broke down another barrier to the women of this universe achieving equal footing with its men".
On including the Wasp in the film's title for Ant-Man and the Wasp, Peyton Reed called it "organic" for both characters, and noted the Wasp's final line in Ant-Man—'It's about damn time'—as "very much about her specific character and arc in that movie, but it is absolutely about a larger thing. It's about damn time: We're going to have a fully realized, very very complicated hero in the next movie who happens to be a woman." Reed would also push to ensure the Wasp received equal publicity and merchandise for the film.
Lilly's Van Dyne inspired the creation of Marvel Comics character Nadia van Dyne who made her debut in the Free Comic Book Day 2016 Civil War II. On Nadia's creation, Mark Waid noted that, "Tom Brevoort and I both have a great love for the original Wasp, Janet van Dyne, and in the wake of the Ant-Man movie (which was great), Tom suggested there might be something to introducing someone who was a nod to that film's Hope van Dyne without in any way minimizing Janet's role in the Marvel Universe".
|2015||Ant-Man||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Summer Movie Star: Female||Nominated|||
|2016||Saturn Awards||Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|||
|2019||Ant-Man and the Wasp||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Action Movie Actress||Nominated|||
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