As the first Marvel movie after Avengers: Infinity War, Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man and the Wasp always had to examine legacy and the future of the MCU in some fashion. Within the context of the original Ant-Man and its sequel, the emotional core of Scott Lang’s story is the relationship he has with his daughter, Cassie. And, in a conversation with Inverse just ahead of Ant-Man and the Wasp’s release, director Peyton Reed hinted that Ant-Man’s daughter might have her own heroic future in the MCU.
Ant-Man and the Wasp officially hits theaters on Friday, July 6. Inverse spoke with director Peyton Reed just hours before the first showings began on Thursday about Cassie Lang’s increased role in Ant-Man and the Wasp. Actress Abby Ryder Fortson was only 6 years old for the first Ant-Man, but at age 9, she’s given much more to do in the sequel.
The mildest of spoilers follow for Ant-Man and the Wasp.
“It’s really fun to see how she retains aspects that still make her a little kid, but there are points that really show she’s maturing,” Reed explained. After learning that her father was a superhero at the end of the first hero, Cassie spends a lot of time with her father talking about what it’s like being Ant-Man. “She has this great curiosity,” Reed explained. “She’s always asking things like, ‘What’s it like to shrink!?’”
Reed revealed to Inverse that one of his favorite scenes in Ant-Man and the Wasp demonstrates this endearing trait in Cassie. It’s an intimate father-daughter conversation that happens midway through the movie, and it’s one that fans have no doubt seen in the film’s trailers.
“Scott Lang and his daughter Cassie have a really quiet scene up in her attic bedroom,” Reed explained. “Maybe you just need someone watching your back?” Cassie says. “Like a partner.” We’re obviously led to understand Hope (a.k.a. the Wasp) is this partner — and that’s definitely the case, for now — but Cassie also straight-up says in the movie that she wants to partner up with her father one day.
“We wanted to plant these little seeds about what might become of Cassie.” Reed said. “She’s smart and sees herself as a potential partner for her father. And she really kind of has her dad’s spirit.” In this movie, Cassie comes off as adventurous and defiant of authority, much like her father. She’ll do the right thing even if it means breaking the rules, and she isn’t afraid to take risks when it matters. Even at 9-years-old, she has the makings of a hero.
So “What might become of Cassie?” becomes a question that Reed and the team behind Ant-Man and the Wasp really want the audience to think about. (And in a sense far beyond the obvious concern about whether or not she is ashed by Thanos’s Snap.)
Reed couldn’t comment directly about casting rumors from April claiming that 16-year-old actress Emma Fuhrmann had been cast as an older Cassie Lang in Avengers 4, implying either time travel or a significant amount of time passing between Infinity War and that movie. But Reed did admit that Cassie’s legacy in Marvel Comics as her own kind of size-altering superhero was always something they had in mind.
“We were — in the first movie and in this one — very aware that Cassie becomes a hero in her own right in the comics,” Reed said. “We’ve always liked the idea of watching Cassie progress in the movies while acknowledging these nods to the comics that she does, in fact, become a hero.”
In Marvel Comics, Cassie Lang has powers similar to her father’s, and she goes by the superhero name of Stature or Stinger. By all accounts, it seems at least possible that in the coming years, we might see young Cassie become another among many emerging female superheroes in the MCU. And it’s only fitting that it might start with the Ant-Man movies.
“It’s really a generational hero story,” Reed said of the Ant-Man films. “There’s already two sets of Ant-Man and the Wasp.” Long before the birth of the MCU, Hank and Janet were the original shrinking insect pair working for S.H.I.E.L.D., and Ant-Man and the Wasp firmly established a new pair taking on the same mantles.
Maybe Marvel is already looking forward to the third generation of super-shrinkers with Cassie Lang?
Ant-Man and the Wasp is currently in theaters.