Evangeline Lilly has portrayed Hope van Dyne (AKA The Wasp) in the MCU for years, but it’s only now that she claims she finally understands her character. Debuting as Hope in Ant-Man opposite Paul Rudd, Lilly got the chance to don her own superhero costume in the following film Ant-Man and the Wasp. She also appeared in Avengers: Endgame, and even lent her voice to Marvel’s What If…? series on Disney+. But now, it seems, she can finally access the character on a personal level.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania began filming in July, and Lilly spoke to The Hollywood Reporter to offer an update on the project. She revealed that her character presented a challenge, because she couldn’t figure her out as a person. “Hope is an odd enigma for me. I wish I could say otherwise because I want to honor her; I want to honor every character I ever play,” explained Lilly. “But the truth is that I find it harder to know and understand Hope than any other character I’ve ever played before.”
She continued to discuss her time on set, including a “eureka” moment where the character of Hope made complete sense. “We’re just a little over halfway through. And I will say that after I read the script of the film, I did have a kind of eureka moment; I said to Peyton [Reed], ‘Oh my God, I think I finally get her,’” said Lilly. “Three or four films in, I thought, ‘I think I get it now.’ So I’m hoping that when we come to wrap and when I see the movie, I’m going to know the difference.”
Just because Lilly has ironed out her character’s motives for herself doesn’t mean there will be a huge difference to viewers when the film arrives in 2023. But for Lilly, the change will be evident. “I think I’m a good bluffer. That’s what I do for a living. But I know the difference and I’m hopeful that in this one, I’ll feel like I can watch it and go, ‘Yeah, you had a better handle on her in this one than you ever have before.’ That’s my goal, anyway. That’s my hope.”
Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania arrives in theaters February 17, 2023.
Every Marvel Actor Who Voices Their Character On What If…?
Marvel’s Disney+ series What If…? explores alternate (animated) versions of famous Marvel Cinematic Universe characters — many of them voiced by their famous big-screen actors. Here’s the full list of everyone who showed up to lend their voice to What If…?
2. Stanley Tucci as Dr. Erskine
Stanley Tucci’s Dr. Erskine hasn’t been seen in the MCU in years and years, as he was killed in the first Captain America movie by a Hydra spy. He makes a triumphant but brief return in What If…? once again engineering a Super Soldier Serum that is now injected into Peggy Carter instead of Steve Rogers. Unfortunately for Dr. Erskine, things don’t turn out any better for him in this reality; the Hydra spy still kills him during his attempt to destroy Project Rebirth.
3. Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark
As in Captain America: The First Avenger, Howard Stark’s technology helps make the Super Soldier project a reality. In What If…? he then becomes the Q to Captain Carter’s James Bond, providing her with her costume, vibranium shield, and then building a huge suit of armor for Steve Rodgers to wear as the Hydra Stomper.
4. Bradley Whitford as Colonel Flynn
This might be the most surprising and obscure returning character in the What If…? premiere. Bradley Whitford’s Strategic Scientific Reserve officer John Flynn only appeared in the Agent Carter “One-Shot” short that appeared on the Iron Man 3 Blu-ray. He didn’t even return for the actual Agent Carter TV series. But he’s back in What If…? playing Carter’s sexist boss.
5. Ross Marquand as the Red Skull
When Hugo Weaving decided he didn’t want to reprise his role as the Red Skull in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, he was replaced by actor Ross Marquand, who did a convincing impression of Weaving’s Werner Herzog accent as the Skull. Marquand continues that work in What If…?
6. Toby Jones as Armin Zola
The scientist who Captain Carter retrieves the Tesseract from is Toby Jones’ Armin Zola, the Hydra baddie who later in the MCU became an evil voice on a computer helping Hydra take over S.H.I.E.L.D. from within. It looks like things went different in this alternate What If…? reality.
7. Sebastian Stan as Bucky
In Captain America, Steve Rogers’ best buddy Bucky Barnes seemingly dies as they attack a Hydra train. What If…? features a joke about that moment, even as Bucky survives a similar scene — this time Skinny Steve Rogers inside the Hydra Stomper is the one who apparently perishes in the attack. Maybe Steve then became the Winter Soldier? That would have been kind of cool.
8. Neal McDonough as Dum Dum Dugan
In What If…?, Captain Carter becomes the leader of the Howling Commandos instead of Steve Rogers. The teams’ ranks remain largely the same, though, including Neal McDonough’s Dum Dum Dugan, who’s never gotten to be as big of a character in the MCU as he is in Marvel Comics, where he survives for decades and serves as Nick Fury’s right-hand man at S.H.I.E.L.D. At least McDonough got to come back for What If…?
9. Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury
Just like the end of Captain America: The First Avenger, a time-displaced Captain Carter winds up in the present, confronted by S.H.I.E.L.D. leader Nick Fury. Just like the end of Captain America, he’s voiced by Samuel L. Jackson. Jackson also voices Fury in Episode 3, where he tries to figure out who is murdering all of the candidates in the Avengers Initiative.
10. Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye
Curiously, this exact shot appears in two different What If…? episodes: Episode 1 and Episode 3. In the former, Fury and Hawkeye greet Captain Carter. In the latter, they watch Thor as he tries to retrieve his hammer. In both cases, Jeremy Renner reprises his role as Clint Barton.
11. Chadwick Boseman as Star-Lord T’Challa
Episode 2 stars the late Chadwick Boseman in one of his very last appearances in the MCU. It’s so great to hear his voice again — and the entire episode is a lovely tribute to Boseman, who, like Star-Lord T’Challa, seemed to inspire everyone he met. (Boseman is also one of the survivors of the What If…? zombie apocalypse in Episode 5, and a victim of Killmonger’s evil schemes in Episode 6.)
12. Karen Gillan as Nebula
She sounds the same, but Nebula looks very different in What If…? than she did in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. I guess when your father is less of a genocidal space warlord, that can have a positive impact on your life. Speaking of which…
13. Josh Brolin as Thanos
In What If….?, Thanos is no longer a planet-conquering madman, he’s a kind-hearted member of the Ravagers alongside T’Challa. The events of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame never happened in this universe, because Star-Lord supposedly explained to Thanos why his plan to kill half the universe was flawed. Why didn’t the Avengers think of that?!?
14. Michael Rooker as Yondu
One of the fun parts about What If…? is the way it allows you to bring dead characters back to life for new adventures. Yondu might have sacrificed himself to save Peter Quill at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 but he’s back in fine form here as T’Challa’s Ravager partner and mentor.
15. Djimon Hounsou as Korath
Another fun part of What If…? is seeing vastly different versions of the same characters we’ve met in past Marvel movies. In Guardians of the Galaxy, Korath had no clue who Peter Quill’s Star-Lord was. In this episode, he practically becomes a full-on fanboy when he realizes he’s in the presence of T’Challa’s Star-Lord, and then goes on to join the Ravagers.
16. Benicio del Toro as The Collector
I could be wrong, but I think Benicio del Toro had more dialogue as the Collector in this 30 minute episode of What If…? than he had in all of Guardians of the Galaxy. And as you can see, del Toro got himself in incredible shape for his voice role.
18. Sean Gunn as Kraglin
The ranks of the Ravagers in What If…? include Kraglin, Yondu’s trusty sidekick from Guardians of the Galaxy, and an eventual member of the Guardians in Vol. 2. He’s voiced by Sean Gunn, who is Marvel writer/director James Gunn’s brother.
20. Seth Green as Howard the Duck
We’re still waiting for Howard the Duck to get some kind of bigger role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the meantime, he at least gets a very charming scene with T’Challa when he frees him from the Collector’s prison.
22. Danai Gurira as Okoye
The other key supporting member of the Black Panther cast to appear in Episode 2 of What If…? is Okoye, the leader of the Dora Milaje. Now there’s a character that deserves an entire What If…? all to herself. (She does have a significantly larger role in Episode 5 and also makes a cameo in Episode 6.)
24. Tom Vaughan-Lawlor as Ebony Maw
Just because Thanos has turned babyface doesn’t mean the Black Order has too. We see Thanos’ former minions now working for the Collector — and their voice actors mostly return as well. For example, that’s Tom Vaughan-Lawlor back as the lanky and creepy Ebony Maw. (Vaughan-Lawlor) is also briefly heard as Maw before he winds up in the maw of a Marvel Zombie in Episode 5.)
26. Michael Douglas as Hank Pym
The surprise villain of Episode 3 is (SPOILER ALERT) Hank Pym, who is getting revenge on S.H.I.E.L.D. and Nick Fury because he blames them for the death of his daughter, Hope van Dyne. Michael Douglas seems to relish getting to play a darker version of Hank — he gives one of the best voice performances on What If…? Season 1 (and is arguably better as crazy Hank than he is as heroic live-action Hank).
27. Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson
All of the Avengers dying while Agent Coulson survives is the fun sort of inversion of continuity that makes What If…? so much fun. And Clark Gregg sounds like he’s having a blast cracking jokes with Samuel L. Jackson again during his return to the MCU in Episode 3.
28. Frank Grillo as Brock Rumlow
29. Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner
The quirks of the Marvel multiverse are on full display in What If…? Episode 3, when Mark Ruffalo returns as Bruce Banner and The Hulk in scenes that originally appeared in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, where Banner was played by Edward Norton. It’s enough to give the Watcher a headache. Ruffalo then takes center stage in Episode 5 when he lands on Earth at the beginning of the events of Avengers: Infinity War to warn the world about the coming of Thanos. Unfortunately, while he was gone a zombie virus swept across the globe.
31. Jaimie Alexander as Sif
The only person who talks Loki down when she shows up looking to conquer Earth is Sif, Thor’s loyal ally in Thor and Thor: The Dark World. This is Jaimie Alexander’s second appearance as Sif in 2021; she had a brief cameo as the character in an episode of Season 1 of Loki.
32. Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Strange
Cumberbatch pulls double duty in Episode 4 of What If…?, voicing multiple versions of Dr. Strange. One largely resembles the heroic figure from the main Marvel Cinematic Universe. The other becomes consumed with grief over the death of Dr. Christine Palmer, that he tries to amass enough power to bring her back to life.
33. Benedict Wong as Wong
As in the more familiar Marvel reality, Dr. Strange’s closest friend and ally is Wong. It’s a good thing they got Benedict Wong to play the character on What If…? I’m not sure even the most talented mimic could come close to recreating that distinctive voice.
34. Rachel McAdams as Christine Palmer
Episode 4’s MacGuffin is basically a person: Rachel McAdams’s Dr. Christine Palmer, whose death haunts Dr. Strange and leads him down a dark path. Supposedly, Christine’s death is something that cannot be changed without destroying the entire world, and so Strange collects more and more power in a reckless attempt to play god. But … we know her death is changeable? Because in Doctor Strange, she doesn’t die. This was a strange conceit for an episode.
35. Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One
Swinton’s appearances on this What If…? seemingly makes it possible for her to return in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, despite her character’s death in Doctor Strange. In most of this episode she’s dead as well, but she returns as an “echo” to counsel Doctor Strange. Think she’ll do the same in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness?
36. Leslie Bibb as Christine Everheart
Episode 4 contains maybe the toughest-to-spot Marvel actor in the entire series: Leslie Bibb’s tiny cameo as newscaster Christine Everheart. She originally played the role in the very first MCU movie, Iron Man; she was a journalist who profiled (and slept with) Tony Stark. On What If…? she can be heard announcing the death of Christine Palmer on a newscast in a bar.
37. Paul Bettany as the Vision
Being an android has some major advantages in the zombie apocalypse — the zombies don’t want to eat you. So Paul Bettany’s Vision manages to survive and help find a zombie cure (and maybe doom everyone because he is also keeping zombie Scarlet Witch around).
38. Evangeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne
Episode 5 was an extremely Ant-Man heavy episode. The zombie apocalypse is accidentally started by Hank Pym rescuing his wife Janet from the Quantum Realm, and the episode’s cast includes first-time What If…? actors Evangeline Lilly and…
40. Paul Rudd as Scott Lang
It looks like Ant-Man is the very first victim of the Marvel zombies — but it turns out that he’s actually the first person (or, uh, head in a jar) to receive the zombie cure. Which is good, because Paul Rudd is one of the funniest guys in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it would have been a shame to waste his appearance on a couple of terrified screams; this worked much better.
41. Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan
Iron Man is one of the first Marvel heroes to fall to the zombie apocalypse, but his old buddy Happy Hogan manages to survive for quite a while. He even gets to live out his superhero fantasies for a while, using one of Tony’s repulsors as a weapon while he yells “BLAM! BLAM!” (Favreau is very funny in his brief appearance. He deserves another What If…? episode for sure.)
42. Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter
With Episode 5 of What If…? we’ve now gotten appearances on the show from both generations of Carters. (Peggy Carter, of course, was the star of the show’s premiere.) This episode does not seem to take into consideration the events of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. (Sharon Carter should probably be off in Madripoor during these events, right? Eh, whatever. It doesn’t matter. It’s What If…?)
43. Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger
What If…? Episode 6 centers on the devious activities of Erik “Killmonger” Stevens, who saves Tony Stark from the Ten Rings as part of a plot to take over his company and use its technology to gain power in Wakanda. His Machiavellian exploits are nicely voiced by Michael B. Jordan, who previously provided the voice of the DC superhero Cyborg in the animated feature Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox.
45. Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue
Andy Serkis has one of the most distinctive voices in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe; it’s difficult to imagine anyone else playing arms dealer Ulysses Klaue but him. Thankfully, Serkis returns in Episode 6 of What If…? to reprise his role as the vibranium-hoarding villain.
46. Don Cheadle as James Rhodes
Episode 6 marks Don Cheadle’s first appearance as James “War Machine” Rhodes in What If…? Technically, this is the first time Cheadle has played Rhodes at this point in his life; the episode is set around the time of the original Iron Man film, where the Rhodes character was portrayed by Terrence Howard.
47. Paul Bettany as J.A.R.V.I.S.
49. Natalie Portman as Jane Foster
Just a few years ago, Natalie Portman said she was done with Marvel, and there were several projects where she could have shown up (like Thor: Ragnarok or Avengers: Endgame) and didn’t. But Portman returned to the fold for Thor: Love and Thunder, and she also appears in What If…? as Jane Foster.
53. Taika Waititi as Korg
What would a goofy Thor-centric What If…? comedy episode be without an appearance by Taika Waititi’s Korg? It would be nothing. Thankfully, he did return for Episode 7. So it’s not nothing. It’s something.
54. Rachel House as Topaz
Topaz — AKA the Grandmaster’s assistant from Thor: Ragnarok — is definitely one of the more obscure Marvel characters to pop up on the first season of What If…? But she’s in there, and so is actor Rachel House, who played the character on the big screen as well.
55. Clancy Brown as Surtur
The giant Surtur’s ferocious growl is provided by Clancy Brown, who also voiced the character in Thor: Ragnarok. He’s also no stranger to voice acting; in the 1990s, he was Lex Luthor on Superman: The Animated Series and its various Justice League off-shoots.
56. Georges St. Pierre as Batroc
The What If…? finale mostly focuses on characters who’ve appeared throughout the season of the show, but in a sequence that mirrors the opening to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain Carter squares off with the fleet-footed mercenary Batroc, voiced by MMA star Georges St. Pierre. He’s played Batroc in numerous movies and shows, most recently The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.