Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania Star Evangeline Lilly Says She Finally Gets Hope van Dyne

Production is currently underway on Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, the third film in the irreverent and action-packed Marvel saga. The film is set to see the return of a number of notable Marvel Cinematic Universe characters, including the co-titular lead Hope van Dyne / The Wasp (Evangeline Lilly). While Hope has appeared in several MCU installments already, fans have wanted to see more of her character — and according to a new interview with Lilly, that's definitely on the way. While speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Lilly revealed that the film is "a little over halfway through" production, and that she had a "eureka moment" with regards to Hope when initially reading the script.

"Hope is an odd enigma for me," Lilly explained. "I wish I could say otherwise because I want to honor her; I want to honor every character I ever play. But the truth is that I find it harder to know and understand Hope than any other character I've ever played before."

"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,'" Lilly continued with a laugh. "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. But I don't think anyone else will. 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."

Lilly has previously spoken about how she hopes to explore what Hope represents in the world of female action movie protagonists.

"I find myself pushing against this tough badass chick thing," Lilly explained in an interview with Beyond the Mouse earlier this year. "Which is really interesting because at the beginning of my career I was pushing that so hard. I was like Kate [from LOST] is going to be badass. She's going to keep up with all the guys. She is going to be capable and strong. And then this whole massive shift in the industry happened. Suddenly these characters were everywhere. I guess I must be a contrarian by nature. Because I find myself going 'well hang on a minute.' We're all so fragile and vulnerable and small and soft. And I find myself going 'Woah, we aren't supposed to just be men with boobs'. Like what does it mean to be a woman? That question of what does it mean to be a woman is extremely important right now. What I think is crucial is that we're exploring that right now through our stories... I'm really excited. I can't give anything away but I think, my hunch is, I may have manifested something in that space in the Marvel world with Hope Van Dyne. Because I think the direction we're going with her might be very satisfying for me in that way."

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania will be directed by Peyton Reed, and will see the return of Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man, Michael Douglas as Hank Pym, and Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet Van Dyne. Kathryn Newton will be playing a grown-up version of Cassie Lang, and Jonathan Majors will be portraying Kang the Conqueror.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is set to be released on February 17, 2023.