Evangeline Lilly Is Stepping Away From Acting, So What Does This Mean For The Wasp In The MCU?

 Hope van Dyne watching her mother battle in Quantum Realm.
Hope van Dyne watching her mother battle in Quantum Realm.

In 2015, actress Evangeline Lilly starred in Ant-Man, the 12th of the Marvel movies in order, as Hope van Dyne, who ultimately went on to follow in her mother Janet’s footsteps and become The Wasp. Her Marvel Cinematic Universe introduction was followed by appearances in Ant-Man and the Wasp, Avengers: Endgame and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, giving her a decent run among the recurring actors in this franchise. However, now Lilly has announced that she’s stepping away from acting, which leads to one wonder what this means for Hope’s future in the MCU.

What Evangeline Lilly Said About Stepping Away From Acting

On her Instagram page, Lilly shared a video of her from 2006 when she was working on Lost, the popular ABC series where she played Kate Austen (who she had some problems with) for the entirety of its run. She was asked on the beach set as the sun was setting where she would like to be in 10 years, and although she was “terrified to admit this to the acting world,” Lilly answered that she’d like to be a retired actress, have a family, write and “influencing people’s lives in a more humanitarian way.” The video ends with a snippet from a Maya Angelou video, and with Lilly having accomplished the latter three goals she mentioned nearly 20 years ago, she’s now ready to move on from acting, though not necessarily permanently retire from it. As she wrote in the caption:

I am so filled with joy and contentment today as I live out my vision. Praise God, I feel so grateful for my blessings. Stepping away from what seems like the obvious choice (wealth and fame) can feel scary at times, but stepping into your dharma replaces the fear with fulfillment. I might return to Hollywood one day, but, for now, this is where I belong. A new season has arrived, and I AM READY...and I AM HAPPY. 🕊️💪🏽😊

Again, Evangeline Lilly isn’t saying that there’s no chance we’ll ever see her act again, but for now, she’s in a place where she feels comfortable pressing pause on this portion of her professional life. As a result, Quantumania marks her final acting project for now, but what will this mean for Hope van Dyne looking ahead at the upcoming Marvel movies?

How Will The MCU Handle The Wasp Going Forward?

When we left off with Hope at the end of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, she’d returned to the Quantum Realm to help Scott Lang defeat Kang the Conqueror, then the two of them were able to go back home thanks to Cassie Lang reopening the portal. The couple’s everyday life resumed without a hitch, though Scott began to wonder if Kang’s death would lead to a greater danger emerging.

There’s been no mention of Ant-Man 4 being in the works, and frankly, the chances of it moving forward would surely have dwindled given Quantumania critically and commercially underperforming. So as far as that particular MCU film series goes, the likelihood of Lilly coming back to reprise Hope van Dyne was already pretty slim. That said, Phase Six does have Avengers 5 and Avengers: Secret Wars coming up, and there’s always the chance that Lilly could have donned the Wasp suit again for brief appearances in either of those movies, just like she did in Endgame.

Now that’s off the table, so two options come to mind regarding how the MCU will handle Wasp going forward. First, and I suspect this is likelier, is that she’ll simply be written out. Ideally we’d get a mention of what Hope is doing these days or why she hasn’t returned for some battle that Scott may participate in, which is better than her just never being referenced again. The second option is that maybe Marvel will recast the role, assuming that there’s a story coming up that requires Hope’s presence and she can’t be substituted with another character? It’s hard to imagine that happening in something non-Ant-Man-related, but hey, Marvel’s surprised me many times before, so I won’t rule it out.

If there are any updates regarding Hope van Dyne’s status in the MCU, either onscreen or information passed along by someone high-ranking at Marvel Studios, we’ll pass them along. For, now, you can revisit the character’s previous appearances with your Disney+ subscription, and remember that the next MCU movie up is Deadpool & Wolverine, which arrives July 26.