An iconic Marvel superhero will show up in Ant-Man, but in a small (no pun intended) way. Potential spoilers ahead!
Stop reading here if you don't want to know anything about the plot of Ant-Man, but if not ... read on!
Collider reports that Ant-Man will feature a quick cameo appearance from Janet Van Dyne, aka the Wasp, who in the comics was the wife of the original Ant-Man, Hank Pym, and along with her husband a founding member of the Avengers.
With the Ant-Man movie focusing more on latter-day Ant-Man Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and featuring Hank (Michael Douglas) in a mentor role, fans have been wondering if Janet, an important figure in the Marvel canon who can shrink, fly with insectoid wings and fire bioelectric energy blasts -- while also dealing with her abusive and manic depressive husband -- would ever get any kind of introduction into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Well, she does in the movie ... sort of. Janet appears in a flashback, and we don't even see her fully -- we just see her eyes inside her husband's Ant-Man suit before she is either killed or lost in the microverse. But whatever happens to her is a big reason why Hank Pym is reluctant to put on the suit again and is dismissive of superheroes, as producer Kevin Feige said in an interview from the set:
...we will see Janet Van Dyne in action in this film. And part of sort of what happened to her. And then we will understand why that is the reason that he doesn’t want his daughter to follow in those footsteps. (It's) one of the reasons why he’s always so upset about superheroes in general, dismissive of them in general and also a reason why he doesn’t want her to put on the suit.
His daughter, as we know, is Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and there has been speculation that she, in fact, could become the Wasp, a notion that Feige doesn't dismiss:
Hope is infinitely more capable of actually being a superhero in the beginning of this film, and we learn sort of that that’s ultimately when Hank reveals for the first time for the audience, and even the first time to Hope, what actually happened in the past and why he’s so nervous about putting on that suit. But there are things that we see towards the end of the film that indicate she could, she could get one of her own.
Since all we see of Janet is her eyes, no actress was officially cast in the role. But if Janet is not confirmed dead either, the door is always open for her to reappear somewhere down the line -- even if her daughter takes over the Wasp identity. We'll know more when Ant-Man comes out on July 17, but are you glad to hear that the legacy of the Wasp will be acknowledged in the movie?