Ant-Man hotly contests Guardians of the Galaxy as the MCU’s jokiest film, but where the former was a heist movie, the latter is a space opera. These secondary genres, complementing the action-comedy that superhero films tend to embrace when run by Marvel, are important to the identity of the films.
That’s why when, in Ant-Man’s sequel, Ant-Man and The Wasp, that genre was initially reported as being that of a romantic comedy, it shaped how fans understood the coming movie. However, that’s turned out not to be the case.
In an interview with Empire Magazine, director Peyton Reed makes it abundantly clear that “it’s not a romantic comedy.”
"It was important to me, in this movie called Ant-Man and The Wasp, that she's not a supporting character,” Reed said. “She's a lead character. She's become a fully formed hero."
That means pigeonholing Evangeline Lilly’s Hope van Dyne as a mere love interest or a side hero in larger story like Black Widow doesn’t do her the justice she deserves (or, presumably, will receive in this movie). In fact, van Dyne could see her partner in crime-fighting as more of a liability than anything else. “The idea might enter Hope's brain: Does she need Scott Lang in her life?" said Reed of the story’s progression.
This story will explore “the different generations of Ant-Man and The Wasp,” doubling down on the themes of fatherhood and legacy that have been seen in Black Panther, Iron Man, and Guardians of the Galaxy, while also looking at more specific generational differences when addressing certain problems. With all that on top of the action — the shrinking, the growing, and the flying — there’s not much room to call the film a rom-com.
With Captain Marvel still a few years out, the Wasp is technically the first top-billed (well, co-billed) female hero in the MCU. To that end, Reed said he feels “a certain responsibility with The Wasp" to give her the gravity and importance one of the first female Marvel heroes deserves.