Peyton Reed, director of Ant-Man and the Wasp, discussed some of Marvel Studios' choices regarding the title characters' appearances in other movies, in a new interview.
Reed explained (via IGN) that it was important to make Ant-Man and the Wasp its own movie, different in scope and tone from Avengers: Infinity War . As a sequel to Ant-Man, the focus had to stay on the main characters and how they developed in their own journey, rather than how they supported the crossover storylines of the MCU.
After debuting in his solo film, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) made an appearance in Captain America: Civil War when recruited by Steve Rogers to join the fight against his former teammates. Fans have been waiting since then to see him again, although his absence in Avengers: Infinity War was accounted for onscreen by other characters referring to his criminal record and his choice to put his family first. Previews for Ant-Man and the Wasp have also made some tongue-in-cheek references to Scott entertaining himself during house arrest while the Avengers are occupied with the fate of the universe.
The use of his Ant-Man and the Wasp co-star, however, presented a different challenge. Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) was introduced alongside Scott in Ant-Man, but the reveal that she would become the superhero Wasp didn't come until a post-credits scene, in which her father shows her a costume like the one that her mother once donned. That meant that Hope's next appearance in the films had to be her debut as the Wasp.
While this could have happened in an ensemble movie, Reed said, "There simply wasn't screen time to do justice to that character, so we've done it here."
Now that Ant-Man and the Wasp are both getting their due time in the spotlight, there may be all kinds of opportunities for the characters to appear in future MCU movies - if Reed can bear to let them go. "Whenever these heroes pop up in movies I'm not involved in, I get jealous," he joked. "The Russos [directors of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War] and I still have a thing about it."
Ant-Man and the Wasp will be released to theaters on July 6. It is directed by Peyton Reed and stars Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly, as well as Bobby Cannavale, Michael Peña, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Judy Greer, David Dastmalchian, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, Hannah John-Kamen, Randall Park and Walton Goggins.