Marvel Studios announced that production began August 1 on Ant-Man and The Wasp, the 20th movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Ant-Man director Peyton Reid is returning to the director’s chair to film this sequel to the 2015 Ant-Man.  Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly will be reprising their roles as Scott Lang/Ant-Man and Hope van Dyne/Wasp. Also returning are fan favorite Luis, Scott’s former cellmate, played by Michael Peña, and Academy Award winner Michael Douglas as Dr. Hank Pym.

Also returning for Ant-Man and the Wasp will be Judy Greer as Maggie Lang, Scott’s ex-wife, the adorable Abby Ryder Fortson as Cassie Lang, Scott’s daughter, Bobby Cannavale as Jim Paxton, Maggie’s new boyfriend, and Tip “T.I.” Harris and David Dastmalchian as Dave and Kurt, Luis’ criminal cohort.  And who’s joining the cast for the new movie?  Michelle Pfeiffer (of Ladyhawke fame) will be co-starring in Ant-Man and the Wasp as  Janet van Dyne, Hope’s missing mother. Laurence Fishburne (Morpheus in The Matrix, Perry White in Man of Steel) will be joining the cast as Dr. Bill Foster/Goliath. Other additions to the cast will be Hannah John-Kamen as Dawn, codename Ghost (not an actual phantom),  Walton Goggins as Sonny Burch, and Randall Park as S. H.I.E.L.D. Agent Jimmy Woo.

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Randall Park, who played Louis Huang in FRESH OFF THE BOAT, will be SHIELD Agent Jimmy Woo in ANT-MAN AND THE WASP. {Image via ABC}

Jimmy Woo is one of Marvel’s oldest Asian-American characters.  He was created in 1956, as the hero of Yellow Claw from Atlas Comics.  He was later absorbed into the Marvel universe.  At first he was an FBI agent charged with finding and stopping the evil Yellow Claw, despite the conflict of  interest that he was in love with the Yellow Claw’s grandniece, Suwan.  He became a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in  Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #2 (July 1968).  Woo has been praised for being a  “positive exception” to the way Asians and Asian-Americans were usually portrayed in comic books.  The inclusion of Agent Woo, Luis, Dr. Foster, and Dave in Ant-Man and the Wasp might help Marvel with its diversity problem.

Captain America introduces Jimmy Woo to Nick Fury; Strange Tales (1951) #160 (Marvel Comics, 1967). Photo Credit: William F. Wu Comic Book Collection at the Fales Library & Special Collections, New York University.

Strange Tales (1951) #160 (Marvel Comics, 1967). Photo Credit: William F. Wu Comic Book Collection at the Fales Library & Special Collections, New York University.

The screenplay for Ant-Man and the Wasp is a committee effort by Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari, and star Paul Rudd.  Kevin Feige is the producer.  Executive producer Stan Lee will do a cameo.

Marvel announced:

In the aftermath of Captain America: Civil War, Scott Lang (Rudd) grapples with the consequences of his choices as both a superhero and a father. As he struggles to rebalance his home life with his responsibilities as Ant-Man, he’s confronted by Hope van Dyne (Lilly) and Dr. Hank Pym (Douglas) with an urgent new mission. Scott must once again put on the suit and learn to fight alongside The Wasp as the team works together to uncover secrets from their past.

Evangeline Lilly examines the Wasp armor.

Evangeline Lilly {image via Marvel}

Ant-Man and the Wasp is scheduled to open July 6, 2018.

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