Actress Michelle Pfeiffer, who plays Janet Van Dyne in Ant-Man and the Wasp, told director Peyton Reed that she originally thought that she would back out of the Marvel sequel after she signed on. According to Reed, Pfeiffer told him that she typically tries to back out of movies she has signed onto at the last minute, and it didn’t look like Ant-Man and the Wasp would be an exception.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Peyton Reed, who directed Ant-Man and the Wasp in addition to the original Ant-Man in 2015, revealed that he always envisioned Michelle Pfeiffer in the role of Janet Van Dyne in his movie. When the time came to actually cast Janet, things seemed to work perfectly as Pfeiffer actually agreed to the role. However, Reed started to become worried about her involvement when he actually sat down with the actress. Here is what he had to say.
“I had no idea if she would even be remotely interested in doing this kind of a movie again or how she’d feel about it. So, we met. She came over and sat in one of the conference rooms, just the two of us at Marvel and kind of talked through who Janet Van Dyne was in the comics and who she might be in this movie. She was really funny, because one of the first things she said to me, she was like, “You know. I’m going to tell you up front. My process on every single movie I have ever done in my career, I’ve tried to back out of the movie at the last minute. That’s just my M.O.””
Understandably, this was a huge concern for Peyton Reed, as casting anyone who admits they will most likely back out at the last minute is an enormous risk, especially with a project as large as Ant-Man and the Wasp. Reed knew he was in dangerous waters, and reacted accordingly.
“I said to her, “Is this your way to say you want me to woo you more? Is that part of the thing?” She’s like, “No, legitimately – yes, I want you to woo me more, but legitimately it’s that kind of thing [that I try to back out of roles].” … Then after meeting her, it became more and more, “Now I’m convinced if she doesn’t do it, I’m going to be a wreck.” We gave her some comics. I said, “You can scour the internet and do all the research you want, but it’s only going to get you so far, because the comics and that character started in the early ’60s. A lot of the stuff in the comics is really two-dimensional, if not one-dimensional, and we want to do something different. We talked about what it could be, and I wanted her input throughout in terms of the character, without giving too much away. But for me it was a thrill to be working with her because she is incredible.”
This is certainly an interesting report from The Hollywood Reporter, and regrettably sheds the actress in a different, more negative light. All in all, it’s fortunate that Pfeiffer chose to stick around for Ant-Man and the Wasp rather than ditching the project at the last minute as she said she might. Hopefully we will be able to see more of Pfeiffer in the MCU down the road. You can see Michelle Pfeiffer’s performance as Janet Van Dyne when Ant-Man and the Wasp hits theaters later this week.