Marvel may be about to recast this major Avenger; MCU star "stepping away"

One of the MCU's Avengers recently revealed that they are stepping away from Hollywood. Could Marvel have to recast the role?
Marvel Studios' AVENGERS: ENDGAME..L to R: Captain America (Chris Evans) in b/g Hulk (Mark Ruffalo, Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman)..Photo: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2019
Marvel Studios' AVENGERS: ENDGAME..L to R: Captain America (Chris Evans) in b/g Hulk (Mark Ruffalo, Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman)..Photo: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2019 /

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is no stranger to an ever-evolving roster of superheroes. The shared universe that began with Iron Man, Captain America, Hawkeye, Thor, Black Widow, and the Incredible Hulk has changed quite a bit since the first Avengers movie debuted in 2012, with old heroes departing and new heroes making their arrivals.

There was no greater example of that than Avengers: Endgame, which bid farewell to some of Marvel Studios' biggest actors while bringing the Infinity Saga to a close; all while setting the stage for a new generation of actors to craft the next iteration of The Avengers.

However, one of this generation's Avengers may have to be recast it seems.

Evangeline Lilly stepping away from acting

Evangeline Lilly has revealed that she is "stepping away" from acting for the time being. The actress plays Hope van Dyne, a.k.a. The Wasp, in the Ant-Man movies, and she recently took to social media to share the news that she would be taking a step back from "the obvious choice" of "wealth and fame" that acting brought with it.

She accompanied the post on her Instagram page with an old interview from 2006 in which she says her dream "in 10 years from [then]" would be to be a retired actress, perhaps even influencing people in a more humanitiarian way. The star is now looking to "live out [her] vision".

But she's not ruling out a return to acting in the future, closing out her announcement message with "I might return to Hollywood one day but, for now, this is where I belong". And with that, she finished her post by telling her fans that she is ready and happy for what comes next.

Lilly made her debut in the MCU in 2015's Ant-Man. She then reprised the role in 2018 sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp, as well as 2019's Avengers: Endgame. Her most recent appearance as the character came in 2023's Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, but the film was widely criticized for giving her character very little to do.

Naturally, Lilly's announcement throws the future of The Wasp into question.

Could Marvel recast The Wasp?

It's completely normal (and honestly understandable) for actors to take hiatuses from their job from time-to-time. Look no further than the star behind the MCU's original Wasp, Michelle Pfeiffer, who has taken a number of breaks from acting throughout her career. After doing something for so long, they are entitled to a break and if they don't want to perform during it, good for them.

Marvel is a bit of an anomaly though. When an actor signs on to play a hero or villain in one movie, it can be the beginning of a commitment to a franchise. While they aren't getting locked into the many, many appearances that the leads of the MCU had to commit to throughout the 2010s, there is still a strong possibility that Marvel Studios would need certain characters for certain movies. As a result, fans are wondering if this means Hope van Dyne would have to be recast if she returns in a future movie.

Evangeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne/Wasp in Marvel Studios' ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2023 MARVEL. /

Right now, there aren't any immediate plans to bring The Wasp back (rumor has it that Ant-Man 4 was cancelled after Quantumania underperformed), but as she is alive and well - and not-to-mention one of the first heroes to square off against new big bad Kang The Conqueror - it's more than likely that she will reappear at some point. The likely point will be a future Avengers movie.

According to reports, Avengers 5 is set to be a more contained story with less heroes, while the sixth film, Avengers: Secret Wars, could be the more large-scale super showdown to end the Multiverse Saga that fans are expecting. And that is likely where Marvel would need The Wasp to return.

Given that it would likely be a smaller role due to the the sheer size of an ensemble film like that, perhaps Lilly would consider returning for that one. After all, the film won't be released until 2027 and she did suggest that she could return to Hollywood one day.

If she decides against it, Marvel might have to recast. The studio isn't against doing that (as the two biggest recasts in the MCU are undoubtedly Don Cheadle replacing Terrence Howard as James "Rhodey" Rhodes and Mark Ruffalo replacing Edward Norton as the Incredible Hulk) but they would likely be reluctant to do so unless they had to. With that in mind, don't be surprised if we don't see Hope van Dyne in the MCU for some time to come.

The question is: When she does return, who will be playing her?

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