Good news, members of the Merry Marvel Marching Society: Hank Pym, in the Ant-Man movie, appears to be a bit of a jerk, thus staying true to his character. Bad news, though, is that Janet Van Dyne might be getting the shaft so Marvel can avoid some awkward moments.
Michael Douglas, in this Entertainment Weekly interview, essentially revealed that his wife is out of the picture by the beginning of the movie:
My name is Dr. Henry Pym. I’m an entomologist. I’m also a physicist and I discovered in 1963, a way, a serum to reduce a human being to the size of ant maintaining the strength. Not only that, but I was able to find a way to communicate with the ants. But unfortunately during this process, a tragic personal accident happened with my wife, my daughter, Evangeline, Hope. So I’ve had to pass my powers and strengths onto a mentor.
Granted, this doesn’t rule out a Wasp appearing: Hank Pym doesn’t have a daughter in current Marvel continuity, just a son via a Skrull impersonator who knocked up Tigra (don’t ask.) But it does seem to rule out the Wasp, Janet Van Dyne, which will substantially irritate fans.
Why would Marvel excise a character beloved by their fanbase and one of the founding members of the Avengers, not to mention one many associate with the team? Well, there’s one rather glaring reason we can think of:
Yeah, part of the reason they’re just skipping over Hank entirely and making Scott Lang their Ant-Man is that he’s mentally unstable and a domestic abuser, and Janet is largely defined by Hank, the loving husband who, uh, experiments on her with radical genetic therapies and untested technology. Yeesh, Hank, stop taking good husband tips from Reed Richards.
And to be honest, as beloved as the Wasp is as a character… she’s useless in the movies. She can get tiny, fly, and shoot electric blasts out of her hands, and the Avengers already has a superheroine who is technically mortal but can go hand-to-hand with alien invaders and survive. Granted, Janet is also one of the few Avengers who can solve a problem other than by punching it, and she can grow to enormous size in a pinch, but the Janet Van Dyne Mysteries don’t sync well with the Avengers punching things on the big screen.
In short, instead of dealing with the potential issues involved in injecting mental illness and domestic abuse into a string of action movies, Marvel has chosen to anger a bunch of nerds who will go see the movies anyway. Eh, maybe she’ll get her own TV series. We’d watch the Janet Van Dyne Mysteries.