Despite the mixed critical response to Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, many reviews singled out Michelle Pfeiffer for turning in one of the film’s best performances as Janet van Dyne. The sequel notably gave Pfeiffer’s character a much larger role to play following her way-too-brief appearance in Ant-Man and the Wasp in 2018. However, some fans observed that the latest movie failed to acknowledge the superhuman abilities that Janet somehow picked up during her 30-year exile in the Quantum Realm. But screenwriter Jeff Loveness has a pretty good reason for why they didn’t make the final cut.
Janet’s quantum-based powers were first glimpsed near the end of Ant-Man and the Wasp, when she used them to help Ava Starr/Ghost control her own erratic phasing abilities. While speaking with Backstory Magazine (via CBR), Loveness revealed that Janet’s powers were supposed to come into play in Quantumania’s as well. In fact, they even shot at least one scene where she used them again. Unfortunately, too many audiences seem to have forgotten that Janet had these gifts in the first place. And this became evident when Marvel began hosting test screenings for the film.
“Janet’s got obviously those healing properties,” said Loveness. “But I looked it as more of like, less healing, and more of like, ‘Oh, she’s got a bit of that inter-dimensionality phasing as well, and she was able to almost, like, stabilize Ava.’ We wrote that. It was in there, and I think it just it was just confusing the viewers in our test screenings [who were] like, ‘Wait, she has phasing powers?’”
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Loveness also described a moment where Janet would have used her powers to get her family out of a jam. In the end, the scene was edited to cut down on the amount of exposition (something Quantumania still got dinged on regardless). But it sounds like the phasing process exacted a heavy toll on Janet’s physical state.
“We had Janet with a bit more superpowers,” continued Loveness. “And I think it was a bit too much shoe leather to explain. If you watch closely, if you go back to watch the movie, there’s a part where, like, they just landed [in] the jungle and Janet pushes [Hank] against the tree and says, like, “Do not move,’ and the light goes over them. I think it’s clever editing. But in the script, that was like, she phases them out of sequence. So the scanner misses them, because she phases them both out, and it really hurts Hope and Hank. And Janet’s in a lot of pain.”
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is now playing in theaters everywhere.
Were you hoping to see Janet use her powers again in the sequel? Let us know in the comment section below!
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