Ant-Man and the Wasp is definitely expanding the number of size-changing heroes we have in the MCU. Obviously, Evangeline Lilly’s Hope Van Dyne will finally suit up as the titular heroine, just as her mother Janet (as played by Michelle Pfeiffer) will return from the Quantum Realm. But there’s also Laurence Fishburne, who’s crossing over from the DCEU to play Bill Foster, the man that comic book readers will know as Goliath, the giant-sized superhero.
Bill and Hank Pym are old friends in the source material, but it looks like the new movie will shake up their relationship somewhat. While speaking with Screen Rant during a recent set visit, Ant-Man and the Wasp director Peyton Reed explained the shared backstory that Foster and Michael Douglas’ Pym have. It turns out that they used to be colleagues at S.H.I.E.L.D. but something happened between them and Bill went into teaching.
“Bill’s a former colleague who really was involved early on with Pym in a thing called Project Goliath and their lives have taken these kind of divergent paths and when we find Bill Foster in this movie, he is teaching quantum physics at Berkeley… They were both involved with S.H.I.E.L.D at some point, but one guy’s sort of stepped away and taken a more academic approach.”
Over the years, their former partnership has given way to a rivalry over their varying methods of exploring the Quantum Realm. Reed compares it to that between tech giants like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. The director also said that Fishburne’s casting was key in finding someone who could “go toe-to-toe” with Pym and be equally as formidable.
“I liked the idea from the beginning, especially having Michael and Laurence Fishburne, of these guys who are sort of scientific rivals and when we’re — that’s really the rivalry and we always talked about sort of a Steve Jobs/Bill Gates kind of thing. Two scientists who are both geniuses in quantum physics and quantum mechanics, but maybe have a Mac/PC rivalry about what the approach to delving into the Quantum Realm might be. So, I also like the idea of with those two actors, especially with Fishburne, like, someone who’s gonna actually go toe-to-toe with Michael in terms of who’s the smartest guy in the room? That struck me as something really fun and you know, to give Hank Pym a foil in this movie in that way.”
We can infer from the director’s comments that Foster could well play an antagonistic role in the sequel. Clearly, when Pym and Foster reunite in the movie, things won’t be congenial between them. It then depends where the story takes them – if their feud continues, Foster might ally with phasing thief the Ghost, who’s attempting to steal Pym’s tech. Otherwise, the pair might bury the hatchet and work side by side once again.
We’ll find out what happens when Ant-Man and the Wasp arrives in US theaters on July 6th.