Ant-Man 3's Evangeline Lilly Declined Hugh Jackman's Offer To Join The X-Men

Somewhere out there in the multiverse of every possible Marvel movie ever, Evangeline Lilly is flying around as an X-Woman rather than the Wasp. It could have happened in our world, but even with Hugh Jackman — Wolverine himself — extending Lilly an offer to join the X-Men, she turned it down, according to the actress herself in a new interview.

In the past, Lilly has spoken about how she was uncomfortable being thrust into the spotlight with her first movie or TV speaking role as Kate on ABC's "Lost." In 2018, while promoting "Ant-Man and the Wasp," Lilly told The Hollywood Reporter, "I ended up deciding to retire after I finished 'Lost.' I did a film called 'Real Steel' with Hugh Jackman and then I walked away."

It was only after two years of "having no contact with Hollywood at all" that director Peter Jackson lured Lilly out of retirement to play the Wood-elf Tauriel in "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." In 2015, Lilly showed up as Hope van Dyne in the first Ant-Man movie, and now her character shares co-billing with Paul Rudd's protagonist in the threequel "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania."

While making the media rounds in support of "Quantumania," Lilly recently appeared on the Happy Sad Confused podcast (via Entertainment Weekly), where she told host Josh Horowitz about the time she rejected Jackman's X-Men recruitment attempt to his face.

"When we were working on 'Real Steel,'" she began, "Hugh Jackman was like, 'Hey, so, the 'X-Men' guys are asking me if I would approach you because they know that you won't talk to anybody. They knew I was working with you and were interested to know if it would ever interest you to do an 'X-Men' thing."

'I feel like such a dick because I'm talking to an X-Men'

This interaction between Lilly and Jackman on the "Real Steel" set sounds like an awkward comic book scenario where Wolverine is asking the Wasp out on a date. Lilly was blunt in her response to Jackman's offer to join the X-Men:

"I was like, 'No. It doesn't interest me. I'm not interested. I was like, 'I feel like such a dick because I'm talking to an X-Men! The X-Men! And I'm telling him, 'No that doesn't appeal.' Like, what?! I felt so rude!"

Hearing this after seeing "Quantumania," it also sounds like Lilly is channeling a bit of Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton), who uses the word "dick" to describe one insufferable character in the movie. That character picks up the word and starts using it to self-identify, and based on the Super Bowl trailer for "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3," we'll be hearing even more of the word in the next addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, from the lips of Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) to the new Gamora (Zoe Saldana)'s ears.

Back in late 2021, Lilly used different vocabulary to describe Hope van Dyne, calling her "an odd enigma" and saying that the script for "Quantumania" gave her a "eureka moment" where she finally understood her character. I almost wonder if that moment got left on the cutting-room floor, because despite having her superhero name in the title, Hope somewhat takes a backseat to her mother, Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), in "Quantumania."

Lilly has spoken elsewhere about wanting to make an A-Force movie happen at Marvel, so maybe she'll have a chance to fly higher as the Wasp next time. Until then, you can see her in "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania," in theaters now.