The Marvel Cinematic Universe has become a bit of a playground for Hollywood's more respected actors over the past few years. Between Michael Douglas, Robert Downey Jr., Glenn Close, Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell and the Olsen sister who isn't Mary-Kate or Ashley, there's a lot of A-list talent in the pot.
That talent pool will get even bigger when Sharon Stone joins the MCU. It won't be Stone's first time in a superhero movie. In case you were lucky enough to forget, she played the villainess (and cosmetics company CEO — what was DC thinking?) Laurel Hedare in the Razzie-winning bomb and minor camp classic Catwoman.
That movie did its very best to ruin the careers of everybody involved (watch the clip below and you'll understand why), and although Halle Berry emerged relatively unscathed, Stone took a breather from Hollywood.
But actors who appeared in dreadful comic book movies switching to a rival studio to right their wrongs has become a bit of a trend of late: Affleck from his Daredevil dud to DC's new Batman, Ryan Reynolds from Marvel to DC and back again with a lucky third try in Deadpool and Stone, who won a legion of male fans in the '90s with a certain leg-crossing scene in Basic Instinct, is the next to make the jump.
When she spoke to James Cordon last month on his late-night talk show, Stone made a point of referring to her unspecified role in a mystery upcoming Marvel movie as a "wee" part. The options are basically Spider-Man: Homecoming, Ant-Man And The Wasp and Guardians Vol. 2, but most of the cast has been revealed for the former and latter already, and the "wee" seems to be a tease about size, so it's a fair assumption that she's jumping on board the Ant-Man sequel, due 2018.
You probably recall the excellent scene (clip above) in Ant-Man which saw Scott Lang disappear into the Quantum Realm. During that sequence, we caught a brief glimpse of blur that looked unmistakably like a winged creature. That correlates pretty perfectly with the theory that the original Wasp and mother of Hope, Janet van Dyne, never actually died during the mission with Hank that went horribly wrong, but instead got lost somehow in the Quantum Realm.
Although we saw Hope receive her own suit (clip below) — a modified version of the costume worn by her mother when Janet was the Wasp — it could be argued that the title Ant-Man And The Wasp actually makes reference to the film's plot, specifically Scott and Hopes's investigation into the disappearance of Janet.
That, combined with the fact that Janet is a massively significant character across decades of Marvel Comics history (being a founding member of the Avengers, not to mention a boundary-pushing superheroine from a time when the majority of big-name heroes were guys), makes this a pretty juicy role for Stone to sink her teeth into.
Having been created in 1963, Janet was often written and drawn in a way that emphasized her sex appeal (even when it wasn't exactly practical to be parading around in skimpy, unarmored latex) and feminine personality traits (she's obsessed with fashion and changes her outfit constantly because, uhh, she's a woman and that's what they do.).
Considering all of Stone's most memorable roles have played in some way on her vast sex appeal (from Basic Instinct to Casino to, yes, Catwoman), there's potential for Marvel to subvert expectations here. Although fashion-focused, Janet is also a brave, fast-thinking and really quite badass superhero, and it would be smart if Stone's interpretation of Hank Pym's wife played up her intellect and her sense of adventure.
One theory I particularly enjoy is the idea that Janet, having been lost inside the Quantum Realm for at least 30 Earth years, could have become (the physical embodiment of) Eternity, an all-powerful cosmic entity which represents time itself. Inside the realm, time does not exist, so somebody lost inside it for half a lifetime, like Janet, could in fact have spent the equivalent of several thousand lifetimes in there.
Eternity is immortal, has the ability to manipulate space and time, and is essentially one of the most omnipotent forces in the universe. Good luck trying to explain that concept in a neat way in Ant-Man And The Wasp. Still, having a force capable of going toe-to-toe with Thanos in Infinity War would certainly benefit the Avengers.
Of course, I could be overthinking this. I'm probably overthinking this. Perhaps Stone will actually play Scott's therapist or something. But if Ant-Man and Civil War taught us anything, it's that we should probably have a little faith in Marvel.
Ant-Man And The Wasp hits theaters July 2018, preceded by the first in the two-part Avengers: Infinity War (to be retitled) on May 4, 2018.
Do You Think Sharon Stone Is Our Original Wasp?