Marvel Studios recast Cassie Lang for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania after her appearance in Avengers: Endgame, but why? During the first two Ant-Man movies, Scott Lang’s young daughter Cassie was played by Abby Ryder Fortson, but the five-year time jump in Avengers: Endgame meant that she was too young to continue playing the role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the first Cassie Lang recast, Emma Fuhrmann took over the role. As a teenager, Cassie Lang is in the perfect spot to become a superhero just like her dad. In the comics, Cassie Lang joins the Young Avengers and is known as Stature/Stinger/Ant-Girl.
Although Furhmann only played Cassie in two scenes, the decision to cast her for Endgame could’ve meant she continued playing the role in the years to come. Marvel Studios decided instead to recast Cassie for Ant-Man 3. The decision to recast Cassie Lang for Ant-Man 3 was revealed in late 2020 when Marvel unveiled new details about MCU Phase 4. Kevin Feige confirmed the film’s official title, as well as the returns of Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, and Michelle Pfeiffer – but not Fuhrmann. Kathryn Newton took over the role for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
Why The MCU Recast Cassie Lang
One of the main reasons Ant-Man 3 recast Cassie Lang was likely to get a bigger star in the role. Kathryn Newton is a rising star in Hollywood after roles in Freaky and Big Little Lies. She also has blockbuster experience from Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, which would be beneficial in Marvel’s eyes. Marvel likely wanted to secure a more recognizable name to play Cassie Lang going forward, considering that there should be a big MCU future ahead of the Ant-Man cast. Although in some instances of recasting, scheduling can be an issue, Fuhrmann didn’t have conflicting projects when Ant-Man 3‘s production took place. A potential caveat to this is that it’s possible Fuhrmann, 19 at the time of the recasting, may have been devoting more time to school than being on the set of a blockbuster movie would have allowed.
How Old Cassie Lang Is In The MCU
Now that Kathryn Newton is playing Cassie Lang, she is playing a character a few years younger than her actual age. Cassie Lang was born in 2007 in the MCU, which means she was 17 years old when Avengers: Endgame took place. It isn’t confirmed how long after these events Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania takes place, though all signs point to it being about two years later. In Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Cassie Lang is supposed to still be a teen. Kathryn Newton was born in 1997, a full 10 years before Cassie. Actors playing roles of characters considerably younger than them is nothing new, though. For example, Tobey Maguire was around 26 when he played Spider-Man, making him much older than Peter Parker’s age in the first Sam Raimi Spider-Man.
Why Cassie Lang’s Recasting Isn’t Weird
Despite the outcry from some die-hard MCU purists, recasting Cassie Lang makes sense from a behind-the-scenes standpoint. Marvel clearly has big plans for Cassie Lang, even if everyone is mum on a potential Young Avengers project in the future. Given that the MCU release slate is planned decades in advance, having a young actress like Emma Fuhrmann presents a risk – not due to experience, but because if Marvel has an MCU Stature or Ant-Girl movie or series pegged sometime after The Multiverse Saga, they want a name that’s likely to still be acting at that time.
Emma Fuhrmann is still in the early stages of her career and may decide that she wants to pursue a craft besides acting in the future (many young stars do). Kathryn Newton, on the other hand, already has several blockbuster appearances under her belt. The chances she’ll no longer be acting by the time Cassie Lang’s Ant-Man legacy MCU movie or Disney+ show is optioned are slim.
While age and experience should never be a barrier in Hollywood, an elevated role for Cassie in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania means a more experienced face was preferred. Scott was in the Quantum Realm for five years, and a lot changed, including Cassie growing into a young woman without him. Scott and Cassie rebuilding that bridge made for some emotional viewing. Kathryn Newton is as skilled an actress as she is a successful one. Her performances are consistently solid, even outshining heavyweights like Bill Nighy in Detective Pikachu. That’s true in the MCU as well. Newton’s performance helped to anchor the family dynamic in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania as the character struggled with wanting to be a hero herself.
Outside of Kathryn Newton, Cassie Lang isn’t the first recasting in the MCU. Most famously, Edward Norton was Bruce Banner in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk before Mark Ruffalo was recast in the role for The Avengers. James Rhodes, a.k.a. War Machine, was only Don Cheadle beginning in Iron Man 2. In the first Iron Man movie, Rhodey was portrayed by Terrence Howard. Some actors and actresses have played multiple parts too — Gemma Chan was the Kree warrior Minn-Erva in Captain Marvel long before her character Sersi in The Eternals was even guaranteed an MCU appearance.
Then, of course, there was the infamous Evan Peters Quicksilver in WandaVision bait-and-switch, which is easily the weirdest MCU casting controversy so far. All in all, the Cassie Lang recasting in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania isn’t the Marvel heresy some detractors online make it out to be. It makes sense from a production perspective and for the narrative, and it isn’t the first time a Marvel character has switched actors.
What Former Cassie Lang Actress Emma Fuhrmann Thinks Of The Recast
While Marvel fans could easily argue that the Cassie Lang recasting isn’t a big deal for the MCU, it was a big deal for actress Emma Fuhrmann. Fuhrmann didn’t know that she wouldn’t be appearing in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania until the announcement was made to the public that Cassie Lang was recast with Kathryn Newton. Despite her sadness at losing out on the next chapter of the role, Fuhrmann had kind words to share on social media right after the recasting announcement was made. Fuhrmann thanked fans for their support and explained that she was, “grateful to have been a part of the MCU & the biggest movie of all time,” referencing her scenes in Avengers: Endgame.
Since her role as Cassie Lang, Fuhrmann has appeared in a handful of television projects. Not being tied to the MCU might give her more freedom to take on a bigger variety of roles, but Fuhrmann did also share in her Twitter post that she would love to have another role in the “future of the MCU.”