Ant-Man and the Wasp is gearing up to start production in Atlanta, so casting news should pick up over the next couple weeks. Director Peyton Reed has made one key addition in Randall Park, as reported by The Tracking Board. Park, who currently stars in ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat, will play James “Jimmy” Woo, a character best known in the comics as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Park is an awesome actor and a comedy veteran who should feel right at home in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In addition to Fresh Off the Boat, Park has starred in series such as Veep and films like Snatched and Office Christmas Party. It’s not difficult to see why Reed chose to add him, but it is tough to sort out exactly what Park will be doing as Jimmy Woo, or at least which organization will be his employer.
Ever since S.H.I.E.L.D. fell in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, MCU fans have almost exclusively seen the agency on television via Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC. Aside from flashbacks, like in Ant-Man, the only mention of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the movies since 2014 was a quick look at what S.H.I.E.L.D. is “supposed to be” in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
The addition of Jimmy Woo to Ant-Man and the Wasp begs the question as to whether or not S.H.I.E.L.D. will have a more meaningful presence in the movies once again. After spending a few years pretending it didn’t exist, S.H.I.E.L.D. is back out in the open on the television show, but influence doesn’t flow as freely from the small screen to the big screen as it does in the opposite direction.
After Captain America: Civil War, we know that someone is going to have to be enforcing the Sokovia Accords and that’s probably where Woo comes into the story. Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is a fugitive after siding with Team Cap (and being busted out of jail by Captain America), so there’s a good chance Woo could be the man assigned to bringing Lang back in.
That doesn’t necessarily mean Woo would be pursuing Lang as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. In the comics, Woo has also been a member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other organizations, so he’s hardly tied to one group. That said, if Nick Fury really is in 2019’s Captain Marvel, maybe S.H.I.E.L.D. actually can make a cinematic comeback.
Randall Park joins returning stars Rudd, Evangeline Lilly (Hope van Dyne), and Michael Douglas (Hank Pym). Ant-Man and the Wasp is in theaters July 6, 2018.