Are Villains Redeemable?
A Teachable Moment Behind the Scenes of Marvel’s ANT-MAN AND THE WASP
By Tom Snyder, Editor
An interesting issue came up during a press conference for Disney’s new Marvel movie, ANT-MAN AND THE WASP.
Actress Hannah John-Kamen, who plays Ghost, the female villain in the movie, said she likes the villains in the Marvel Universe because they’re different than the villains in many other movies.
“The villains are very redeemable,” she said, “because they’re fun, and you want to see them again.”
Hannah added that her villain is more of an antagonist to the heroes in the movie than a villain.
“I definitely approached the character not as a villain at all,” she said. Definitely a threat to the characters and the heroes of the movie. I guess when you play a villain, you have to play it like you’re the good guy and everyone else is bad. So, everyone else is the bad guy, and you’re the good guy.”
Actress Evangeline Lilly, who plays the movie’s titular female hero, The Wasp, chimed in by talking about her 7-year-old son.
“I have a 7-year-old son,” she began, “and he loves violent movies. He likes to taunt me by telling me, “Mom, I love violence,” because he knows I hate it. When he talks about good guys and bad guys in movies, I always feel a responsibility to clarify for him, ‘Honey, you know that there really is no such thing as a bad guy, right? They’re only just good guys who have made so many bad choices, they’ve forgotten how to make good choices. And, a true hero’s job is to remind them of their goodness, not to annihilate them, to kill them. It’s to help them redeem themselves.’
“I think that’s applicable to life,” Evangeline added. “Superhero stories are fun, and they’re a totally different world, but what I think is cool is that, to have redeemable villains, you’re teaching children that if you encounter somebody that might have a different opinion than you, that doesn’t mean they’re a villain. If they have a different objective than you, it doesn’t mean you should attack them. Maybe you want to try to understand them first.”
One of the best of all the modern superhero movies is SPIDER-MAN 2, where Spider-Man reminds Dr. Octopus of his inner goodness and gets him to turn off the machine that’s about to destroy the city and kill many people.
Of course, the ultimate superhero is Jesus Christ, who enlightens all people and offers redemption and abundant life to those who believe in Him.