Original Avengers script featured Wasp – and Zooey Deschanel nearly played her

Zooey Deschanel in New Girl
(Image credit: Fox)

One version of The Avengers script featured Wasp instead of Black Widow, and Zooey Deschanel was director Joss Whedon's top choice to play her, a new book has revealed.

"It was all about The Wasp. He wanted to cast Zooey Deschanel," Marvel producer Jeremy Latcham told The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (via Slashfilm). "[Wasp] was the funniest character in the whole movie, and well-written."

Whedon added: "The Wasp happened because there was a short period where it looked like we weren't going to be able to get Scarlett [due to scheduling conflicts], so I was panicking. I thought, 'Hold on, we could do The Wasp.' Then I fell in love with that. But we did get Scarlett, and then I realized I had written this entire movie about The Wasp. Oops. I overcompensated there."

In reality, Wasp doesn't make her first MCU appearance until 2015's Ant-Man, in which she's played by Michelle Pfeiffer – Evangeline Lilly, Pfieffer's on-screen daughter, then takes on the mantle in Ant-Man and the Wasp. While Lilly appeared in Avengers: Endgame, Wasp still has yet to officially join the Avengers.

Of course, if Deschanel had starred in The Avengers, it's likely her career would have gone down a very different path – the Marvel movie started filming in 2011, which is when New Girl, the sitcom led by Deschanel, first arrived on the small screen. The show ran until 2018 and has been hugely popular. 

The next MCU adventure to hit the big screen is Eternals on November 5. In the meantime, make sure you're up to date with our guide to Marvel Phase 4.

Entertainment Writer

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections. I help bring you all the latest news and also the occasional feature too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.