Bobby Cannavale isn’t sure if he’s returning as Officer Jim Paxton for Ant-Man 3, but if he is, Marvel could make his character much more complex.
Marvel already has plans for Ant-Man 3, but actor Bobby Cannavale still is unsure whether he’ll be appearing in the franchise again. Cannavale has made many appearances in television shows like Mr. Robot and BoJack Horseman. Yet, within the MCU, he is most well-known for playing the character Jim Paxton, a police officer married to Scott Lang’s ex-wife Maggie and stepdad to Lang’s daughter Cassie.
After the relative success of Ant-Man and The Wasp, it became clear that Marvel would produce a third film in the franchise, though the details of this third movie are still being revealed. Beyond the action sequences, the Ant-Man movies tend to deal with big family themes, which is how Jim Paxton and the rest of Ant-Man’s family become involved in the story. Over the past few films, Jim and Scott’s relationship has become more friendly, which means that Jim has gotten to play a more significant role in the story.
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While giving an interview for Fandom, Cannavale revealed that though he knows some things about Ant-Man 3, he does not know yet whether he’ll be making an appearance as Jim Paxton. The actor stated that he expected Marvel to begin production on Ant-Man 3 next year, but the production has not yet contacted him. However, Cannavale seems confident that he’ll be making at least a small appearance. “I think Ant-Man 3 is going next year, and hopefully, I’ll be in it. I better be in it. I’ve gotta get on my phone and call Paul [Rudd] right now, actually…” Cannavale says in his interview.
While Jim Paxton may be returning as a character for Ant-Man 3, the role he will be playing is less clear. In the past films, Jim has played a police officer, but since the widespread Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality earlier this year, viewers’ relationship with cop characters has changed. Many other films and television shows have had to rethink how they present police officer characters to their audience. Shows like the crime drama Lucifer have taken direct steps to address racial injustice, while the future of other police shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine is less clear.
As for Ant-Man 3, the characterization of Jim Paxton could go one of two ways. On the one hand, the writers could continue their sympathetic portrayal of Jim, writing him to be a “good cop” and only making slight nods to the Black Lives Matter movement. On the other hand, this could be an excellent opportunity for the writers to take Cannavale’s character and make him more complex. Ant-Man 3 could create tension between Scott and Jim, who might have different ideas of what “proper law enforcement” really is. Addressing Jim Paxton’s status as a police officer doesn’t have to be problematic; it can be a way for Ant-Man 3 to address deeper themes about justice and protection that Marvel hasn’t explored before.
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