Due to Hailee Steinfeld being an Academy Award-nominated actress and her body of work, there's no doubt she was a huge get for Marvel Studios.
Marvel Tested Ant-Man 3 Star for Hailee Steinfeld's Kate Bishop
At the time, Newton was known for HBO's Big Little Lies, Blockers, and Pokemon Detective Pikachu. She would go on to star opposite Vince Vaughn in 2020's Freaky.
Renner: “Director Fury sent you."
Newton: “Wow. Who?”
Renner: “He knows where I live. Fury.”
Newton: “Oh. Oh. You mean Mr. Good Eye. No.”
Renner: “Yeah, he loved you.”
Newton: “Like I said, I was on a rooftop at Third– There’s more cookies. Oh my god.”
The fact Newton was screen tested alongside Hawkeye's Jeremy Renner suggests she was a top contender for Kate Bishop.
According to Reed, audiences would want a grown-up Cassie to be "a bright, optimistic person in the way that Scott Lang is:"
“Audiences who have a relationship with young Cassie, Abby Ryder Fortson, who played her in the first two 'Ant-Man' movies, I feel like they want to know that the daughter of Scott Lang grows up to be funny and grows up to be a bright, optimistic person in the way that Scott Lang is. That was really, really crucial for this movie."
The full clip of Newton's Hawkeye screen test footage can be watched below:
Reed explained how he saw "Kathyrn [Newton] in a screen test that she had done for another Marvel role." In addition to her "brightness," Reed acknowledged that Newton is also "an athlete."
Plus, due to Ant-Man 3's story, he needed someone who "could really, really hang with Scott" and "spar with Paul Rudd:"
"And I’d seen Kathryn [Newton] in a screen test that she had done for another Marvel role… It’s like, ‘Wow,’ she has this brightness to her. She’s funny. She has this youthful optimism about her. And also she has the physicality. She’s an athlete. So I really wanted someone who could do all the physical demands that that role required. And Kathyrn was just terrific. For a lot of the movie, our heroes are split up. And Scott and Cassie are on one side of the story. So, I needed someone who could really, really hang with Scott, because it was important for the dynamic of the movie. So I needed an actor in the role to play Cassie who could really spar with Paul Rudd.”
From Kate to Cassie & What Could've Been
Even though Hailee Steinfeld ultimately beat Kathryn Newton for the role of Kate Bishop, it's fascinating to discover Newton had been on Marvel Studios' radar before Ant-Man 3 and that a Hawkeye screen test ultimately won her the role of a different MCU heroine.
It's also intriguing to see Kathryn Newton playing a different character and what her version of Kate Bishop could've been.
Peyton Reed's comments were particularly revealing in that they shed new light on why he chose Newton to play an older Cassie, a decision which raised some eyebrows considering she replaced Endgame's Emma Furhmann.
Now that Marvel fans know the MCU's Cassie could've been Kate, the two characters crossing paths in a potential Marvel crossover will be all the more interesting to see.
Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania and Marvel Studios Assembled episodes are available to stream on Disney+.