Director Payton Reed's sequel to his 2015 hit that introduced the smallest (and sometimes biggest) Avenger to the MCU seemingly takes place in the interim between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. The events of Civil War weigh heavily on Scott Lang; he was imprisoned in the Raft for his role in fighting for Team Cap and was subsequently freed by Steve Rogers before Cap sought refuge in Wakanda. It looks like Scott returned to his life in San Francisco and reunited with his beloved daughter Cassie before going on the run with Hank Pym and his daughter Hope Van Dyne.
In the opening moments of the trailer, Scott and Hope discuss the life-altering time he spent fighting with and against the Avengers:
Scott: "I just have one question: When Cap needed help, if I'd asked you, would you have come?"
Hope: "I guess we'll never know. But if you had, you'd have never been caught."
This dialogue is immediately followed by footage of Scott becoming Giant-Man in Civil War. Hope's prediction that if she had been with Scott, he never would have been sent to the Raft comes off as a potential clue and a compelling tease of what's to come in Avengers 4 next year: Will we get to see the superhero battle royale again in the fourth Avengers film, but in a different way? And is Hope wrong - will we eventually know what it would have been like if the Wasp had joined Ant-Man to answer Captain America's call?
Avengers 4 is expected to be different from the MCU's previous superhero team-up blockbusters because it will involve time travel. Summer 2019's biggest Marvel movie looks to revisit events from the MCU in prior films and key moments from the past. It may even alter the history we've already witnessed, to perhaps set the stage for the eventual coming of the X-Men and Fantastic Four. Regardless, there's going to be some timey-wimey shenanigans.
For Ant-Man, getting to fight alongside the Avengers in Civil War was a life-altering moment in his newfound career as a superhero. It opened the door to the wider Marvel universe for him and set the stage for his future to help the Avengers fight Thanos in the upcoming Infinity War. However, Ant-Man and Team Cap lost that fight and paid a heavy price for it.
Like Spider-Man: Homecoming did for Peter Parker, Ant-Man & The Wasp looks to delve into what that experience meant to Scott Lang and how it shaped him irrevocably; not just as a person but how it resulted in Scott's current status as a 'war criminal' in violation of the Sokovia Accords and a fugitive on the lam. Despite Scott's legal woes, it's telling just from his conversation with Hope in the trailer that he wishes he had asked Hope to fight at his side in Berlin. Hope could have made all the difference for him and changed the outcome.
Hope Van Dyne isn't expected to appear in Infinity War with Scott Lang so she's missing out on the next Avengers throwdown. But Ant-Man & The Wasp premieres two months after Thanos comes to assemble the Infinity Gauntlet and looks to have a major impact on the MCU. So it's not surprising Ant-Man 2 would tease the Wasp and get fans excited to see her in Avengers 4.
When Hope finally does meet the Avengers in 2019, it's possible it will involve going back to that fateful day in Berlin so that the Wasp can join the fray on the side of Team Cap. Then we could see a whole new, fun spin on Civil War, and maybe we will know if Hope was right that Scott would have never been caught if she'd been there. Whatever dire events happen to Ant-Man and the Wasp in their team-up, Avengers 4's time travel may even end up setting those wrongs right.
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