Ant-Man & The Wasp doesn't include any of the Avengers, which is exactly what director Peyton Reed wanted. Closing out Marvel Studios' 10th anniversary year, the forthcoming sequel will see the return of Paul Rudd's shrinking hero, Scott Lang, and introduction of Evangeline Lily's the Wasp - the MCU's first female co-headlining superhero. Together the two, alongside Michael Douglas' Hank Pym, attempt to save Michelle Pfeiffer's Janet van Dyne from the Quantum Realm, while also dealing with mysterious villain Ghost, played by Hannah John-Kamen.
The first Ant-Man was a pretty standalone movie as most Marvel origins story are, with only a brief appearance of Falcon/Sam Wilson. Having said that, it included some narrative tie-ins to the bigger franchise thanks to Hank Pym's connection to S.H.I.E.L.D. and Scott's heist operation at the Avengers facility in upstate New York. Reed reveals that in Ant-Man & The Wasp, they continue to tell a self-contained movie, and this time, fans shouldn't expect to see any familiar faces outside of the Marvel subseries because there are no Avenger cameos in the film.
Speaking with CinemaBlend while doing press activity for Ant-Man & The Wasp, Reed explains the rationale behind his decision to not include any Avengers in the movie despite crossovers being the ultimate benefits of a shared cinematic universe. And while his creative choice was partly affected by the sequel's timeline in conjunction to when Avengers: Infinity War takes place, the director adds that he also wanted to emulate how old Marvel comic books do storytelling.
I always envisioned this as a standalone movie. Obviously when you see the movie you'll see how it ties into the larger universe, but I like that Hope and Scott and Hank are operating in this little corner of the universe. And then you sort of... you know how it ties into the larger thing, you know the timeline, but they're doing their own thing over there.
And I like that because it reminds me of the Marvel comics where you have the Avengers doing something here, and Spider-Man is doing something, and Black Panther is doing something, and Iron Man... they've got their own thing. And then there's cross-pollination. And this felt like we had already set up... we had enough characters to service in this movie. It was exciting just telling the Scott-Hope partnership story, [which] was a big deal. And introducing Wasp. That to me was exciting and a big responsibility.
It will be interesting to see how Reed is able to pull off a completely contained narrative especially since Scott has already established a connection with Team Cap in Captain America: Civil War. One of the biggest criticisms of Iron Man 3 was its lack of a narrative link to the bigger Marvel universe despite coming off of the events of The Avengers. There wasn't any help from other heroes other than War Machine even though the United States was supposedly dealing with a ruthless terrorist and even after Tony's Malibu home got attacked - certainly enough reason for the remaining Avengers to reconvene.
However, despite not featuring any other heroes outside of the Marvel sub-franchise, Ant-Man & The Wasp is expected to play a major role in MCU's storytelling for Avengers 4 with the full introduction of the Quantum Realm. Also called as the Microverse, the alternate dimension is poised to be a potential gateway for the remaining heroes to travel through time in an effort to ultimately defeat Thanos and restore peace and order in the universe. Fortunately, fans won't have to wait too long to find out with the movie set to debut later this week.
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019