Warning: SPOILERS ahead for Avengers: Infinity War.
Perhaps the most eagerly anticipated movie of 2018, Avengers: Infinity War has opened to grand acclaim. The movie was expected to do well, but few expected it to shatter the all-time record for earnings made during an opening weekend. Despite this and everything else the movie accomplished, there was one question that eclipsed all others once the movie was over: where were Ant Man & The Wasp?!
Scott Lang - the engineer turned thief who became the second Ant-Man - barely merited a mention in Avengers: Infinity War. It was said in passing that both he and Clint "Hawkeye" Barton managed to negotiate a plea deal that placed them under house arrest following their escape from prison in the closing scenes of Captain America: Civil War. No mention at all was made of Hope Van Dyne or Hank Pym, who developed the technology that allowed Scott to become Steve Rogers' secret weapon during the battle that split The Avengers.
It's no accident that Scott, Hope and Hank were kept out of the action during Infinity War. In fact, there are several reasons why Marvel Comics' smallest heroes were held in reserve to close out the 2018 release schedule.
Ant-Man & the Wasp Is Set Before Infinity War...
One important thing audiences must realize is that Ant Man & The Wasp is going to be set immediately after the events of Civil War, long before The Infinity War begins in earnest. We don't know the precise plot of the movie, but we do know that it will center around the problems that arise for Hank and Hope after Scott's actions exposed their technology to the world at large - no pun intended. We also know that the Federal Government will be chasing after Hank and Hope, along with at least one technologically empowered thief, The Ghost.
Given the timeline of events in Infinity War, it's not surprising that Scott and Hope might not be called in by Captain America to join The Battle of Wakanda. With the rush to action, Steve Rogers barely had time to get the allies that were with him to Wakanda, let alone start calling in the reserves. It's also clear that whatever happens in Ant Man & The Wasp will be kept low-key enough that it doesn't ping on the radar as everyone still thinks that Scott is living a peaceful life under house-arrest like Hawkeye.
...But Is Going To Set Up Avengers 4
Despite being kept apart from Infinity War, we do know that the events of Ant-Man and The Wasp will lead in to the fourth upcoming Avengers movie. The key clue to this is that Michelle Pfeiffer - who has been cast in the role of the original Wasp, Janet Van Dyne - is scheduled to appear in Avengers 4 along with Michael Douglas as Hank Pym.
The final fate of Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne is unclear (they may number among those erased by the snap of Thanos' fingers) but it has been confirmed that the classic Ant-Man and Wasp will be on-hand to join the rest of the original Avengers line-up from the comics, including Iron-Man, Thor and The Hulk. It is suspected that their fate - and the plot of Avengers 4 - may tie into The Quantum Realm, where Janet Van Dyne disappeared before the events of the original Ant-Man.
It is also speculated that The Quantum Realm may tie into the plot of the upcoming Captain Marvel movie. Like Ant-Man and The Wasp, Captain Marvel will also be set out of sequence with the movies that preceded it, acting as a prequel to the Marvel Cinematic Universe at large with its 1990s setting.
- 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