WARNING: Spoilers for Ant-Man & the Wasp.
Ant-Man & the Wasp's end-credits scene has some serious implications for Avengers 4 and the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Avengers 4 is the culmination of everything the MCU has been building to so far, and the two films directly before it - Ant-Man & the Wasp and next year's Captain Marvel - are key final pieces in setting that up.
For the most part, the Ant-Man sequel is a standalone adventure. Scott Lang's antics as Giant-Man in Captain America: Civil War set up the plot - he's under house arrest while Hank and Hope are on the run - and S.H.I.E.L.D. plays a key part in creation of villain Ghost, but there are no Avengers cameos a la Falcon in the first Ant-Man and scant little mention of what's going on outside of the San Francisco Bay area. The two post-credits scenes, however, explain exactly why.
In Ant-Man & the Wasp's mid-credits scene, Scott Lang travels back into the Quantum Realm to collect Quantum Particles to help Ghost stabilize her phasing abilities while Hank Pym, Janet and Hope van Dyne man the controls. When he calls to come out, however, there's no response. The camera cuts to the real world, revealing that Hank, Janet and Hope have been turned to dust as a result of Thanos' snap: the climax of Avengers: Infinity War has been unfolding alongside this stinger, with Thanos' victory killing the only people who can help Scott escape the Quantum Relam.
The after-credits scene continues the Avengers: Infinity War aftermath exploration. It jumps to the Lang house, with a TV displaying an emergency broadcast and alarms in the distance before panning around to show the giant ant, still following Scott's daily routine by playing the drums.
Ant-Man & the Wasp's End-Credits Scenes Set Up Avengers 4's Time Travel
Obviously, there are some big implications for Avengers 4 from the Ant-Man & the Wasp after-credits scenes. Hank, Janet and Hope join the many other dead Avengers who fell to Thanos' Infinity Gauntlet, meaning they are going to take a backseat for most of the film. Of course, it is widely accepted that the snap will be somehow reversed and most if not all of the characters will be resurrected; the "Ant-Man and the Wasp will return?" coda to the movie definitely suggests that.
The bigger tangible impact, though, is on Scott. He survived the snap but is now trapped in the Quantum Realm with no way out. However, we know from Avengers 4 art that Ant-Man is a key member of the team in the next movie, meaning that he will escape at some point. There are multiple theories as to how: before he went in, Janet mentioned time vortexes, something Scott could use to escape; the 1990s-set Captain Marvel will also deal with the Quantum Realm, and if she travels to the present via the microverse she may come across Scott along the way.
Notice that both of these theories seem to center on some form of time manipulation - travel or seeing the future. Avengers 4 is widely expected to be a time travel movie and currently, all signs suggest Quantum Realm is the key. This makes Scott being trapped there incredibly important: he's likely to be the one to discover that Earth's Mightiest Heroes can travel back and attempt to undo Thanos' snap. It's even been suggested that part of Doctor Strange's endgame plan required Thanos winning while Scott was trapped and discover this.
Since Ant-Man & the Wasp released, we've written full features about the discussed theories and what they mean for Avengers 4. You can check them out below:
- How Ant-Man and the Wasp Connects To Infinity War
- How Ant-Man & the Wasp Connects To Captain Marvel
- How Ant-Man & the Wasp Sets Up Avengers 4
- Ant-Man & The Wasp May Have Already Explained Avengers 4's Time Travel
- Fans Think They See Thanos in Ant-Man & The Wasp's Post-Credits Scene
- Captain Marvel May Be The Key To Ant-Man & The Wasp's Ending
- Avengers 4 Theory: Ant-Man & The Wasp Started Doctor Strange's Endgame Plan
- 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 05, 2019