The plot of Ant-Man and the Wasp could have a surprisingly big impact on the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The sequel to Paul Rudd's starring vehicle as the title character is due out next July, only two months after the premiere of the much-heralded Avengers: Infinity War and only one summer before the as-yet untitled fourth Avengers movie. With Infinity War grabbing most of the MCU buzz and installments like Thor: Ragnarok and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 racking up the commercial success and critical acclaim, the Ant-Man sub-franchise seems to have fallen to the back-burner of the MCU consciousness.
Still, there was one aspect of Ant-Man that could turn out to be more important than you think. The debut of the subatomic quantum realm - and Scott Lang's ultimate survival of it to return to the macroscopic world - will again play a major role in Ant-Man and the Wasp, and it could also significantly impact future films across the MCU that come after it.
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Vanity Fair published a wide-ranging series of Q&As with stars of the MCU, frequently attempting to extract whatever information they could about the future of the mega-franchise. One of the biggest details came from Evangeline Lilly, who plays Hope van Dyne and the other title character in Ant-Man and the Wasp (although Michelle Pfeiffer's Janet van Dyne may have something to say about that). She hinted at the quantum realm becoming a bigger part of not just the Ant-Man sequel but potentially Avengers 4 and other future MCU films. Here's what she had to say:
"When I heard about Infinity War and the direction that they’re heading, I did have this moment of realizing, oh, wow, there’s a bit of a déjà vu for me with the Lost franchise. We are hitting that [Lost] Season 4 space where everything’s about to shift, and you’re about to lose the solid ground underneath you. And [Ant-Man and the Wasp], of course, will play a part in that. ... Those characters are experts in the quantum realm. In Ant-Man and the Wasp, they are trying everything in their power to safely enter the quantum realm and return back from it because they have evidence from the first film that Scott Lang was able to do that. If he can do it, why can’t we? If we do succeed in Ant-Man and the Wasp,then that does open a whole entire new multi-verse to enter into and play around in. I’m not the story creator, so I can’t tell you what they’re going to do with that. But I definitely see the potential there."
Disney CEO Bob Iger also told Vanity Fair that the next phases of the MCU will look to explore "worlds that are completely separate from the worlds we’ve already visited." The quantum realm would certainly fall into that category for almost every other Marvel hero. It's the kind of multi-verse that would make perfect sense for Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to travel through at some point, considering he kind of already did in his first solo film.
Lilly's comments suggest that the increased use of the quantum realm in Ant-Man and the Wasp will lead to greater changes to future Marvel movies than may have been expected. As one of the only movies sandwiched between the next two Avengers films (Captain Marvel being the other), it sounds like it will be pivotal to the conclusion of Phase 3 - and, with 20 more movies planned for after Avengers 4, potentially way beyond that.
Ant-Man and the Wasp hasn't garnered near the level of attention that the Avengers sequels have, and Lilly's massive hints show that ignoring her films' role in the grand scheme of the MCU would be a mistake. It remains to be seen how the use of the quantum realm plays out in Ant-Man and the Wasp, but Disney and Marvel Studios are ostensibly making a huge bet that the sequel will be a success and a worthwhile pillar for the franchise as a whole.
Source: Vanity Fair
- Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019