Ant-Man and the Wasp Makes Major Character and Story Changes in Mid-Credits
As mentioned prior, there's several major developments that come out of Ant-Man and The Wasp's mid-credits scene. However, none of them are as big as the decision to effectively kill three of the main characters. Hope, Hank, and Janet all get dusted courtesy of Thanos, setting the stage for their absence in most of Avengers 4. The problem is, this is a completely different jumping off point to Ant-Man and The Wasp's actual ending. The movie itself closes on a positive note for all of these characters, meaning that the credits actually alter the arcs of key characters and overall mood of the film - something that becomes problematic when only part of the audience saw it.
Their deaths aren't the only changes though, as Ant-Man is now trapped in the Quantum Realm with no way out. Without Hope, Hank, or Janet to pull him back out of the microverse, that presumably means it'll be where Scott enters the fray in Avengers 4. While beginning in media res will no doubt quickly get casual audiences up to speed, it's an unavoidably big development to hide after the credits.
Speaking of the followup to Avengers: Infinity War, this scene also may set up some major ideas for Avengers 4. With Ant-Man trapped in the Quantum Realm, he may have years to explore and gain a better understanding of it and everything it holds; Janet blatantly name drops the idea of time vortexes prior to Scott going back into the realm, and it's already been theorized that these vortexes could be the key to Avengers 4's time-traveling story. There's a chance that all of this is covered (again) when Avengers 4 begins, but making it the film's actual ending would solve many of these potential problems and serve as the true wrap up to the characters' arcs.
Was Ant-Man and the Wasp Not Given a Cliffhanger Because of Infinity War?
Marvel Studios typically leaves audiences on a high after they've experienced a two-hour blockbuster full of action, heart, and humor. Those elements are all still part of Avengers: Infinity War, but it is a much more dour film overall. As it was the last movie to come out prior to Ant-Man and The Wasp, the decision to make the scene in question part of the credits could be as simple as Marvel not wanting to properly end two consecutive films on a cliffhanger.
Ant-Man and The Wasp is similar to the original in its low-stakes, high-comedy approach too (something that made it an ideal Avengers: Infinity War follow-up). The franchise is the lightest to come out of Marvel Studios, so there may be some merit to the thought that the cliffhanger ending was nixed because it didn't fit with the tone of the rest of the movie. Even though the scene contains vital information for audiences about the film's main characters, there's a converse risk that it could've felt out of place, something that is considerably more detrimental in the moment.
When Avengers 4 rolls around next year and begins to pick up on the storylines that Ant-Man and The Wasp's mid-credits scene introduced, then maybe we'll have a better grasp at why this decision was made. Until then, it's a strange decision, one that is all the weirder when most Marvel fans would have been more than happy with a return to the giant ant playing the drums.
- 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