In 2015, Ant-Man brought a new dimension to the MCU. Up until Scott Lang, the Marvel movies had been full of pretty traditional hero types: Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Peter Quill. Ant-Man took a totally different direction. At one time developed by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead), fans got a superhero movie that had more fun and took itself less seriously than than any had before.
So many comic book movies have been released in the past decade that an arc has taken shape, of statements and responses, choices and changes. Entire teams of directors, creators, and producers are imagining broader, more ambitious projects into life, and then separate teams of creators, directors, and producers are seeing those movies and working their asses off to outdo them. This is a process that's repeated itself dozens of times now.
In 2015, Ant-Man was proof of that conversation taking place, this year, Ant-Man and the Wasp will prove it again. 10 years ago, a cliche in superhero movies was an oxymoron, now there are multiple franchises dedicated to subverting audience expectations.
By definition we don't know what to expect, but in any case, here are 8 rumors we hope are true about Ant-Man and the Wasp, and here are 7 we hope aren't.
15 Hope - A Captain Marvel Cameo
While the long anticipated Captain Marvel (starring Brie Larson) movie doesn’t come out until 2019, some rumors have been floating about since last year that she may make an appearance sooner than that, through a particular link she has to Ant-Man and the Wasp. Both films will, reportedly, draw heavily on the Quantum Realm. Ant-Man just barely escaped in his last movie, after he over shrunk himself.
One of the few things that’s known so far about Captain Marvel is that it will feature the Quantum Realm as well.
Other reports have the MCU's first female led film being set in the 90s, so Ant-Man, The Wasp and the Quantum Realm may be the only links between Captain Marvel and the rest of the Universe.
14 Hope Not - Too Many Scott Lang Struggles
Paul Rudd is a hilarious comic actor. It also seems that he’s risen to the occasion and filled out a superhero suit. He might be too much of a normal person to play a convincing superhero though. Even a live action superhero portrayal requires a touch of the cartoonish. Mr. Rudd, with his shrugged shoulders and “Who? Me?” attitude, falls a little thin on super charisma.
It could just be the story Scott Lang has been working with so far. He says he just wants to see his daughter and be a good family man, but that journey doesn’t come across in that first movie very well. His family scenes are more at home in a Judd Apatow movie and don’t carry the weight to contrast with his Ant-Man life. Maybe in the sequel we’ll see more evidence of just how torn he really is, but let’s save the larger emotional beats for the entire cast.
13 Hope - Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne Full Flashback
During the Cold War, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) teamed up with Janet van Dyne to fight evil as the original Ant-Man and Wasp. We learned that Wasp was lost forever to a tragic over shrinking accident. It’s been confirmed that part of this movie will be the search for Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), hopefully that includes a healthy dose of flashback, so fans can see them both in action.
Ant-Man and the Wasp debuted on the page in 1962 and 1963, respectively. After more than 50 years, it would be great to draw a strong, legacy link between the old heroes and the new generation. Not many superhero movies are dealing with that issue at all, Ant-Man and the Wasp has a chance to blaze little bit of the trail here.
12 Hope Not - Classic Wasp Will Return as a Villain
The last time Janet van Dyne was seen on Earth, she was slipping through the molecules of a nuclear warhead to prevent mutually assured destruction. That was thirty years ago.
There is a theory out there that the Janet van Dyne who comes out of the Quantum Realm won’t be the same hero that went in.
In fact, she could even make a full flip over to the other side. Crossing over to villainy would add new layers to the sore family dynamics of the first movie, and it would bring new meaning to the title. A little bit of Cast Away is to be expected, but we hope Hope’s reunion with her mother is a smooth one.
11 Hope - Lots of Quantum Realm/Microversal Science Adventure
The MCU is getting quantum physical and metaphysical with this new sequel. The mystic arts were explored in 2016’s Doctor Strange and the Quantum Realm was defined a bit in the first Ant-Man, but this sequel is promising to play with it a lot more.
Rather than just being really really small, shrinking down into the Quantum Realm may also entail slipping between the fabric of realities. Doctor Strange’s Sling Ring travels through the Quantum Realm as well, a fascinating connection made between magic and science there (echoed in Thor). Most compellingly, this opens up a lot of possibilities for the ultimate powers of Ant-Man and the Wasp if they can learn to interact with or manipulate this Quantum Realm. As long as we don’t get too bogged down in physics babble, adding more science fiction to the MCU is a definite win.
10 Hope Not - Giant Man Saves the Day Again
The trailer gave away a shot of Ant-Man blown up to super size, inverting his shrinking powers to crush criminals. This unstable form was used to hilarious effect last in Captain America: Civil War; an instrumental tactic in that airport battle. While growing like that can, of course, be useful, we hope a fresh trope can culminate the climax of Ant-Man and the Wasp’s final battle.
Setting aside the novelty of a great amount of power in something as small as an ant, these movies also have a chance to be the smartest franchise in the MCU.
It would be a waste to reunite four heroes across two generations, set up so much time exploring the space between worlds and the advantages of altered perspective, and then resolve it all with a big, strong male, stepping on things.
9 Hope - The Wasp Steals the Show
Hope van Dyne (played by Evangeline Lily) already stood out in the first movie. Now, with the promise that she’s going to take up her mother’s Wasp mantle in order to rescue her, the new hero saving the original, audiences are getting an origin story unlike any they’ve seen. Plus, the trailer shows this Wasp to be equipped with shrink ray blasters and flight capabilities (much to Scott Lang’s chagrine), so along with this cool new character comes a cool new power set.
With all that in mind, fans are starting to assume that Lily will steal the show.
Of course, the MCU has yet to devote an entire movie to a female character, but this is will be the first one where ladies are playing a more than supporting role. All signs point to an equal power share between the Ant-Man and Wasp character, and Paul Rudd’s ant-sized ego should have no problem sharing the screen with Lily’s Wasp. This is exciting, fresh, territory for Marvel Studios.
8 Hope Not - Giant Wasp Makes an Appearance
Giant Wasp, now there’s a fresh trope. As amazing as it would be to see an Attack of the 50 Foot Evangeline Lily on a huge theater screen, this direction falls into the same traps as an over produced, under written special effects extravaganza. Amplified explosions and huge hominids losing their balance and falling into buildings. At least two good movies worth of Transformers footage and the entire genre of Kaiju have that market cornered.
Not to rule it out for the future. Imagine the poster with Giant Ant-Man and Wasp, standing behind tiny looking Avengers. In fact, producers in the MCU have already gone on record saying they'd like to bring the Giants back. For her cinematic debut, however, The Wasp packs all the punch she needs.
7 Hope - Fresh, Exciting Uses for Shrinking Powers
Director Peyton Reed, who helmed the first movie and now its sequel, often talks of the use of perspective and size that they play with in the films.
Ant-Man and The Wasp have always subverted classic superhero notions, taking advantage of being small, rather than big, strong and traditionally powerful.
The first movie proved that thesis really well; if one alters strategy, getting small and sneaking in and out under the wire is sometimes more productive than punching every problem away. For the follow up, we hope to see more inventive ways to save the day on a small scale. Slipping through molecules and jumping through keyholes is only the start, hopefully.
6 Hope Not - Goliath (Laurence Fishburne) Is A Villain
When the trailer showed a concerned looking Laurence Fishburne, it was really giving audiences a first look at Bill Foster, an old character from the comics who also fights crime under the alias Goliath. Like Hank Pym, Foster is a biochemist, but he’s obsessed with maximizing, rather than minimizing the space between molecules, in order to grow larger. Some theorize Bill Foster will break bad and use that obsession against our heroes.
Created in 1966, Goliath, or Black Goliath, has always been on the side of the good guys, acting as an extra member of the Ant-Team from time to time, then branching off on his own. It’s still not clear what his role will be in the movie, but hopefully he’s not just some crazy scientist trying to steal the Pym Particle.
5 Hope - Ghost is the Main Villain
Ghost made her first appearance in the trailer last week, looking only a little bit like a Star Wars Droid Army soldier with a hood on and this villain seems really promising. Played by Hannah John-Kamen, Ghost in Ant-Man and the Wasp has been gender switched, originally written as male in the comics. Adding to the increased female presence brought by Evangeline Lily and Michele Pfeiffer, John-Kamen will bring a great balance to this heroic tale of leading ladies, but that’s not even the most interesting thing about the character.
The back story and motivations are still a mystery for this new version of Ghost, but the powers should remain the same.
The robot suit Ghost wears enables her to shift between being intangible and invisible, meaning she has the option of being able to walk through locked doors (or, you know, anything), or become completely undetectable. Pretty useful skills for an elite hacker and master strategist.
4 Hope Not - “Romantic Comedy” Forces Chemistry
A lot of interviews and overviews have classified this movie as a romantic comedy. Absolutely understandable. The first movie confirmed a spark of some kind between Hope and Scott, while being quite humorous, so it makes sense that the next movie would follow both of those themes. But it’s 2018 and a superhero romantic comedy is going to have to do a lot to avoid an eye roll.
Rudd and Lily haven’t exactly made the screen sizzle, not to mention the MCU has had a mixed success rate with romance in the past. On top of that, this sequel is going to try elevate the heroine to a leading role. We hope it works out, but Ant-Man and The Wasp will have to find a fun, genuine, way to unite these two hearts and skip the part where they pretend to want to be a perfect couple.
3 Hope - More Insect Allies
A lot of science has already been confirmed for this movie, with quantum physics and atomic particles all over the place, but don’t forget about the ants! One way Ant-Man differentiates himself from small superheroes at other, distinguished, comic book companies, is his bond with the insect world. In the first movie it was presented as a scientific brand of telepathy that enabled a control, but also a mutual respect.
Along the same lines as Aquaman’s link to all sea creatures, the animal-human cooperation really warms the heart.
It’s also another beautiful subversion of tired superhero tropes to lean into bio-mimicry a bit, and learn from the animal kingdom to improve humanity. There’s no reason to turn it into a Captain Planet movie, but it’s refreshing to see heroes that strive to be more in tune with the world around them to find success.
2 Hope Not - Another, Gratuitous Avengers Cameo
As Marvel Studios enters phase three of their Universes, their tone is already shifting. Upon rewatch, fans will see a huge difference, not just in the effects, but in the way the movies connect and overlap now. The magic of the MCU, the connective tissue between the movies, has gotten more advanced with each iteration. One almost expects Netflix to link them all together so that as soon as you finish one, it starts counting down the next.
With that in mind, it would be nice to see an Avenger make a cameo in this movie that actually had some impact to it. In the first Ant-Man, Falcon just barely had an important role to play, but his sequence still felt out of place. No guest appearances have been confirmed yet, but hopefully they surprise us with a big tie-in; no smarmy Robert Downey Jr, no shawarma.
1 Hope - Time Travel Tie In With Avengers 4
The Ant-Man and the Wasp trailer opens with a what if, asking audiences to question the events at the end of Civil War had Scott Lang asked Hope van Dyne for help. The official synopsis confirms that the movie takes place right after Captain America: Civil War, but it’s being released more than two years later, after Avengers: Infinity War. Rumors have begun to circulate that time travel will figure into Avengers 4, coming out in 2019, but we may see some inklings of that story sooner. Ant-Man’s entry into the Quantum Realm will hold the key to all of this somehow, with some interviews alluding to a form of multiverse.
Maybe events in this movie will allow the Avengers to go back in time and undo a mistake they've made?
With the added revelation that the Captain Marvel movie is set in the 1990s, it’s becoming clear that the MCU is about to get really weird with their timeline.
What do you want to see in Ant-Man and the Wasp? Let us know in the comments!