The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has spawned several memes throughout its ten-year existence, but none as infamous as the "Thanus" meme from Avengers: Endgame. When asked about the meme in an interview, Ant-Man actor Paul Rudd says that he considers it a "lost opportunity".
Marvel superhero Ant-Man was introduced in the MCU in his 2015 solo movie starring Paul Rudd. While Ant-Man has had several iterations in the comics, Rudd would play Scott Lang, a thief turned hero when the previous Ant-Man, Hank Pym (played by Michael Douglas), gives him the Ant-Man suit. The suit gives Lang the ability to communicate with ants, shrink down to microscopic size and, in later MCU movies, grow to become several stories tall.
The "Thanus" meme was created when fans speculated how the Avengers would manage to defeat the supervillain Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. Some fans theorized that Ant-Man could kill Thanos by shrinking, crawling in his butt, and then rapidly growing in size. This meme received particular attention online due to its graphic nature and sheer ridiculousness. Major websites published articles and videos speculating the validity of the theory. Some dedicated fans took the theory particularly seriously, addressing the meme from a strictly scientific angle. Even Neil DeGrasse Tyson shared his thoughts on the meme. Rudd, who is known for his comedic background, does find the meme amusing. During an episode of First We Feast's Hot Ones, host Sean Evans briefly asked what he thought about "Thanus." He sighs, and says "I consider it a lost opportunity", much to Evans' amusement.
Paul Rudd isn't the only member of the MCU to react to the "Thanus" meme. Josh Brolin, who plays the evil Titan, responded to the meme in an Instagram video. Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame directors the Russo Brothers also like the meme, commending fans on their creativity. More recently, Endgame writer Christopher Writer directly addressed the meme, debunking it entirely. He argues that if Thanos is able to take a punch from a being as powerful as the Hulk, Ant-Man would die if he tried to grow in Thanos' butt.
Marvel Studios has not made any formal announcements about Ant-Man 3. Even though the Quantum Realm (a place featured heavily in both the first Ant-Man movie and its sequel, Ant-Man and the Wasp) was an integral part of Avengers: Endgame, Rudd isn't sure a third Ant-Man movie is being made. Rudd does have some major upcoming projects, including a starring role in the new Ghostbusters sequel. He is currently doing press for his new Netflix show Living with Yourself, as both the show's star and executive producer.
Source: First We Feast/YouTube
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