We’re fast approaching the premiere of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, the third film in the Ant-Man saga and the 31st film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The film will feature the return of Scott “Ant-Man” Lang (Paul Rudd), Hope “Wasp” van Dyne, former Ant-Man Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), and former Wasp Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer). All four will be dipping back into the quantum realm for a bigger adventure.
A lot of time has passed since the last time we saw Ant-Man. The last Ant-Man movie was 2018’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp”; his last appearance was in 2019’s “Avengers: Endgame”. Scott’s life has changed dramatically between those two movies. Scott was stuck in the quantum universe for five years during the Thanos snap, finally escaping in the first act of “Avengers: Endgame”. He returned to a world where his daughter grew up, and Hope, Hank, and Janet were all snapped out of existence. After defeating Thanos, all of them would return. Of course, there’s still work to do after their experiments in the quantum realm were interrupted.
The quantum realm adventure is sure to be a trippy experience. Past Ant-Man movies have touched on the surreal nature of what lies in this dimension of unknown terror. Audiences got a brief glimpse of it during 2015’s “Ant-Man” and got a heftier dose of it in the thrilling escape climax of 2018’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp”. We also know that Scott and Janet have some experience with this realm, having been trapped there for several years. Janet, in particular, has spent the most time there, and her dark history with the population will play a crucial role in this sequel.
The trailers have already revealed that this will be one of the essential films going forward with the continuing MCU story. This is mainly because the film will feature the return of Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors). Kang previously appeared in the Marvel TV series Loki. He was revealed in the final episode of the season to be the creator of the Time Variance Authority, who was killed by Loki’s variant and altered the fractured timelines. More of Kang’s influence will be explored in the second season of Loki, which is currently in production.
Quantumania will feature Kang’s return that, according to director Peyton Reed, will feature a much different version of the one that appeared in Loki. His plans during the events of Quantumania will put in place his plans to become an even greater villain for the entire MCU timeline. This is a big deal considering that Kang will play a heavier role in the future Avengers movie, “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty”, set to debut in 2025. So if you’re looking for the more essential Marvel movies that will play a crucial role in future Avengers movies, this one should be at the top of your list.
But Kang is not the only villain in this film. Also appearing in the quantum realm will be M.O.D.O.K. (Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing), the big-headed mutant genius. M.O.D.O.K., being a cyborg, specializes in futuristic and advanced technologies. So it’s safe to say that Kang might rely on his expert knowledge of developing machines to gain firmer control over time. Here’s the strange thing: M.O.D.O.K. is being played by Corey Stoll, who you might recall from the first Ant-Man movie playing Darren Cross, the greedy executive who would become the villain Yellowjacket. So M.O.D.O.K. may be a mutation or reincarnation of Darren in the quantum realm.
We’ve also seen in the trailers that the quantum realm isn’t just a place of unbound chaos but home to a community. The city of Axia is revealed in a few clips and its governor, Lord Krylar, played by Bill Murray. Other realm characters will include the telepath Quaz (William Jackson Harper) and freedom-fighter Jentorra (Katy O’Brian).
The trailer seems to suggest that will be a trilogy closer, similar to 2023’s other Marvel trilogy closer, “Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3”. Could there be a chance not everybody survives in this entry? It seems possible, but so much of this film seems like it will set up for an even bigger story involving Kang in both the second season of Loki and the next Avengers movie.
We’ll just have to wait and see what secrets the film holds when it hits theaters on February 17th, 2023.