Ant-Man may be the little guy, but his third movie is the biggest one yet. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is the first of Marvel’s Phase 5 releases and there’s a very good reason for that.
Director Peyton Reed spoke to Lifehacker Australia while he was in Sydney and explained why Ant-Man 3 is a “depth charge” to the MCU and whether it will be the last one starring Paul Rudd’s tiny but mighty hero.
How Quantumania sets up Phase 5
In Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), Cassie (Kathryn Newton), Hank (Michael Douglas) and Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) find themselves trapped in the mysterious Quantum Realm. Down there, one of the biggest villains the MCU has ever seen awaits them in Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conqueror.
According to Reed, it was Kang that made Ant-Man 3 the right one to kickstart Phase 5.
“The introduction of Kang the Conqueror, as we start Phase 5, is a real sort of depth charge to the MCU,” Reed said. “He’s different than Thanos because there are variants, and there’s a seemingly infinite amount of variants.”
While Quantumania is still an Ant-Man family story, Jeff Loveness is the writer for both this movie and the upcoming Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, meaning the events of this film have big potential moving forward in the MCU.
“Our movie focuses on Kang the Conqueror, the sort of prime Kang. But Jeff Loveness, who wrote our movie, is off writing Kang Dynasty right now. So it’s something we all talk about, sort of the possibilities and what’s going to happen in the future,” Reed explained.
“It’s a very exciting thing that I can say very little about publicly, but for me, as a fan of the comics and of that character, this feels like oh, this makes sense. This is cool. This gives a real direction and cohesion to Phase 5.”
Will Ant-Man 3 be the last one?
Speaking of the future, many of Marvel’s heroes seem to only make it to three solo movies before tapping out or moving on (think Iron Man or Captain America). Could this be the swan song for Ant-Man?
Reed shared that he always approached the Ant-Man films as a trilogy and wanted Quantumania to be the biggest and best of the three.
“I think in the back of your mind, for an optimistic person, you’re like oh, it would be great to do a trilogy of these movies. I grew up with trilogies, Back to the Future, Star Wars, the Indiana Jones trilogy,” Reed said. “So to me, it’s like I treated this like a three act structure of this story.”
“There were things in the first movie and the second movie we set up that I really wanted to pay off in this movie – character-wise, environment-wise – and to have it culminate with this encounter with this big villain,” he continued.
“I really I thought about this as the trilogy capper… the third movie in a trilogy is not always the best. I thought let’s flip this, let’s make this [one] the most epic, but also the most intimate, that deals with things on a grand scale, but really strengthens and broadens those family dynamics and the character.”
“So I always thought of it as a trilogy in that way.”
Thor: Love and Thunder exists so it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to think that Ant-Man and Wasp could return in a fourth Marvel movie, but that all depends on how things end in this one.
Audiences can find out when Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania releases in Australian cinemas on February 16.