Ant-Man and the Wasp opened in theaters this weekend and while it has been received as more lighthearted and self-contained installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it may set the groundwork for several next steps in Marvel Studios' grand plans.
Ant-Man and the Wasp's story is a race against the clock to save the original Wasp, Janet van Dyne. When you break the story down and remove the science fiction elements it is actually a relatively simple plot. Our heroes need a handful of items to achieve their goal. Two other groups of characters require those same items for opposing ends. The three competing groups grapple for control of the item, gaining and losing the items multiple times over, while the clock continues to tick down.
But within that plot are several ideas that are interesting but are also too large to steal much of the focus in the film. Hank Pym has a long and sordid history with SHIELD, even more so than fans were led to believe by the first Ant-Man movie. The new villain, Ghost, isn't what many were expecting and there seems to be plenty of stories left to tell with her. The Quantum Realm is literally an almost entirely unexplored dimension, and then there's the matter of Avengers: Infinity War, the snap, and the future of the Avengers.
All of these glossed over plot points suggest potential opportunities for Marvel Studios to continue building the Marvel Cinematic Universe in new films. Here we've picked out seven of the most promising ways in which Ant-Man and the Wasp can lead into future Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. Keep reading to see what they are, and let us know what you think of these ideas in the comments!
Marvel's Ant-Man and the Wasp is now playing in theaters.
So where does the Ant-Man series go next? Well, Scott Lang actually got a business off the ground in Ant-Man and the Wasp, so why not follow up on that.
In the film, Scott and Luis launch X-CON, a security business with the other members of their reformed criminal crew. The setup isn't too far removed from the setup of the 2015 Astonishing Ant-Man comic book series by writer Nick Spencer and artist Ramon Rosanas, in which Scott Lang recruited low-level villains Hijacker, Whirlwind, the Beetle, the Voice and the Magician into Ant-Man Security Solutions. Even Cassie Lang, Scott's daughter, got in on the action as Stinger.
It wouldn't be hard to adapt the Astonishing Ant-Man concept into a film showcasing Scott and his friends in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.prevnext
Ant-Man and the Wasp introduced the villain Ghost into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While the MCU's Ghost is quite different from the Marvel Comics villain she's based on, they do share an identity, and that Marvel Comics character was a member of the team known as the Thunderbolts.
The Thunderbolts are essentially the Marvel Universe's answer to DC Comics' Suicide Squad, a team of villains either trying to redeem themselves or avoid prison by acting as a government response force.
Ghost is hardly the only member of the Thunderbolts to show up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A Thunderbolts movie could serve to elevate B-list villains or antihero characters from the Marvel Universe into stars the same way Guardians of the Galaxy turned B-list cosmic characters into popular heroes.prevnext
A SHIELD Prequel
Hank Pym's history as a SHIELD scientist and the first Ant-Man continues to provide insight into what SHIELD was like decades before the Marvel Cinematic Universe launched with Iron Man.
In Ant-Man and the Wasp, we learn a bit about Pym's contentious working relationship with his peers. One of those peers is Bill Foster, who thinks Pym is an egomaniac. Another was Elihas Starr, a colleague who was either a traitor or an innocent man ruined by Pym's smear campaign.
Ant-Man and the Wasp
That leaves a huge opening for a SHIELD prequel film that could feature Pym, Foster, Starr, and present an opportunity to see more of Peggy Carter. In addition to fleshing out these relationships and the MCU's history, it could also touch on important social issues. That Pym succeeded as a white man while Foster, a black man, and Starr, a white man with a black wife and child, were sidelined could provide context that can be used to explore racial discrimination.prevnext
Scott Lang may not be the only superhero in his family. Ant-Man and the Wasp showed that Scott's daughter, Cassie, is already growing to admire her father's superhero lifestyle. Can it be long until she steps up as a hero in her own right?
In the Marvel Comics universe, Cassie goes on to become Stature, a superhero with the ability to grow to immense sizes much like Giant-Man. She joins a team known as the Young Avengers that consists of the young heroes Patriot, Iron Lad, Wiccan, Hulkling, and Hawkeye, each of whom has connections to Avengers past and present.
With Ant-Man and the Wasp Marvel may already be sowing the seeds of his next generation of Avengers.prevnext
Let's be honest here. Marvel Studios currently has no practical plans in place to bring the X-Men and the Fantastic Four into the Marvel Cinematic Universe because that deal still isn't finalized and so taking measures to move forward would be premature.
That said, is it likely that Kevin Feige has thought about how he would execute the introduction of the Fox-held heroes into the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Almost certainly yes.
Ant-Man and the Wasp provides a launchpad for that in the form of the Quantum Realm, a dimension that seems to house all manner of secrets. Could the Fantastic Four be hidden down there somewhere? Could it be the catalyst that triggers the appearance of the X-gene? The possibilities are endless.prevnext
The idea of an all-woman Marvel team-up movie has come up frequently in interviews recently, and Ant-Man and the Wasp provides that team with more viable members.
Hope van Dyne was already an obvious candidate for any female fighting force in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, though that role was certainly solidified by Ant-Man and the Wasp. The return of Janet van Dyne also means that there's a more experienced hero who can help guide the new team, and a reformed Ghost could be an interesting addition as well.
Having the Wasps team up with Black Widow, Captain Marvel, Scarlet Witch, and other heroines from the Marvel Cinematic Universe could be an empowering statement from Marvel.prevnext
This one may seem fairly obvious, but it's important. The fourth Avengers movie is, of course, going to focus on concluding the saga of Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet, but Ant-Man and the Wasp goes a long way towards helping solidify Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne as the major parts of the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.1comments
What will the Avengers look like after the sequel to Avengers: Infinity War?
In the comics, Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne were both founding members of the Avengers. They missed that opportunity in the MCU, but perhaps they can play a role in rebuilding the team in the aftermath of Thanos' attack.prev