Ant-Man and the Wasp is a film remarkably self-contained as compared to other entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Yet even with the tight focus on the titular characters, the film subtly lays the groundwork for some big things going forward -- including the introduction of the Young Avengers.
Warning: SPOILERS for Ant-Man and the Wasp follow.
The father-daughter relationship between Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and his daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson) is one of the highlights of Ant-Man and the Wasp, but there's more there than just an emotional center for audiences to identify with. In Ant-Man and the Wasp, Cassie makes no secret of her desire to follow in her father's footsteps as a hero. Not only do we see Cassie adventuring with Scott in an elaborate play set fashioned out of cardboard boxes and designed to allow Cassie to partner with "Ant-Man" with the power of imagination, but in one touching scene she very directly tells Scott that he needs a partner -- her. Scott gently dismisses the idea, citing that letting his daughter join him as a superhero would make him a terrible father and, near the film's end Cassie seems to have accepted that Hope van Dyne/Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) is a suitable replacement.
However, with Hope and her parents Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) killed thanks to Thanos' Infinity War snap and Scott trapped in the Quantum Realm, young Cassie may have just been given the impetus to become a hero herself. As it's been established that Scott is honest with his daughter about his work as Ant-Man it's not unreasonable to think that he told her some basics about what he was doing to help Ghost/Ava Starr (Hannah John-Kamen). Realizing that her father is trapped in the Quantum Realm, young Cassie may very well devote herself to figuring out how to rescue him learning about Pym tech and exposing herself to particles in the process.
With so many of the world's heroes gone, an older Cassie and others like her may find themselves stepping up to help a world changed by the Snap. It could even lead to Cassie teaming up with her father, too, should Scott find a way to escape the Quantum Realm. Ant-Man and the Wasp did establish that the rules of time don't work in the Quantum Realm the same way that they do in the real world -- and there's even a line in the mid-credits scene where Janet warns Scott to avoid a "time vortex" while in the Quantum Realm. With Scott potentially having a new understanding of how to use the anomalies of the Quantum Realm as an advantage, Scott teaming up with Cassie and "Young Avengers" to attempt to undo Thanos' devastation is a tantalizing possibility for Avengers 4.
It's also one that would make sense. In Marvel Comics, Cassie Lang was a member of the Young Avengers as the hero Stature with size manipulation powers like those of her father and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has said that there's interest in taking a cue from the comics and bringing the Young Avengers to life. He recently told Heroic Hollywood that the success of Cloak & Dagger and The Runaways have given some sign that the Young Avengers could work.
"Well...sure," Feige said. "And both of those you just mentioned we talked about for a long time and they went over to be successful TV shows. We've always been fans of Power Pack and figuring that out. And yes. So... where and when we would see the evolution of that? I don't know. And certainly -- taking our cue from the comics as we always do -- that's why we wanted Cassie, a very young Cassie in this movie, to be inspired by her father. Just planting seeds."
Beyond Feige's comments about the Young Avengers, there have been casting rumors that an older actress has been cast for Avengers 4 in the role of a more mature Cassie Lang. Back in April, a report suggested that Emma Fuhrmann had been cast as a teenaged Cassie for the film. At the time it was speculated that it could represent time travel being part of the upcoming film's plot, though it could just as easily fit the idea of a time jump in which a new generation of heroes step up to help those left behind as well as open the door for the MCU to continue on with the familiar heroic names and concepts fans know and love no matter how Avengers 4 plays out.
Do you think Ant-Man and the Wasp sets up for the introduction of the Young Avengers to the MCU? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Ant-Man and the Wasp is now playing in theaters.
Other upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies include Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, the fourth Avengers movie on May 3, 2019, Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 5th, 2019, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2020.