The next MCU project to release, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania will be a "sci-fi" adventure that will explore Ant-Man (Scott Lang), the Wasp (Hope Van Dyne), and the Quantum Realm. On top of that, it will further cement Jonathan Majors' Kang the Conqueror as a force to be reckoned with.
The first two movies of the soon-to-be Ant-Man trilogy have tended to be lighter MCU stories than those of the Iron Man or Captain America trilogies, for instance. But moving into the third movie, Reed has indicated this may not be the case here.
Ant-Man 3's Avengers-Like Scale
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania director Peyton Reed, teased that the third installment in the trilogy will be more on the level and scale of an Avengers film than of the past two Ant-Man films.
Reed expressed that he was done with Ant-Man's stories being seen as "palate cleansers," and that he told as much to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige:
"People felt like, Oh, these are fun little palate cleansers after a gigantic Avengers movie. For this third one, I said, 'I don't want to be the palate cleanser anymore. I want to be the big Avengers movie.' [When telling him this] ... I metaphorically kicked in Kevin Feige's door."
Reed emphasized that Ant-Man would be going up against "the most powerful force in the Multiverse" in Kang the Conqueror. He revealed that the antagonist's "situation is a little bit different" than in the comics where he "has dominion over time," but that he will be a "formidable villain:"
"I grew up a real Marvel comics nerd, and there are a handful of antagonists in the Marvel comics universe who are all-timers. Loki, obviously. Doctor Doom from the Fantastic Four. And Kang the Conqueror. In conversations with Kevin Feige and Marvel, it was like, I want to put Ant-Man and Wasp up against a really formidable villain in this movie, and so we're doing Kang the Conqueror. In the comics, Kang has dominion over time, he's a time traveler. His situation is a little bit different in this movie, which I won't spoil for you, but he's someone who, [while] we live very linear lives, from childhood to death, Kang doesn't exist that way. It struck me as interesting to take the tiniest Avengers — in some people's minds maybe the least powerful Avengers — and put them up against the most powerful force in the multiverse."
Reed also expanded on what fans can expect regarding the Quantum Realm in the new film, and how this "incredibly complex subatomic world" will differ from the San Francisco setting of the first two Ant-Man movies:
"In the first one, we introduced the idea of the Quantum Realm, we kind of dipped our toe into it, and then even more so in the second one. But we obviously left a lot of unanswered questions. We wanted to go in a different direction, and create an epic movie where the bulk of it takes place in the Quantum Realm. For me, it was really exciting, because the other two films take place in San Francisco, and this one, we were creating this incredibly complex subatomic world, and all the environments and ecosystems and creatures and beings that inhabit that world."
Ant-Man Stepping Up to Avengers Levels
Reed's hope that fans see Ant-Man 3 as more than just a "palate cleanser," as well as his indications of this movie being among the ranks of the large-scale installments of the Avengers franchise can get fans excited to see Ant-Man and the Wasp on a whole new level.
The trailer shows people not seeming to pay Lang close attention, mistaking him for Spider-Man — a similar experience to how Reed describes many fans interacting with the first two Ant-Man films. As Ant-Man — both the trilogy and the character — steps up to face bigger threats than in the previous installments, everyone else — both audiences and in-universe characters — may begin to see him as the serious hero he can be.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania will be in theaters on Feb. 17, 2023.