One part of the film that has gotten lots of criticism was the ending of the film, which many felt was lackluster, and inconsequential. Scott and Hope simply get rescued with little effort, and Kang is conveniently sucked into his own Multiversal engine.
Some felt like something more weighty should have happened—such as a death, or a less tidy conclusion.
The Problematic Ending of Quantumania
In an interview with Fandom, Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania writer Jeff Loveness spoke about the complaints regarding how the film ended, with many fans feeling that it was rather too easy and inconsequential.
Loveness defended their chosen outcome, specifically noting that had Scott gotten stuck in the Quantum Realm, it would have been “exactly what happened at the end of the second movie,” setting them up for the same situation that started Avengers: Endgame:
“I kind of love the ending that we landed on. I hear what people are saying, but I feel if you just strand Ant-Man in the Quantum Realm again, that is exactly what happened at the end of the second movie, and the way out of it is exactly what happens in ‘Endgame’.”
Director Peyton Reed added that he loved the idea of Scott being “an open book” at the beginning of the movie, contrasting with his family, who are all “keeping secrets from him:”
“Personally, for our heroes, I like the idea that at the beginning of the movie, Scott is literally an open book. He’s told his story to the world through his book. And it’s the other members of the family that are keeping secrets from him.”
Reed elaborated on the many secrets going around during the film:
“Janet is keeping secrets about the Quantum Realm and what her life was like down there. Hope and Hank are keeping secrets from Scott about what they’ve been working on with Cassie in the basement. Cassie has been keeping secrets from her dad about ‘Oh, you were in jail before? What?’
But then the end of the movie flips the script and has Scott keeping an important secret:
“So everyone’s keeping secrets from Scott, and then you wind up at the end of the movie, and everybody’s secrets are out. Except now Scott has a secret. And it’s this self-doubt about whether he’s actually vanquished Kang. That seemed like a cool structure.”
In a conversation with IGN, Loveness went back to the possibility of trapping the film’s two heroes in the Quantum Realm, making it clear that “[he’s] happy where [they] landed:”
“We talked about [Scott and Hope getting stuck in the Quantum Realm. Certainly, when you’re writing these things, you go through so many permutations and so many versions. I think I’m happy where we landed because I get the idea of being stranded, and it is powerful, and it’s cool. But at the end of the day, we just couldn’t shake the feeling when we were pitching it out and gaming it and trying to make it when you’re just breaking story.
In fact, the writer noted that he thought “it actually felt more revolution to have Scott win:”
“So it actually felt more revolutionary to have Scott win. But that victory comes with a cost of this guy who starts out so carefree and thinks his hero's life is over. He’s willing to go to the mat and he’s willing to sacrifice himself, but his family saves him.”
Loveness compared it to “Frodo going back to the Shire” in Lord of the Rings:
“It’s like a ‘Frodo going back to the Shire’ thing. It’s like, ‘Oh, he’s back,’ but he’s not the same guy anymore. And that carefree attitude is gone. And now he’s keeping secrets from his family. And now I think the fun potential – I don’t want to spoil anything – but it’s like, ‘oh, the guy who literally saved the universe in the last phase in ‘Endgame’ is now potentially the guy who fucked the multiverse going forward.’“
He elaborated on how Scott’s angle is currently like how Janet was, where she came back and just wanted to focus on her life right then and there:
“He’s in a place of uncertainty, and he is trying to eat his feelings and bury it. Much like Janet coming back, it’s like, ‘I can’t think about it anymore. I just want to have a life right now. I just want to be with my daughter.’ I think on second viewings and all that, those themes might cement a little more, but I like where we landed.”
Avoiding Endgame Circumstances
Jeff Loveness certainly has a good point when it comes to getting awfully close to the second movie and Endgame. While the ending fans got didn’t have much of a bite, it did avoid some fatal repetition that could have easily harmed The Kang Dynasty to a notable degree.
Based on accurate plot leaks ahead of the film’s release, fans also know that the ending of the film was adjusted last minute, which resulted in the final product. Both Scott and Hope did originally get stuck in the Quantum Realm, and Kang even escaped.
In reality, though, Loveness and Marvel set themselves up for some sort of failure either way; it was a lose-lose scenario. The ending audiences got set up with repetitive plot beats, while the tidier ending would have lacked any true consequence.
The only way to have made a less problematic ending would have been to have entirely different circumstances in the first place.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is now playing in theaters worldwide.