Marvel Studios officially teased the future replacement of Paul Rudd's Ant-Man in the MCU.
A key part of Phase 4 has undoubtedly been the introduction of numerous generational heroes, those who are next in line to take up a notable mantle.
Hawkeye introduced Hailee Steinfeld's Kate Bishop, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier set up Sam Wilson to be the new Captain America, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever had Shuri take on the titular role—to name a few examples.
But with Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania just around the corner, fans are worried that Kathryn Newton's new role as Cassie Lang might signal the end of Paul Rudd's time as the now iconic size-changing hero.
The Next Generation of Ant-Man
In an interview with Inverse, Marvel Studios creative executive Stephen Broussard commented on the next iteration of Paul Rudd's hero.
After declaring that there's no Young Avengers project in the works, Broussard admitted how a lot of Phase 4 was about introducing the next generation of heroes.
According to the Quantumania producer, that concept is "very germane to the Ant-Man film," explicitly noting how Cassie Lang is "more of like the new Ant-Man:"
“I think it’s very germane to the 'Ant-Man' film because it’s a generational film... the Ant-Man mantle gets passed down from Hank to Scott and now essentially to Cassie, who’s almost more of like the new Ant-Man, even though she doesn’t go by such, more so than the new Wasp.”
Speaking about her character with The Hollywood Reporter, Cassie Lang actress Kathryn Newton pointed out that the newly introduced hero "kinda wants to be like her dad:"
“Well, I can say that what I felt so far is the fans really love Cassie, and I think we’re in a new phase of Cassie. We’re seeing a new version of Cassie, and she’s changed. She’s an independent girl, she’s impatient, and she desperately wants to use her huge heart for good, and kinda wants to be like her dad, but she’ll never admit it.”
So what does Paul Rudd have to say about being replaced? Well, previously, in an interview with Empire Magazine, the star made it clear that he "think[s] there's more story to tell there" with his own Ant-Man.
Additionally, regarding his future, the star joked about how Marvel Studios is "having those conversations in rooms that [he doesn't] have keys to."
Who Might Step Into Ant-Man's Shoes?
Many might still assume Quantumania is setting up Kathryn Newton's Cassie to replace Ant-Man, but it's worth noting how it doesn't quite go like that in the source material.
In the comics, Cassie never serves under the mantle of Ant-Man. Instead, she becomes her own hero, usually going by the moniker of Stinger or Stature.
When it comes to the MCU, it would be far easier to lean on her being a proper replacement for Ant-Man himself.
Fingers crossed that the sentiments Paul Rudd expressed to Empire Magazine remain accurate, and there's still plenty more Scott Lang to come. In a perfect world, he'll at least get to finish out the Multiverse Saga before getting into retirement.
Though seeing Rudd interact with all of the inevitable mutants set to join the MCU one day would be a blast—hopefully, the actor never grows old and wants to do these movies for the rest of his life.
Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania hits theaters on Friday, February 17.