Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr With the release of the INFINITY WAR trailer last week, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is making large transitions into its future films. Most of the characters we’ve come to know and love as the ‘original’ Avengers cast (Iron Man, Black Widow, Thor, etc.) are on their way out. However, we’re getting a slew of new heroes to take their place in our hearts. This includes the Wasp in ANT-MAN AND THE WASP, which comes out next July. We know that BLACK PANTHER comes to theaters in February 2018, long before the Avengers’ release date in May. But we might wonder where ANT-MAN AND THE WASP will fit into the equation. After all, we fail to see Paul Rudd’s adorable mug in the INFINITY WAR trailer. ANT-MAN AND THE WASP will arrive in the MCU just two months after INFINITY WAR, which will inevitably leave the world very different for our heroes. What will the new Ant-Man storyline be about? Update: ANT-MAN & THE WASP First Trailer – 1/29/18 In this article, I discuss what might be in store for Scott Lang and his sequel. But now that the ANT-MAN AND THE WASP trailer is finally here, we might be able to get a clearer interpretation. The MCU Timeline BLACK PANTHER will hit theaters in just two weeks, so it’s worth wondering whether or not T’Challa will shake things up for Scott and Hope. Additionally, INFINITY WAR takes place two months prior to ANT-MAN AND THE WASP. Isn’t the fact that we don’t see Ant-Man in the INFINITY WAR trailer a little suspicious? Was Marvel trying to hide something until the release of the ANT-MAN AND THE WASP trailer? As it turns out, yes. The ANT-MAN AND THE WASP trailer opens with Scott asking Hope whether she would’ve helped him out in CIVIL WAR if he’d asked. She says, “If you had, then you’d have never been caught.” The fact that Scott is in jail at the end of CIVIL WAR isn’t that big of an issue. I mean, he gets out, right? If we think back to the ending of CIVIL WAR, we remember seeing Captain America’s, ‘team’ being detained at The Raft. However, just before announcing that he’s taking some time off from the Avengers, Cap breaks his comrades out of jail. That means Ant-Man is free, so what’s the big deal? Well, judging by the ankle tracker and FBI in his home, it looks like Scott is now under house arrest. It makes sense, then, that the IMDb description for the film references the “aftermath of CIVIL WAR,” as the plot. Paul Rudd is on the cast list for INFINITY WAR; so, he won’t be completely absent. But his role might be somewhat small. Maybe he’ll participate in INFINITY WAR, just until the FBI catches him at the end. Notable Images from the ANT-MAN AND THE WASP trailer Hope and Hank in a field, surrounded by armed FBI. Hank wheels an entire shrunken building away from its property. A brownish-green (and presumably villainous) hand, flickering. A ship in the Quantum Realm. A large Hello Kitty PEZ dispenser. To get the easy components out of the way, it’s obvious that Scott and Hope will, in fact, explore the Quantum Realm. Oh, and just like we saw in the first ANT-MAN, comedically large children’s trinkets will be used to thwart enemies. Sonny Burch, chairman of Cross Technologies, is in ANT-MAN AND THE WASP. It’s safe to assume that, in Darren’s absence, Sonny has taken over at the company. Maybe the two companies, Cross Technologies, and Pym Technologies compete for Quantum Realm information. Could Hank have shrunk his building in fear that Sonny would infiltrate it? Also, it’d make sense for Sonny to get the FBI involved, given Pym goes against the rules and does whatever he pleases. This could explain why Hope and Hank are surrounded in the field. The brownish-green hand belongs to Ghost, a villain who’s more known for being an enemy of Iron Man’s. A former engineer and programmer, the Ghost appears to be an excellent hacker. His (or should I say, her?) suit allows any objects he touches to become either invisible or intangible. It makes sense for Marvel to stack Ghost up against Ant-Man, in a sort of, “battle of hackers.” But I wonder if the Ghost is working with Sonny, or if she’s a rogue villain? Other Remarks While there was a lot of buzz about the film being a romantic comedy, the ANT-MAN AND THE WASP trailer doesn’t seem to imply it. Scott’s daughter says, “Maybe you just need someone watching your back. Like a partner.” But since the rest of the trailer is pretty action-heavy, her quote isn’t romantic. She speaks in more of a “partner in crime,” sense. To elaborate more on if the film will further develop Hank and Hope’s father-daughter relationship, it seems like it will. Hank gives Hope wings and blasters on her suit, which he didn’t give to Scott. The ANT-MAN AND THE WASP trailer also shows numerous scenes of Hank and Hope taking care of business on their own. So, I think we’ll get a lot regarding character relationship from this film. The ANT-MAN AND THE WASP trailer is a little shy about giving us additional information. But at least it confirms a few components of the previous speculation. IMDb Tells Us Literally Nothing The description of the ANT-MAN AND THE WASP storyline on IMDb is not detailed in the slightest. It tells us that Scott Lang will attempt to balance fatherhood and heroic responsibilities in a new mission with the Wasp. It also begins by saying that Scott will deal with the aftermath of CIVIL WAR, which is really vague. Ant-Man is detained at The Raft after Cap and Tony battle it out, but then Cap breaks him and the others out at the end. So essentially, the description tells us Ant-Man is free from jail… which most heroes usually are at the start of their films. Plus, CIVIL WAR is probably water under the bridge at this point, since Thanos more or less just f*cked sh*t up. That is, unless, the film takes place before INFINITY WAR… Paul Rudd in Civil War, Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment However, Evangeline Lilly, who plays as Hope van Dyne and the Wasp, gives a bit more information on the plot. She says that ANT-MAN AND THE WASP will involve the exploration of the Quantum Realm. At the end of ANT-MAN, we saw Scott Lang successfully emerge from the quantum realm unharmed after defeating Darren Cross. This was groundbreaking because we know Hope’s mother, Janet van Dyne, died in the quantum realm. What IMDb does tell us is that Michelle Pfeifer will play Hope’s mother. Because of Pfeifer’s celebrity factor, we can safely assume that Janet van Dyne will have a moderate amount of screen time. Maybe the plot will heavily explore Janet’s character. The Quantum Realm The Quantum Realm is referred to as the ‘microverse’ in the comics. Due to pesky film rights held by Paramount, the MCU had to rename the dimension. The Quantum Realm is a place where “time and space become irrelevant.” If entered, you shrink for all eternity at a subatomic level. Scott Lang was able to escape, though, by modifying his suit. He replaced Pym’s shrinking regulator with an enlarging disk (that uses Pym Particles). Dr. Spiros Michalakis, who came up with MCU’s new name for the Quantum Realm, says it’ll play a large role in future films. Specifically, Michalakis mentioned CAPTAIN MARVEL by name. Again, the details so far are extremely vague. Dr. Strange in the Quantum Realm, Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment In fact, the quantum realm has already been featured in DR. STRANGE. When Ancient One shows Stephen Strange the ropes, she introduces him to the subatomic dimension as a tribute to ANT-MAN. Could this mean we’ll see actor Benedict Cumberbatch in ANT-MAN AND THE WASP? It’s extremely possible. After all, he just appeared in THOR: RAGNAROK and is heavily featured in the INFINITY WAR trailer. Is Love in the Air? “I didn’t know this was gonna happen!” INFINITY WAR will drastically change the MCU and the way we discuss it. Yes, there are ‘phases,’ but we’re already shifting to pre-INFINITY WAR and post-INFINITY WAR terminology. ANT-MAN AND THE WASP fall into that ever-pivoting, post-INFINITY WAR category. And as of late, there’s exciting news that the film will be the first romantic comedy in the franchise. Let me begin by saying that the film will be funny. I have no doubts about that, especially since Paul Rudd (ROLE MODELS, I LOVE YOU, MAN) has a well-equipped resume. Everybody loves Paul Rudd! My only worry is that the ‘romantic’ aspect of the rom-com sub-genre will get lost in translation. Tony Stark: The MCU’s Biggest Asshole Credits for ANT-MAN AND THE WASP Rudd actually has ‘Screenplay By’ credits for ANT-MAN AND THE WASP, which will probably help since he’s been in rom-com’s before. But the other writers only have experience in comedies and the MCU (Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers), or they have little-to-no previous work (Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari). It’s hard knowing whether or not they’ll be able to drive home the love story between Scott and Hope. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment Director Peyton Reed (YES MAN, THE BREAK-UP) has some rom-com credentials. He’s clearly got comedy chops, but how strong is he at romance? An article suggested that Reed might draw from WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, but I disagree. WHEN HARRY MET SALLY is much too traditional for Reed to apply to the MCU. Reed will have to be extremely nuanced in ANT-MAN AND THE WASP to make the sub-genre work.Feige and Being ‘First’ In a recent post for CAPTAIN MARVEL, I briefly mentioned the fact that DC beat Marvel to the release of a female-led film (with WONDER WOMAN). That doesn’t mean that Kevin Feige isn’t looking for other ways to be first. Not only will ANT-MAN AND THE WASP be the first comic-based rom-com, but it will also reiterate the fact that Marvel was the first franchise to introduce any type of multiverse on-screen. ANT-MAN AND THE WASP will play an enormous role in the transition of the MCU after INFINITY WAR. Ant-Man is one of the few characters that will cross over from the three-phase setup to the post-INFINITY WAR era. And while much is still yet to be released about its storyline, I’ll be anticipating its release. I Hope (pun intended) the film builds on the Wasp’s character, especially since Hank Pym was so dead-set on keeping his daughter out of harm’s way. Pym will definitely still have reservations about letting his daughter be in the suit. It will be nice to see that father-daughter dynamic developed a bit more than in the first installment. Also, I expect the film to uphold the light-hearted and fun humor that ANT-MAN set as a precedent.