(Note: This post contains very mild spoilers for “Avengers: Infinity War.” No ending talk here. For our spoiler-filled discussion of the ways that “Ant-Man and the Wasp” could impact the story of “Infinity War” and next year’s “Avengers 4,” click here.)
“Avengers: Infinity War” has arrived, along with Thanos, a threat so big almost every hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe had to band together to fight him. As Marvel Studios has promised, the Thanos conflict is having huge impacts on the MCU.
We won’t see exactly how those impacts will play out until “Avengers 4,” however, even though there are two more MCU movies being released before “Avengers 4” hits theaters in May 2019. One is “Captain Marvel,” which takes place in the 1990s and is releasing in March 2019. (For an in-depth look at how “Captain Marvel” might impact “Avengers 4,” click here.) The other is “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” the sequel to the 2015’s “Ant-Man.”
“Ant-Man and the Wasp” is coming out later this summer, in July, but don’t expect to see the aftermath of Thanos’ romp through the MCU explored in the movie. That’s because the second “Ant-Man” movie starts before “Avengers: Infinity War” and then gets into what Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) were up to while everyone else was fighting Thanos during the mega-blockbuster.
The official synopsis says that “Ant-Man and the Wasp” begins “in the aftermath of ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ ” and a new teaser suggests the movie will tell why the characters weren’t part of the big throw-down. So, yeah, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is not going to be some kind of irrelevant side story.
We have lots of thoughts about the pile of potential ways the events of “Ant-Man and the Wasp” could influence the story of Thanos and “Avengers 4.” You can read our deep dive into all “Ant-Man and the Wasp” possibilities right here. That post is full of spoilers about the ending of “Infinity War.”
So here’s what the fact that it’s a prequel means for how the plot sets up: Ant-Man fought on the technically illegal side of Captain America (Chris Evans) in “Civil War.” Cap and his allies were operating without sanction under the Sokovia Accords, the legal document in that movie that dictated laws specifically about what the Avengers could do and who they answered to. Most of Cap’s allies were arrested in “Civil War,” including Scott.
In “Infinity War,” Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) explains the reason Ant-Man and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) aren’t there to fight Thanos: They’re both under house arrest, having taken plea deals to protect their families after “Civil War.” “Ant-Man and the Wasp” catches up with Scott while he’s dealing with those legal repercussions — in the trailer we see him getting fitted with an ankle monitoring bracelet. As set up in the first “Ant-Man” movie, though, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” will deal with venturing back to the Quantum Realm, the small universe made up of the space between molecules and atoms, to try to find and rescue the original Wasp, Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer).
Marvel is playing this whole thing so close to the vest that it’s likely we won’t know how all that matters in the big picture until we actually sit down and watch “Ant-Man and the Wasp” in a couple months. So stay tuned!