How Quantumania Sets Up Ant-Man 4 and Young Avengers

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This article contains spoilers for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

By the end of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and his superhero family have defeated Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors)—this version of him, anyway—restored freedom to the denizens of the Quantum Realm, and returned home safe and sound. But while Scott has learned that a superhero can never rest on their laurels, and that there are always more battles to be fought, he also expresses unease about the future, a future in which Kang warned him that terrible things are coming.

The end credits scenes certainly indicate, as promised, that we’ll be seeing much more of Kang. And it seems almost a given that Ant-Man will regroup with the Avengers to fight him at some point. But what about further standalone adventures for the world’s tiniest Avenger, his daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton), Hope van Dyne/Wasp (Evangeline Lilly), Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), and Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer)?

The Lang/Pym/Van Dyne quintet has certainly become Marvel’s superhero family, at least until the Fantastic Four comes along, and the end of Quantumania leaves the possibility of future adventures open for this formidable team both before and after the coming Avengers double feature of The Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars.

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Peyton Reed has directed all three Ant-Man movies to date (a hat-trick matched only by James Gunn with his Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy), and while he stays diplomatically vague about the idea of an Ant-Man 4 when we chat with him, he’s also not closing the door to it either.

“Listen, I think we all want to do different things,” Reed tells Den of Geek. “But at the same time, I’m superstitious about this, because you never know if you’re going to get to make another one. After the first one, it was not a guarantee we could make a second one and so on. I love these characters. We’ve been doing these movies together for eight, nine years now and we’re a family. We’ve made these movies together. We’ve seen these characters grow, and that’s been exciting. I’m very proud of the movies. So never say never. I’ve loved working at Marvel.”

While Marvel certainly doesn’t shy away from doing a fourth standalone movie for its primary characters—see Thor: Love and Thunder and the upcoming Captain America: New World Order—it’s frankly too early to say whether an Ant-Man 4 will be on the menu. A lot depends on the actors’ contracts and whether Rudd, Lilly, Pfeiffer, and Douglas are all willing to return.

On the other hand, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania does subtly drop some of the final pieces into place for another long-rumored MCU play: Young Avengers. Over the course of Phase 4 and this opening entry of Phase 5, nearly every major member of the junior team of Earth’s mightiest heroes has been introduced in a Marvel movie or TV show.

That includes Cassie Lang herself, who is known on the team as Stature, along with Patriot (Eli Bradley, introduced in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier), Wiccan and Speed (Wanda’s children, introduced in WandaVision, although they’re currently not “real”), Kid Loki (seen in Loki), America Chavez (introduced in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness), Kate Bishop/Hawkeye (introduced in Hawkeye), and even a version of Hulkling (glimpsed briefly at the end of She-Hulk).

Bizarrely, the founder of the Young Avengers in the comics is Nathaniel Richards, aka Kang himself, with the future tyrant going under the name of Iron Lad. Whether that will play out in some fashion in the MCU, or if we’ll someday see all these characters team up onscreen as the Young Avengers, is a question we bring up to Quantumania producer and Marvel inner circle member Stephen Broussard.

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“It’s very exciting to think about it leading to something at one point,” says Broussard in classic Marvel misdirection. “Part of Phase 4 was about introducing new characters and new people taking on the mantles of characters that had existed. That’s germane to Ant-Man as a character, because [he] is this generational torch-passing character in and of itself.”

That brings us back to where we started, with the overriding theme of Quantumania suggesting that the fight is never done, even if the people fighting it change—or eventually become a new generation of Avengers.

“Just because you’ve made progress, or you’ve won some battles, you don’t ever get to sit back,” says Broussard. “That’s just not the way life works. Cassie and her burgeoning adulthood remind her father of that. I think that’s a really beautiful theme in the film, and that’s a theme that can permeate the MCU at large, you know. It’s generational, and I think that’s exciting… we’ll see how it comes together and where it comes together, but personally I think it’s very thematically interesting.”

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is in theaters now.

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