Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios

How ‘Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania’ sets up Phase 5 of the MCU

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Marvel Studios’ littlest heroes have big roles to play in kickstarting Phase 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

Now playing in theaters around the world, “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania” transports audiences to a secret universe — a place outside space and time known as the Quantum Realm. There, a heroic family—Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Hope Van Dyne/The Wasp (Evangeline Lilly), Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton), Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), and Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas)—teams up against Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors), who is possibly the biggest threat the MCU has ever seen.

Kang was introduced as He Who Remains in the Disney+ Original series “Loki,” but this different and very volatile version of Kang literally has time on his side—and he intends to use it to conquer worlds far beyond the Quantum Realm.

“This movie is bigger in every way and will play an important part in what’s going to follow in the MCU,” said Rudd. “To be the film that kicks that off is fantastic.”

Although “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania” is a stand-alone film, its storyline will have a “profound impact” on the future of the MCU, director Peyton Reed explains.

Furthermore, Kevin Feige, producer and President of Marvel Studios, said, “Phase 4 was about introducing a lot of new characters and new heroes to the world. We wanted to kick off Phase 5 with a third film of characters who were already beloved and really utilize them. Who better to face off against one of the biggest—if not the biggest—villain the MCU has ever faced than this family who you think maybe can’t handle him?”

Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man, Kathryn Newton as Cassie Lang and Evangeline Lilly as Hope Van Dyne/The Wasp. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios

Although he can grow to 65 feet tall, Ant-Man faces supersized competition from Kang—and that dichotomy was by design, according to producer Stephen Broussard.

“The Ant-Man movies have been essentially stories about dysfunctional families,” he said. “They’ve been smaller-stakes, smaller-scale San Francisco crime movies. For this movie, we liked the idea of uprooting that dynamic and making it a completely different kind of movie, where the people you might least expect to go up against Kang suddenly find themselves as the only people who are going up against Kang.”

Broussard added, “We talk about movies like ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ [2014], in which you saw the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. and it felt like the entirety of the MCU turned on that. ‘Captain America: Civil War'[2016] was another film where you saw heroes divided and in camps and battle lines being drawn; it really felt like the future of the MCU was going to be defined by the action of that film. We really liked the idea of making this ‘Ant-Man’ film as important and integral to the MCU going forward.”

Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet Van Dyne. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios

Majors will also star in “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty” (opening May 2, 2025) and says he sees a “limitless” future for Kang in the MCU.

“This has been the most challenging thing, but also the most rewarding. Every time I chat with Marvel, I’m like, ‘Please let me keep going. Please let me keep doing this,’” Majors said. “Everything’s going fine, obviously, but I’m just in love with the character and with my collaborators.”

According to Broussard, Kang will take “center stage” in “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.” But in “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania,” “It’s exciting for Ant-Man to take center stage after being a huge part of the storytelling so far, with the events in Endgame and Civil War. He’s always been there; he’s been in every major event. Looking back, it makes all the sense in the world that he’s the pivot point for where it’s heading next.”

Daily Planet

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