Everything We Know

Everything We Know About Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania

As Phase 5 officially kicks off, we break down who's returning, what new characters our heroes will meet, and how the film's villain will tie into the MCU's future.

by | February 3, 2023 | Comments


After a seemingly lengthy pause following Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special last November, Marvel Studios is ready to start a new Phase in its ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe. The first film in Phase 5, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, promises to be something of a departure from the earlier films in the diminutive thief’s series. Said to be darker and more epic, it will also introduce the main villain of the studio’s current three-phase storyline, The Multiverse Saga. But will the film prove to be more focused on the bigger picture than the combined output of Phase 4, or will the tiniest of details matter more? Let’s take a look at everything we know about the film and see what we can uncover in the Quantum Realm.

A Reality Heist?

Paul Rudd, Kathryn Newton, and Evangeline Lilly in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)

(Photo by ©Marvel Studios)

Based on the film’s various trailers – including an extended version screened at the D23 Expo last September – Quantumania has two major concerns. The first: Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) attempting to reconnect with his daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton) and steer her away from a life of crime. The other concern makes itself known when Cassie and Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) create a beacon to connect with life in the Quantum Realm. Instead of making communication possible, the device forces Scott, Cassie, and all of the Pyms back down into the microscopic universe. There, they meet Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors), who forces Scott into another heist to recover something the variant of He Who Remains (also Majors) previously lost.

When the premise first surfaced online, some suggested the missing item would be a person: Ravonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) or another variant of her. Back in the pages of Marvel Comics, Kang’s obsession with Ravonna has led to his death – or at least some of his variants – while other versions of Kang and Ravonna find true love. And if we take the subtitle of the upcoming fifth Avengers film, The Kang Dynasty, literally, the Conqueror would need to establish his line with someone. A Ravonna from a reality where she is sympathetic to him might prove to be the right choice.

Paul Rudd and Jonathan Majors in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)

(Photo by Jay Maidment/©Marvel Studios)

That said, reports indicate Scott will be press-ganged into tracking down a device allowing Kang to leave the Quantum Realm and establish himself as the Big Bad of the Multiverse Saga. As we know from He Who Remains in the last episode of Lokis first season, the Sacred Timeline was established to prevent war between the universes – conflicts seemingly spearheaded by variants of He Who Remains and Kang. When the Sacred Timeline split back into the Multiverse, it is possible Kang lost the means to cross realities and conquer all he surveys. Even if Scott wins, he may still enable Kang’s dynasty to rise.

Admittedly, either option is heady stuff, particularly as the Ant-Man movies have historically stayed far from the high stakes and emotions of Avengers pictures. But perhaps the fact Kang debuts in Quantumania means not only a different sort of villain from Thanos (Josh Brolin), but a change in the MCU’s status quo.

Into The Quantum Realm

Paul Rudd and Kathryn Newton in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)

(Photo by ©Marvel Studios)

Presumably, the film will take place in the Quantum Realm for the most part. Sometimes known in the comics as the Microverse, the infinitesimal region was first glimpsed in Doctor Strange and momentarily seen in the first Ant-Man when Scott needed to become smaller than his adversary despite the warnings of Hank Pym.

It received more of a spotlight in Ant-Man and the Wasp, as Scott and the Pyms finally ventured into the realm with hopes of recovering Hank’s lost wife, Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer). As depicted there, the Quantum Realm seemed a wild place of monsters, Janet, and little else. But with the Quantumania trailers, it is clear some sort of civilization exists there. Of course, it is unclear if the settlements sprung up naturally, are the product of people stuck there like Janet was, or the work of Kang.

At the very least, it creates a sharp contrast from the Bay Area depicted in the previous two Ant-Man movies. That said, we hope the film retains some of the series’ San Francisco sensibilities, particularly if Kang manages to materialize there first and encounter its eclectic mix of people, architecture, and landmarks.

The Lang-Pym-Van Dyne Clan Returns

Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, and Michelle Pfeiffer in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)

(Photo by ©Marvel Studios)

As mentioned above, the film features the return of Ant-Man and Ant-Man and the Wasp leads Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Rudd’s Scott, for his part, is enjoying some fame from being an Avenger and fighting in the Battle of Earth (the conflict depicted in Avengers: Endgames climax). It also appears he’s traded in working at the security firm with his friends for an endless book tour, podcast appearances, and trying to reconnect with Cassie.

Newton replaces Emma Fuhrmann from Endgame – where the five-year time jump required an older actor to replace Abby Ryder Fortson from the previous Ant-Man films. Now approaching adulthood, she seems to be following Scott into a life of crime, but the fact she can envision the quantum beacon suggests she is as smart as Hope (Lilly), Janet, or Hank. What that all means is anyone’s guess, but since rumors of Newton taking over as Cassie hit the internet, many assumed she would suit up as Stature – the codename her comic book counterpart adopts – before too long. The trailers indicate she will at least get a suit all her own. Additionally, rumors suggest she will return as Cassie in the forthcoming Avengers films.

Kathryn Newton and Paul Rudd in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)

(Photo by Jay Maidment/©Marvel Studios)

The Pym-Van Dyne family, meanwhile, also still has some issues to confront with Janet’s long absence, Hope committing to a life with Scott, and Hank being, well, Hank. The most interesting wrinkle apparent from the trailers, though, is the suggestion that Janet did a lot of living while caught in the Quantum Realm. Whether or not that means she has an extensive knowledge of Kang and his cohort is yet to be determined, but it will be interesting to discover whatever secret she may be holding onto as the group gets caught in Kang’s trap.

Scott’s work family, Luis (Michael Peña) and Kurt (David Dastmalchian) will be sitting this heist out, though Dastmalchian will still appear in the film as a different character called Veb. Additionally, Ant-Man‘s Corey Stoll (who played the villainous Yellowjacket) will give life to the film’s take on M.O.D.O.K. Meanwhile, Randall Park will return as beloved FBI agent Jimmy Woo, but will he have finally tracked down the person he lost in Westview during WandaVision? ­Another Ant-Man alum, Gregg Turkington, also reprises his role as Dale, the Baskin-Robbins manager who first alerted the world to the ice cream chain’s constant surveillance.

New Faces In The Smallest Of Spaces

Jonathan Majors in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)

(Photo by ©Marvel Studios)

New characters also join the proceedings. The film marks the debut of Kang, the long promised chief antagonist of the Multiverse Saga. The glimpses of him in the previews suggest a more contained man than the expansive and theatrical He Who Remains. In one trailer, the most chilling moment occurs when Scott boasts he is an Avenger and Kang retorts “Have I killed you before?” The most recent trailer reveals a more comic book-inspired look for Kang in some scenes, a power or two, and a moment for the character to prove he is a worthy foe for the Avengers of any reality. In various interviews, Majors anticipated playing variants of Kang and building this specific one out as a force to be reckoned with.

Of course, we already know Majors will be great, just as he was as He Who Remains. But will he be as unexpected as that variant of Kang, who claimed to be the most reasonable of his counterparts?

William Jackson Harper and Katy O'Brian in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)

(Photo by Jay Maidment/©Marvel Studios)

Other new cast members include William Jackson Harper as a Quantum Realm telepath named Quaz, Katy O’Brian as Jentorra, a woman fighting for a fairer Realm, and Bill Murray as Lord Kryla, the governor of a settlement in the Realm who shares a history with Janet.

Also, as mentioned above, Stoll returns as M.O.D.O.K. The Mental Organism Designed Only (for) Killing is traditionally associated with AIM, the company featured in Iron Man 3, so it will be interesting to see how and why he appears in the Quantum Realm. That said, the character is said to be every bit as cranky and short-fused as his comic book counterpart. But will audiences far and wide finally clap for M.O.D.O.K.? We hope so, but we are biased in favor of the guy.

Behind The Mania

Director Peyton Reed with Paul Rudd on the set of Ant-Man (2015)

(Photo by Zade Rosenthal/©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Quantumania represents director Peyton Reed’s third Ant-Man film. He joins a rare group of directors who have helmed a three-film series in the MCU. The others include Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s Jon Watts and Guardians of the Galaxy‘s James Gunn. Rick and Morty veteran Jeff Loveness joins him as the film’s writer. Other crew include director of photography Bill Pope, production designer Will Htay, editors Adam Gerstel and Laura Jennings, and composer Christophe Beck.

Pope is a Marvel veteran, lensing Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Spider-Man 2, and Spider-Man 3, but may be best known as the cinematagropher behind the orignal Matrix series and its video game spinoff, Enter the Matrix. The film is Htay’s first credit as lead production designer, but he worked as a concept designer on No Time To Die, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and Edge of Tomorrow. Gerstel and Jennings combined filmography includes The Mandalorian, Transformers: The Last Knight, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, and Edge of Tomorrow. Finally, Beck is also a Marvel vet, composing tracks for WandaVision and Hawkeye.

Producers include Marvel Studios president Kevin Fiege, Stephen Broussard, and executive producer Kevin de la Noy.

Phase 5 Begins Soon

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania sets Phase 5 in motion on February 17. It is unclear if the Ant-Man and the Wasp series will continue – indeed, the most recent trailer suggests there may not be an Ant-Man after the events of the film – but all is possible in the Multiverse, even if Kang is trying to bring it all under his control.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania opens in theaters on February 17, 2023.

On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.