Just like their comic book counterparts, the individual movies within the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) have established a series of complex interconnections. So, it would make sense that a movie as important as Avengers: Infinity War, arriving in just three weeks' time, would have at least some kind of ripple effect on the MCU films that come after it.
The first film to follow Infinity War will be Ant-Man and The Wasp, meaning that any fallout will directly affect Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and co. Of course, that's assuming the movies follow on from one another chronologically – there's speculation the Ant-Man sequel takes place before the events of Infinity War. For the purposes of this article, let's assume it occurs afterwards.
We're not 100% sure whether Ant-Man will even feature in the next Avengers movie (let alone enjoy a prominent role), although a so-called IMAX poster Easter Egg has supposedly confirmed his involvement. Nevertheless, the interconnection of the Marvel universe pretty much ensures there will be some kind of knock-on effect on the character's next stand-alone movie.
While it's almost impossible to tell exactly what the MCU architects are going to do and how they are going to do it, here's how we think Infinity War is going to impact Ant Man's next big adventure.
Older? Wiser? A Little Less Ant-sy?
Scott Lang is the most accidental of the Marvel heroes. As per his 2015 movie debut, he wasn't trained, he wasn't bestowed with powers and he's not a genius using his brainpower for good. As a result, he was a little off-beat, a little zany and, dare we say, unorthodox in his style.
By the time Ant-Man and The Wasp rolls around, he's been a part of the Avengers break-up in Captain America: Civil War, been to jail, escaped and will, potentially, have faced off against the Mad Titan himself, Thanos (Josh Brolin). Infinity War is shaping up to be an all-action slugfest with a lot on the line for our heroes. If the rumours are true, then we'll also see the loss of some significant faces. If Lang does indeed take part in the events of Infinity War, all of that is bound to take its toll, and Lang is probably going to come out of it a different person.
Different how? We'll most likely see a more sombre, world-weary hero, not as quick to quip and maybe a little more cautious. We know from the trailer that the film's still going to be in the same comic vein as the first one (especially with Michael Peña's scene-stealing Louis returning), but don't be surprised to see Scott Lang taking his superhero responsibilities a little more seriously.
Introducing… The Quantum Realm
As per the events of the first Ant-Man movie, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), one of Marvel's more brilliant scientific minds, hasn't been able to get to the Quantum Realm to get his wife, Janet van Dyne, back. She was the original incumbent of the Wasp costume, now worn by daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly). However, Janet is set to feature in Ant-Man and The Wasp, as played by Michelle Pfeiffer…
So what's changed? How is the Quantum Realm more accessible now? Barring Janet's possible appearance in flashbacks, something has to have happened between Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp to jump start that process. Could that something be Thanos? We know Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) has access to other dimensions (he even passed through the Quantum Realm in his own movie), and someone like Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) could potentially whip up some kind of interdimensional device to try and defeat Thanos.
Just take a minute to imagine the following scenario. Realising that the full might of Earth's heroes can't beat the Mad Titan into submission, Tony Stark and Strange work together to trap the supervillain in another dimension (a place he'll probably escape from just in time for Avengers 4). Maybe they trap him in the Quantum Realm?
Moving forward to the events of Ant-Man and the Wasp, maybe Lang and Pym will use whatever knowledge is gained from Infinity War to access the realm. Whatever happens, it makes sense that something in Infinity War directly influences Janet Van Dyne's escape from her tiny, quantum-sized prison.
Easter Eggs for Avengers 4?
We all know that Infinity War is going to leave questions and situations that may only be resolved in Avengers 4, released in April 2019. The latter is set to usher in Phase Four of the MCU, and while the two movies are being touted as 'singular expressions', instead of two parts of one storyline, they will be inextricably linked.
Therefore, we can surmise that, just as the Phase One post-credit scenes built up to Avengers Assemble, everything that happens between Infinity War and Avengers 4 is going to take part in bridging the narrative gap. With Ant-Man and The Wasp claiming that responsibility, there's little doubt it will throw out the first of these Phase Four breadcrumbs, expanding on the themes that Infinity War sets out.
Whatever happens, Ant-Man and The Wasp promises to be another action-packed addition to the MCU. Catch the movie in Cineworld cinemas nationwide from 3rd August 2018, and tweet us @Cineworld with your theories as to how events will play out.