If you’ve only just caught your breath after Avengers: Infinity War, you’re not alone. But steel yourself, because Phase Three of Marvel’s masterplan continues this August with the release of the MCU’s 20th movie, Ant-Man and the Wasp.
Here’s absolutely everything you need to know about this hotly anticipated sequel…
How does A&tW fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
Just when you thought you had the MCU timeline all sewn up, A&tW lobs a grenade into the space-time continuum. We know this new movie picks up in the aftermath of 2016’s Civil War, with Scott Lang (aka Ant-Man) now under house arrest for taking Captain America’s side against the law.
But with Marvel superfans believing that the action runs in parallel with the events of Infinity War, will A&W give us a fresh perspective on the fight against Thanos – or feed into events of Avengers 4?
What is the Quantum Realm – and how big a role will it play?
The vacuum of nothingness known as the Quantum Realm has featured before in the MCU – most notably in the original Ant-Man, when Lang entered it by shrinking beyond subatomic size, and became the first human to escape. But could there be bigger implications?
Crucially, the Quantum Realm is described as “a reality where all concepts of time and space become irrelevant”. In other words, it makes time-travel possible – and it’s whispered that the good guys may use this in Avengers 4 to bend time, beat Thanos and undo his superhero cull from Infinity War.
Who is Ghost – and what does she actually want?
In the original Iron Man comics, Ghost was male – but the character has never been more sinister than when portrayed by British actress Hannah John-Kamen. A rogue inventor and hacker whose suit can pass through solid objects, she’s an intriguing baddie – but what are her motivations beyond lawless anarchy? Apparently the answers can be found in the secret past of the van Dyne family...
Will Janet van Dyne make it back?
Based on Ant-Man and the Wasp trailers, a major plot thread is inventor Hank Pym’s attempt to rescue his wife from the Quantum Realm. Will he succeed – and what will Michelle Pfeiffer’s character bring to the party? Let’s not forget: Janet van Dyne was the original Wasp (until she over-shrunk herself to disarm a Soviet missile and was lost to the Quantum Realm). And given that Marvel producer Victoria Alonso let slip that Pfeiffer was on the set of Avengers 4, it seems likely that her character will help shape the MCU to come.
Played by: Paul Rudd
A former corporate thief who just wants to do the right thing by his young daughter. Which is a bit tricky as he’s currently under house arrest following the events of 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. (Ant-Man sided with Cap and is now paying the price!) Will he find a way to break out? We hope so, because there’s a mysterious new villain named Ghost on the loose and he also has a death-or-glory return to the Quantum Realm to make…
Hope van Dyne/The Wasp
Played by: Evangeline Lilly
Hope is the businesswoman daughter of Hank Pym and original Wasp, Janet van Dyne. Following her mother’s mysterious disappearance when she was just seven, Hope became estranged from her father. The two reunited in the first film, with Hank offering Hope a new Wasp prototype suit. She accepted and in this movie becomes Scott Lang’s partner – a superhero with a definite sting.
Dr. Hank Pym
Played by: Michael Douglas
Physicist Hank is a former S.H.I.E.L.D. consultant and the original Ant-Man. After witnessing Scott Lang’s successful escape from the Quantum Realm in the first movie, this sequel sees Hank determined to find his wife Janet, who was lost there decades before.
Janet van Dyne
Played by: Michelle Pfeiffer
The original Wasp and mother to Hope van Dyne. Janet became trapped in the Quantum Realm many years ago after attempting to disarm a Soviet missile. Can her husband Hank and daughter Hope, with the help of Scott Lang’s Ant-Man, save her at long last?
Played by: Hannah John-Kamen
The sequel’s big villain (traditionally male in the comics, but played by British actress Hannah John-Kamen here). Ghost has the ability to ‘phase’, which means she can move through solid matter such as walls. What does she want? We’ll give you a clue: nothing good!
Dr. Bill Foster/Goliath
Played by: Laurence Fishburne
Bill is a biochemist and long-time friend and partner of Hank Pym (he’s also a big deal in the Marvel comics). The pair worked together on Project G.O.L.I.A.T.H., with Bill acting as a test subject. Using Pym Particles, he was able to grow to a height of 21 feet. Not bad, but not as good as Ant-Man’s 65 feet (as Scott Lang is quick to point out).
Played by: Michael Pena
Long-winded but loveable Luis is Scott’s partner-in-crime and best friend. In the first movie (as well as getting all the best jokes), Luis persuades Scott to rob Hank Pym’s safe, which ultimately results in his pal becoming Ant-Man.
He then helps Hank and Scott take down Darren Cross. In this movie, Hank calls on Luis once again, this time to help defeat the seemingly unstoppable Ghost.
Played by: Walter Goggins
In the Marvel comics, Burch is a weapons contractor and a chairman of Cross Technologies (owned by original movie villain, Darren Cross, although now destroyed).
Assuming his role is this film is similar, we can expect no-good corporate shenanigans potentially involving Ghost.
Paul Rudd explains why Ant-Man and The Wasp was so fun to shoot, who his wingman would be on a double date and we find out what his favourite British sweet is.
• Returning director Peyton Reed loved working with Laurence Fishburne (Goliath). “He told me what it was like shooting Apocalypse Now and hanging out with Marlon Brando. That was just about the coolest day of work I’ve ever had.”
• Michelle Pfeiffer is no stranger to the comic-book world. She played Catwoman/Selina Kyle in Tim Burton’s 1992 classic, Batman Returns.
• The Wasp is the first female hero to appear in the title of an MCU film. “I feel a lot of pressure,” admits Evangeline Lilly.
• Ant-Man And The Wasp is Chapter Eight of Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This third phase ends with next year’s Avengers 4.
THE STORY THIS TIME…
This super-charged sequel sees Paul Rudd’s smaller-than-life protagonist getting some much-needed back-up in the form of Hope van Dyne’s the Wasp. Under the watchful eye of scientist Dr. Hank Pym, Ant-Man and the Wasp attempt to rescue Hope’s long-missing mother, Janet, from the Quantum Realm. Meanwhile, back in the real world, a sinister new baddie with the ability to walk through walls is causing havoc.
THE BIGGER PICTURE
Rumour has it that the events in Ant-Man and the Wasp run parallel with the events in Avengers: Infinity War, with the Quantum Realm – which features heavily in this sequel – potentially holding the key to defeating Thanos in Avengers 4. How? Well, the Quantum Realm is “a reality where all concepts of time and space become irrelevant”. To put it simply, it makes time travel possible. Theoretically, this means that the Avengers could manipulate time and undo Thanos’ mass destruction. Fingers crossed.
To celebrate the release of 'Ant-Man and the Wasp', we've teamed up with Marvel Studios' and the brilliant Matt Ferguson to give away an exclusive fan poster to every guest, exclusively at ODEON!
Simply book online or in cinema to see 'Ant-Man and the Wasp' between 2nd - 5th August to get yours.