10:00am PT by Aaron Couch
'Ant-Man': What Does Post-Credits Scene Mean for Marvel's Movie Future?
[Warning: spoilers ahead for Ant-Man]
True to Marvel Studios form, Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) will return. But aside from potential sequels and cameos in upcoming MCU films, the ideas introduced in the film are poised to have a big impact on Marvel's Phase III, which begins with next year's Captain America: Civil War.
Some of the big questions and developments to come out of the film:
Whose side is Ant-Man on?
Even before Ant-Man came out, fans knew Scott Lang would be appearing in Civil War, which will pit the anti-superhero registration forces of Captain America (Steve Rogers) against Iron Man's (Robert Downey Jr.) pro-registration crew.
Ant-Man gives some clues as to where Scott's loyalties may lie thanks to a budding friendship with Falcon (Anthony Mackie), which like any good superhero friendship, began with a fight.
After besting Falcon in a heist at Avengers HQ, the final scene of Ant-Man revealed that Falcon was looking for Scott (presumably to recruit him or to beat him up). The post-credits scene shed more light on this, as Captain America and Falcon discover an injured Bucky/Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), Cap's former best friend who Hydra turned into the villain from Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Bucky's arm is stuck in a vice, and the heroes need help handling him, remarking that it "would have been easier" a week earlier — suggesting something big has happened. A registration act, perhaps? Falcon asks if he should call Tony Stark, and Captain America says no — adding that Tony might not be able to help anyway because of "the accords."
Could the accords be some sort of agreement keeping Tony from doing any unauthorized work after his role in creating Ultron? It sounds like the MCU equivalent of the Superhero Registration Act from the comics, which dictates that all superpowered humans register with the government and receive training before performing heroic duties.
Falcon says they don't need to call Tony anyway, because he knows "a guy" (Scott Lang). This scene was culled from dailies for Civil War, which was in production as director Peyton Reed finished postproduction on Ant-Man. Though it strongly points to Scott being on Captain America's team, don't be so sure.
"It remains to be seen which side Ant-Man's on or how he’s going to figure into it, but they reference the core superheroes in that same sequence," Reed told the Radio Times. "It was more about letting you know that he’s going to continue on in this universe."
What about the new Wasp?
Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) presents his daughter Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) with a prototype for a wasp suit, which the duo will work on finishing. She'll be getting her own superhero identity in the future, date to be determined. Lilly is not among the announced cast for Civil War and no Ant-Man sequel has been announced.
What about the quantum realm?
Hope's mother was lost in the quantum realm when she was disabling a Soviet nuke. Scott also entered the mysterious realm but returned thanks to one of Pym's enlarging disks. Pym spent years studying the quantum realm in hopes of retrieving his wife, and Scott's return has sparked his interest once again. But the details of the quantum realm are going to play a bigger role in the MCU beyond Ant-Man, according to Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, who said the ramifications "won't be apparent for years."
"The whole notion of the quantum realm and the whole notion of going to places that are so out there, they are almost mind-bendingly hard to fathom," Feige told The Hollywood Reporter as part of its Ant-Man cover story. "It all plays into Phase Three. It became very clear that Ant-Man is the pinnacle and finale of Phase Two and Captain America: Civil War [May 6] is the start of Phase Three."