In the aftermath of July’s Comic-Con and the Disney-Fox takeover, Ant-Man fans may have some cause to worry. Marvel announced its Phase 4 line-up, and Scott Lang was nowhere to be seen.
Marvel has more characters than ever with which to play, and Phase 4 is bringing new faces into the fold too, from Blade to Shang-Chi. Some familiar faces are also returning, like Black Widow.
But what about Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man? Though the character played an integral part in Avengers: Endgame, he wasn’t a main feature of the film.
The subsequent Phase 4 announcement leaving him off the bill may irk some fans, but it doesn’t come as much of a surprise when you take a cold hard look at the box office takings (which, as much as we love Marvel, is all any company cares about).
According to Forbes, Ant-Man and the Wasp is the 22nd highest-grossing Marvel film (excluding Sony and Fox films) as of July 2019 when adjusted for inflation. Ant-Man was the 23rd… of 23 films at the time.
But it isn’t all doom and gloom for Scott and the gang. Marvel is branching into the realm of TV again via the new Disney+ streaming service. Already established are the upcoming series WandaVision, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and more.
Ant-Man 3 could go the way of the Disney+ TV series. For fans worried a change of hands could mess up Ant-Man, rest assured.
Marvel TV boss Jeph Loeb told Deadline: “I have to make something very clear, which is those are shows that are created and run and the responsibility of the motion picture studio.”
If the Ant-Man threequel turns into a TV series instead of a standalone movie, there are plenty of plots to explore. Ant-Man director Peyton Reed told ComicBook.com: “There are definitely things in this movie that, if we’re fortunate enough to make another one, there’s a lot to play with.”
Specifically, Reed would explore the Quantum Realm, into which he felt they only “dipped their toes” in Ant-Man and the Wasp.
Director Joe Russo has another idea altogether. He thinks a third movie could focus on the reunion between Hope and Scott, which took place at the end of Endgame.
The moment was brief, but the “gentlest” according to Russo, and there was still “stuff to play there” between them in a future outing – whether in a movie or a TV show.
What’s equally interesting is the lack of Quantum Realm-driven plots in the upcoming slate of Marvel movies. Pym particles were key to Endgame, but there is no mention of them in future movies.
A TV series could be a good vehicle in which to explore the Quantum Realm and Pym particles, as it allows for long, slow development instead of having to explain a lot in a single film. These new shows will also directly tie into the MCU.
Michael Douglas, who stars as Hank Pym, has said “talk” of a third movie is happening but also revealed: “There’s been nothing formal right now that I know of.”
Another way for Ant-Man to appear on the big screen is as a side character in other Phase 4 movies. There is a precedent for this move: the Hulk featured in Thor: Ragnarok and Tony Stark in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Of the upcoming films, the natural fit for an Ant-Man cameo would be in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, in which Scarlet Witch will also star. He also will undoubtedly appear in future group Avengers movies.
Notably, Phase 4 had no Avengers films, and Phase 5 only has three untitled movies listed so far, none of which is a group movie. But this doesn’t mean a team film is out of the question.
Kevin Feige has said: “It will be a very different incarnation of the team with some people you’ve already met and some people you haven’t met yet.” Some have taken this to mean the next group film we’ll see will be the Young Avengers. If so, Cassie Lang, Scott’s daughter, could feature.
In the Young Avengers, Cassie is the superhero Stature, who has the same powers as her father – though due to her young age, her emotions can drive her size-shifting sometimes unintentionally.
Or it could simply be the next generation of adult Avengers: Scott, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Falcon, and Hawkeye to name a few. Feige promised Marvel has plans for at least 20 more movies, so the possibilities are vast.
Though the future of a third Ant-Man movie may be unclear, Scott Lang, Hope, Hank, Janet, and Cassie are likely around for the long haul.