As the Ant-Man 3 release date (February 17, 2023) draws near, Marvel continues to drop more clues about what audiences can expect from Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania when it kicks off the MCU Phase 5. Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang/Ant-Man has certainly come a long way since he was 2015’s Ant-Man. Before he became an Avenger, Scott Lang was a master thief who ended up taking part in the experiments of Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) involving a super-suit that allows him to shrink in scale but increase in strength. Ant-Man got a sequel in 2018, titled Ant-Man and the Wasp, with Evangeline Lilly reprising her role as Hope van Dyne a.k.a. Wasp. In Avengers: Endgame, it was Scott Lang who spurred the defeated Avengers back into action against Thanos using Dr. Pym’s quantum technology, becoming a crucial player in the end of the Infinity War Saga.
In 2023’s Ant-Man 3/Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, the MCU dives into the Quantum Realm and continues the story of the unlikely Avenger as he comes face to face with Kang the Conqueror. In addition to reintroducing Loki‘s Jonathan Majors as the overarching Multiverse Saga villain Kang, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania also features Freaky and Detective Pikachu star Kathryn Netwon as grown-up Cassie Lang. Scott’s daughter, recast to Newton from Avengers: Endgame’s Emma Fuhrmann, could finally be donning her comic book mantle of Stature, Stinger, or Ant-Girl. These are just some reasons many MCU fans are so excited about the new Ant-Man movie, which is being tipped as one of the biggest MCU movies since Avengers: Endgame.
Ant-Man 3 Release Date
When is Ant-Man 3 coming out? The new Ant-Man movie’s release date is on February 17, 2023. After MCU Phase 4 closed with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Ant-Man 3 will open the MCU Phase 5 slate. Ant-Man 3 will then be closely followed by the Disney+ show Secret Invasion — the MCU’s first official crossover event — and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, the third and last Guardians of the Galaxy movie. While it currently is pegged to open the MCU Phase 5 slate after Phase 4 finishes with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the new Ant-Man movie had multiple delays and repositions prior to the Quantumania February 2023 release date becoming set in stone.
Ant-Man 3/Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania was originally slated as an MCU Phase 4 movie, which obviously fell through. Marvel then moved the Ant-Man 3 release date to the middle of MCU Phase 5, July 28, 2023, which was later assigned to The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 instead. With Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania serving as the real introduction of Kang the Conqueror and the reintroduction of Darren Cross/Yellowjacket as MODOK in the Quantum Realm, Ant-Man 3’s current place at the beginning of MCU Phase 5 actually seems a much better fit for Scott Lang’s continued adventures.
Ant-Man 3 Cast
The main characters of the Ant-Man franchise will be returning to reprise their roles in the new Ant-Man movie. Paul Rudd (Scott Lang), Evangeline Lilly (Hope van Dyne), Michael Douglas (Hank Pym), Michelle Pfieffer (Janet van Dyne), and Kathryn Newton (Cassie Lang) are all going to be a part of Ant-Man 3/Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. The new movie will also involve the feature-movie debut of Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conqueror. Bill Murray also joins the cast in a yet-undisclosed role. In addition, the mutated, powerful, bulbous-headed Marvel mainstay MODOK will be in Ant-Man 3, played by Ant-Man actor Corey Stoll, who will presumably play the same role of Darren Cross/Yellowjacket – transformed into MODOK.
Ant-Man 3 Story Details
The MCU hasn’t really explored the Quantum Realm, so Ant-Man 3 will be a good opportunity to do so. The full Ant-Man 3 story hasn’t been revealed, but the first trailer gave clues as to what the broad-strokes plot will entail. After their roles in the Infinity Saga, Scott and Hope have become celebrities, and it’s notable how a fan mistakes Scott for Spider-Man. Though it seems inconsequential, this Spider-Man: No Way Home reference in Ant-Man 3 could indicate that the movie will tackle the interactions between magic spells and quantum energy within the MCU. Meanwhile, Scott’s daughter Cassie attempts to reach other lost individuals with a device that sends signals to the Quantum Realm, which results in Scott, Hope, Janet, Hank, and Cassie all getting sucked into Quantumania. There, they meet Kang, who seems to hold the key to their chances of returning home.
The first Ant-Man 3 trailer strongly suggests Kang tries to lure Scott into accepting some kind of Faustian bargain in exchange for leaving the Quantum Realm. It’s entirely speculative at this point of course, but the trailer does seem to set up Scott making a mistake of the same level as Star-Lord did when he enraged Thanos and broke Mantis’ concentration in Infinity War. It’s still unknown how Kang or a variant of him will arrive in the MCU’s Earth-616. Hopefully, for Scott’s sake, the villain poised to take the Multiverse by storm in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars isn’t unleashed on an unsuspecting reality from the Quantum Realm because Ant-Man wants to get his daughter and adoptive family home.
What The Ant-Man 3 Trailers Reveal
The first official Ant-Man 3 trailer arrived in October 2022, offering a longer look at the MCU’s Quantum Realm, which Janet refers to as “a secret universe beneath ours.” Surrounded by colorful and swirling portals that most likely lead to different places and timelines across the multiverse, a hidden city built with advanced technologies lies within the Quantum Realm — populated by strange aliens, mysterious humanoids, and whoever Bill Murray’s Ant-Man 3 character ends up being (still no word on this from Marvel or Murray). Apart from Bill Murray’s MCU debut, the Ant-Man trailer also gives audiences the first footage of Kathryn Newton as Cassie Lang, who in several shots is suited up like her dad.
In the comics, Cassie Lang became the legacy Marvel superhero Stature after Ant-Man’s death. She went on to become a Young Avenger, and later took the name Stinger. Perhaps most importantly, the Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania trailer finally reveals Kang the Conqueror in all his comic book-accurate glory, complete with Kang’s trademark purple and green armor. The first Ant-Man 3 trailer ends with a tease of Kang making a proposal to Scott, the exact nature of which remains a mystery. One thing that was clear — unlike the Avengers fans on Earth, Kang had no confusion about Ant-Man’s identity.
The latest Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania trailer — released January 10, 2023 — reveals even more about the plot. Apart from the new Ant-Man movie trailer giving audiences the first look at MODOK, Scott joins forces with what appears to be Ant-Man variants in the Quantum Realm, and has a brutal fight with Kang. There are also more hints that Kang will be using Cassie in order to force Scott to do his bidding, namely Scott saying that he doesn’t have to win -— Kang only has to lose.
Who The Villains Are In Ant-Man 3
Apart from Kang the Conqueror, the new Ant-Man movie will be recruiting another Silver Age villain into the MCU — MODOK. In Marvel Comics, MODOK was a technician named George Tarleton transformed by AIM into a giant-headed, genius supervillain who can control technology with his mind. Also known as the Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing, MODOK took over AIM and assumed control of its army and resources, making trouble for the Avengers in the comics.
The Ant-Man 3 plot seems to be very loosely adapting MODOK’s comic book origin story, as there is no George Tarleton in the MCU, and MODOK is instead the transformed version of Darren Cross/Yellowjacket from Ant-Man. MODOK’s look in Ant-Man 3 has already been met with heavy criticism, which is reflective of how risky it is for the MCU to create an entirely new origin story for the iconic Silver Age character. Apart from how long-time Marvel viewers have very high expectations for the first MCU Phase 5 movie, this underscores how MODOK, like Kang, could have a larger role in the MCU down the line.
How Ant-Man 3 Will Impact The MCU
The new Ant-Man movie has a huge burden on its shoulders — being the first real setup to the climax of the Multiverse Saga in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars. While alternate variants of different MCU characters were largely underutilized in MCU Phase 4, MCU Phase 5 is where Marvel will reveal the real implications of several versions of Avengers and Avengers-level threats alike existing simultaneously across the Multiverse. In fact, the Ant-Man 3 plot could very well set up the MCU return of the Scarlet Witch, He Who Remains, or even variants of dead Avengers and Fox’s X-Men characters.
Indeed, with how loosely the MCU is adapting the source material, even long-time comic book readers have no way of telling exactly what’s in store for Earth-616 and the Avengers in MCU Phase 5 and beyond. Apart from the Ant-Man 3 release date (February 17, 2023), the only thing that’s certain about the impact of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is that the MCU will be taking the first real steps towards Secret Wars. The Marvel Comics event known as Secret Wars saw various universes being merged into one giant incursion by the cosmic entity called the Beyonder. The MCU’s Avengers: Secret Wars could see Kang the Conqueror replacing the Beyonder in the live-action movie adaptation of one of the superhero genre’s most revered storylines – beginning in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
Next: How Loki’s He Who Remains Can Return In The Multiverse Saga