Marvel met with great success in 2015 with the release of “Avengers: Age of Ultro,” which is why it seems so strange for the studio to tack on July’s “Ant-Man” as the finale to its Phase 2 of movies. However, fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) should have faith in the comic-book giant.
Marvel Studios, since its release of “Iron Man” in 2008, has always been the company that plays the long game. In October, the studio showed its hand by unveiling the slew of new movies and heroes it will bring to life between now and 2019. Marvel’s “Phase Three” of connected movies begins in 2016 with “Captain America: Civil War.” This has led many MCU devotees to wonder why exactly “Ant-Man” is getting such prominent placement as the anchor to Phase Two.
Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige explained why he decided to finish things up with the Paul Rudd-led superhero origin story.
“It really is the movie that closes out Phase Two. Phase One ended with Avengers. So some people thought that Phase Two would end with an Avengers film,” Feige said. “But the truth is, there is so much in ‘Ant-Man’: introducing a new hero, introducing a very important part of technology in the Marvel universe, the Pym particles. Ant-Man getting on the Avengers' radar in this film and even – this is the weirdest part, you shouldn't really talk about it because it won't be apparent for years – but 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. It all plays into Phase Three.”
The most noteworthy reveal in Feige’s response is simply that “Ant-Man” will be what puts Scott Lang (Rudd) on the Avengers radar, not “Captain America: Civil War.” It was previously announced by Marvel that Rudd would jump right from “Ant-Man” to an appearance in the superhero-packed crossover event that is “Civil War.” It was easy to assume he wouldn’t interact with other heroes until that time, but is it possible that Ant-Man will be contacted by Earth’s mightiest heroes as early as July 17?
In addition, Feige mentioned the concept of other dimensions coming to the MCU. With the science of “Ant-Man” likely taking center-stage in the movie, it looks like fans should bring a notepad to the theater to jot down all of the high-concept terms like “quantum realm” for further reference in future films. Odds are good that “Ant-Man” will help lay the groundwork for the next film to follow “Civil War,” “Doctor Strange.”
The Benedict Cumberbatch-led film will introduce the world of magic and mysticism to the science-fiction based world of the MCU. Perhaps other realms will be Marvel’s gateway to this fresh new world. Then again, perhaps Marvel doesn’t need “Ant-Man” to tease “Doctor Strange” since its recent Netflix TV hit, “Daredevil,” did a pretty decent job of that already.
Unfortunately, Feige’s words are nothing but speculation until “Ant-Man” drops the new hero and a bevy of setups for the MCU on July 17. Will you be among those in line for a ticket to see Paul Rudd’s introduction as “Ant-Man”? Comment below or tweet your thoughts to @TylerMcCarthy.