– Launches worldwide in February 2023
– First trailer released in October 2022
– Story picks up after Avengers: Endgame
– Marks live-action debut of Kang the Conqueror
– Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly among returning cast
– Directly sets up 2025’s Avengers: The Kang Dynasty
– May tie into Fantastic Four movie and set up Young Avengers project
It’s nearly time to say hello to Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. With 2023 right around the corner, the next film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is less than two months away from being released.
The first Marvel Phase 5 movie should kick off next year with a bang, too. Marvel‘s latest big-budget offering will mark the live-action debut of Kang the Conqueror, really start to set up the Multiverse Saga’s overarching narrative, and much more. Start getting excited, then, folks.
To give your anticipation levels a timely boost, we’ve collected every big piece of news concerning Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Below, you’ll find plenty of information on its release date, cast, story, trailer, and how it’ll inform MCU Phases 5 and 6.
Full spoilers for Loki season 1 and potential spoilers for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantuamania follow. in our cast, plot, and MCU future sections. Use the navigation bar to your left to skip ahead if you’re avoiding them.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania release date
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania launches in theaters worldwide on February 17, 2023.
It was originally due in late 2022, but its release has been changed because of development issues on The Marvels. Per Variety, Ant-Man 3 is simply further along the production line than The Marvels, hence why it’s releasing first. Thankfully, Quantumania wasn’t affected by the Marvel’s movie rejig in light of production problems surrounding its Blade reboot, so it’s still full steam ahead.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania trailer
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’s first trailer arrived in late October.
The teaser, well, teased plenty of gripping moments. Chief among those is Kang the Conqueror’s debut, who needs Ant-Man’s help with a job he’s suitably skilled for (more on this later).
Kang’s arrival isn’t the only worthwhile tease. We also get a look at legendary actor Bill Murray’s Krylar (more on him in a bit), Kathryn Newton’s grown up Cassie Lang – in her superhero costume, no less – and the Quantum Realm itself. We only caught a glimpse of this dimension in 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp but, given this film is primarily set there, we’ll get to see more of this realm soon.
Curiously, the teaser differs from the one San Diego Comic-Con and D23 Expo 2022 attendees saw. That trailer showed fans another villain – MODOK – and learned that Kang killed a version of Ant-Man in another universe. Maybe Marvel considered those bits to be too spoiler-y to include in its public trailer.
Meanwhile, at November’s Brazil Comic-Con, Marvel released The Legacy of Ant-Man trailer, which contains some new Quantumania footage:
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania cast
Here’s the confirmed cast for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania so far:
- Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man
- Evangeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne/Wasp
- Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror
- Michael Douglas as Hank Pym
- Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet van Dyne
- Kathryn Newton as Cassie Lang
- Bill Murray as Krylar
- Randall Park as Jimmy Woo
- David Dastmalchian as Kurt
Spoilers follow for Loki season 1.
Rudd, Lilly, Douglas, Pfeiffer, Woo, and Dastmalchian all reprise their roles from Ant-Man and the Wasp. Meanwhile, Newton makes her first proper appearance in an MCU movie, replacing Emma Fuhrmann’s teenage Cassie from Avengers: Endgame.
Majors’ Kang is the most notable newcomer. Majors played one of Kang’s variants – He Who Remains – in Loki’s season 1 finale. Following He Who Remains’ death, the Sacred Timeline he’d been watching over no longer exists, meaning He Who Remains’ variants can enter the MCU. That includes Kang, a time traveler with genius intellect who conquers other universes thanks to his combat expertise, advanced weaponry, and ability to teleport anywhere he sees fit.
Speaking to Empire, Reed describes Kang as “someone who has dominion over time, and he’s a warrior and a strategist”. You can read more about Kang the Conqueror in our ‘Who is Kang the Conqueror?’ character explainer.
As for those who aren’t returning, Michael Peña’s Luis, Bobby Cannavele’s Jim, and Jude Greer’s Maggie haven’t been confirmed to feature. Maybe there just isn’t room for them to be supporting cast members or simply make cameo appearances. Meanwhile, Walton Goggins’ Sonny Burch isn’t returning (per Legado del Marvel).
Potential cast spoilers follow. Turn back or skip ahead.
Marvel Studios’ #AntManAndTheWasp: Quantumania arrives 2.17.23. pic.twitter.com/mDUXqfcwLZOctober 24, 2022
Murray’s Krylar is an unknown quantity. The legendary actor previously revealed he was playing a “bad guy” but, until recently, we didn’t know who that was. There’s a Marvel comics character called Krylar, an individual who exists in the Microverse, which the Quantum Realm might be standing in for. However, Krylar only had a tiny role in The Incredible Hulk #156, which was released in July 1972, so we don’t actually know anything about Krylar in the source material. As such, Murray’s adaptation has no major comic history to draw from.
That said, we have some idea of the role he’ll play. Per the Comic-Con and D23 trailer, Krylar has a romantic history with Janet van Dyne, with the latter living in the Quantum Realm before she’s rescued by Hank Pym in Ant-Man 2. With Janet inadvertently returning to this dimension alongside her family, she’ll meet with her former flame once more, and we suspect he won’t be so keen to let her leave again.
Stoll, who played the antagonistic Darren Cross/Yellowjacket in 2015’s Ant-Man, is slated to make his second MCU appearance. This time, he’s voicing MODOK – a mutated, cybernetically enhanced individual with genius-level intellect. MODOK was the primary antagonist in Marvel’s Avengers video game, while the character also had his own Hulu series, which wasn’t canon in the MCU and only aired for one season before being canceled in May 2022.
Kang! 👏 Kang! 👏 Kang! 👏 Kang! 👏#CCXP2022 #AntManAndTheWasp pic.twitter.com/0lPDSxOOEqDecember 1, 2022
In the comics, MODOK, whose real name is George Tarleton, is the product of – yep, you guessed it – an experiment gone wrong. A bunch of scientists, who work for the criminal organization Advanced Idea Mechanics (A.I.M) use advanced mutagenics to turn Tarleton, one of their fellow researchers, into a superhuman to help them study the Cosmic Cube. However, Tarleton’s mutation turns him into a bloodthirsty, ambitious supervillain, resulting in him taking full control of A.I.M and going onto become one of Marvel’s most famous villains.
Given Stoll will portray MODOK in the MCU, it’s inevitable that the character’s origins story will have been retrofitted for Ant-Man 3’s overarching plot.
In 2015’s Ant-Man, Lang overrode Stoll’s Yellowjacket regulator during the climactic battle, causing Stoll to shrink uncontrollably and presumably killing him. However, it’s clear Stoll survived – and we think Kang saved his life before using the Quantum Realm and/or a mutagen experiment to turn Stoll into MODOK. Per MCU leaker MyTimeToShineHello, MODOK will be Kang’s advisor and a secondary villain, so expect him to have a big role to play.
Interestingly, Samuel L. Jackson has confirmed he’ll cameo. Speaking on the Happy Sad Confused podcast in March, Jackson revealed he was returning to London for reshoots on Marvel’s Secret Invasion series. While there, he would also film scenes for The Marvels and Quantumania, so we’ll see Nick Fury in some capacity. Per Variety, William Jackson Harper (The Good Place, Midsommar) has also joined the cast in an undisclosed role, although the identity of his character is a closely guarded secret.
Lastly, MyTimeToShineHello suggests we’ll see someone from Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD TV show. However, they won’t be portrayed by the same actor, so don’t expect any character continuity here. If the rumor is true, that is.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania plot
Here’s the official plot synopsis for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, courtesy of Marvel: “Superhero partners Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne return to continue their adventures as Ant-Man and the Wasp. Together, with Hope’s parents Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne, the family finds themselves exploring the Quantum Realm, interacting with strange new creatures and embarking on an adventure that will push them beyond the limits of what they thought was possible.”
That’s not much to go on, but that’s intentional. Marvel isn’t going to give too much away, especially as it’ll officially kick off the studio’s Multiverse Saga. MCU Phase 4 slate was largely experimental, but Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania seems like it’ll get the Multiverse Saga up and running.
There are some other basic story elements that we know, based on the trailer and what those involved have said. For starters, it looks like Lang and van Dyne are celebrities post-Endgame. We see them walking a red carpet in the teaser, while Lang has his own podcast and best-selling autobiography. Given they were involved in the defeat of Thanos, that’s hardly surprising, but it’s still fun to see them enjoying the limelight.
Even so, our heroes will go on thematically dense journeys in Quantumania. Speaking at Comic-Con (via Variety), Lilly teased what we can expect to see from Hope van Dyne’s character arc, saying: “The second film is all about how powerful she is. This one is about her vulnerabilities.”
Elaborating to Entertainment Weekly (EW), Lilly added: “I was really excited to have an opportunity where she’s gone from a caged-off woman to a woman who has opened her heart three separate times. One to Scott, then her reparations with her father, and then bringing her mother back from the Quantum Realm. So, she was sort of like the Grinch. Her heart had grown three times as big, which makes it three times more vulnerable. I was really excited to show a side of her where she would make mistakes, be fragile, and wouldn’t always have the right answer.”
Adding to Lilly’s comments in the same EW article, Reed said: “We wanted to take a hard left turn and make a movie that was even more epic, but still progress the story of these family dynamics,” he told EW. “Cassie is now 18 years old, and maybe Scott doesn’t know quite how to relate to her as an adult because he lost those five years from the events of Avengers: Endgame. We also knew we wanted to put our heroes up against a very formidable opponent. To put them up against Kang the Conqueror was a huge thing for us. So we went big – and we also went small.”
In a separate EW chat, Reed explained how Quantumania differs from previous Ant-Man films, particularly from a spectacle standpoint. “People felt like ‘Oh, these are fun little palate cleansers after a gigantic Avengers movie,'” he said. “For this third one, I said, ‘I don’t want to be the palate cleanser anymore. I want to be the big Avengers movie.'”
Speaking at D23 Expo 2022 (via Marvel.com), Rudd teased: “This thing is bananas. And while it seems like a bit of an oxymoron if something so small can do something so huge, this is going to be unlike anything you’ve seen from [Marvel]. And not to mention [Jonathan] he’s incredible. It throws this whole thing into such new territory.”
In The North State magazine, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania lead writer Jeff Loveness also said fans should expect “a lot of surprises” from the MCU film. So, what could some of those surprises be? (Potential story spoilers follow.)
1ST look at ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA! Poster I illustrated for @MarvelStudios @Comic_Con Honored to work again w/ @MrPeytonReed #PaulRudd @EvangelineLilly & 1st time Cassie @kathrynnewton & KANG #JonathanMajors #antmanandthewaspquantumania #Quantumania #antmanwasp #kang pic.twitter.com/Mf8tL3wg6wJuly 23, 2022
Based on the Comic-Con and D23 teaser, Kang takes Lang’s family hostage – or, rather, Cassie – as leverage. Kang wants Lang to conduct a heist for him, so Cassie is used as a bargaining chip to ensure Lang complies.
What does Kang want Lang to steal? His levitating Time Chair, which allows Kang to traverse all of time and space. According to Marvel insiders GeekVibeNation and CanWeGetSomeToast, Kang tasks Lang with stealing it back – or its power source, the leakers can’t agree on which it is – presumably with the aim of using it to escape into the wider multiverse.
It’s unclear who has stolen the chair and/or power source, but we suspect Janet van Dyne might have had something to do with it. She was the original Wasp before she was lost in the Quantum Realm. Maybe she learned of Kang’s plan to conquer the multiverse, stole the chair/power source, and hid either or both away so Kang couldn’t execute his masterplan?
We can largely rule Krylar and MODOK out as individuals who stole Kang’s favorite seat. The pair are believed to be working alongside Kang and ulterior motives to do so. MODOK has a past with Lang’s Ant-Man, while Krylar has a similarly frosty history with Janet. The movie’s secondary villains are likely afraid of what Kang could do to them if they don’t help him, so why wouldn’t they fall in line?
Elsewhere, Cassie will be suiting up to join her father and Hope van Dyne as a superhero. We see her in a purple suit in the teaser and, based on what we know of her comics incarnation, she adopts two heroic pseudonyms – those being Stature and Stinger. Which version will she portray here? It could be both, depending on how the plot unfolds.
How will Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania affect the MCU?
How will Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania affect the MCU moving forward? Speaking at D23 Expo 2022 (per IGN), Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige teased that it’ll be “a direct line into Phase 5 and [Avengers: The] Kang Dynasty.”
Chatting to Empire, Reed added: “I think it [Ant-Man 3] has a profound impact on the MCU. Jeff Loveness, who wrote this movie, is writing The Kang Dynasty as well, so there’s been a lot of discussion about the impact that this appearance of Kang The Conqueror makes. There are big things in store.”
It sounds like we might not see Kang crop up in the MCU again until much later down the line, then. Other Phase 5 films don’t seem like they’ll contain a Kang cameo, or even have him pulling the strings in the background. So it’s possible Ant-Man 3 may be the first and only time we see Kang until Phase 6.
Is that truly the case, though? Majors has teased we’ll see “different iterations” of Kang throughout the Multiverse Saga, so maybe we’ll see his variants – including Rama-Tut, Iron Land, and the Scarlet Centurion – appear in other productions.
As for potential films Quantumania might set up outside of The Kang Dynasty, a Young Avengers movie seems likely.
We’ve already been introduced to a bunch of young superheroes in Phase 4 films and some of the best Disney Plus shows – Wiccan and Speed (WandaVision), Skaar (She-Hulk), Ms Marvel, Kate Bishop (Hawkeye), America Chavez (Doctor Strange 2), Kid Loki (Loki season 1), and Dominique Williams/Ironheart (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever) – so could Cassie bring them together? The Avengers are on hiatus/in flux so there’s room for a new superhero team to take center stage.
If Cassie escapes the Quantum Realm alone, maybe she’ll track down other young superheroes and create the Young Avengers. We’d be surprised if Marvel doesn’t greenlight a Young Avengers film for Phase 6, particularly as it’s been laying the groundwork for such a team up in rcent years. Teasing the Young Avengers in a Quantumania post-credits scene would be a crowd pleasing moment for sure.
Then there’s the mini six degrees of separation theory that ties Quantumania to Marvel’s Fantastic Four movie. In the comics, Kang occasionally works alongside Doctor Doom, the Fantastic Four’s legendary adversary. Additionally, the Fantastic Four have dabbled with quantum physics in Marvel’s source material, which acts as another possible link between Ant-Man 3 and the iconic quartet’s solo MCU movie. Hopefully, we’ll get some form of tie-in between the two films when Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania arrives in theaters, or when Fantastic Four eventually arrives in February 2025.
For more MCU-based content, check out how to watch the Marvel movies in order. Alternatively, read up on our ranking of every Marvel film to date, how we ranked the MCU’s gallery of supervillains, or get the lowdown on Loki season 2.