Is Quantumania Shaping Up To Be The Darkest Ant-Man Movie?

the Ant-Man movies are typically the lightest, breeziest entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Within the first few minutes of the original movie, Paul Rudd is wearing a pink Baskin-Robbins uniform. The tone could be described as A Fish Called Wanda meets Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. The first movie is a fast-paced farce revolving around a heist, while the second movie is a zany Elmore Leonard-style crime caper revolving around a shrunken-down, briefcase-sized laboratory. There are some poignant dramatic moments in the franchise – from Scott Lang plunging himself into the Quantum Realm to save his daughter to Hank Pym’s heartwarming reunion with his wife Janet, decades after she was presumed to be dead – but director Peyton Reed tends to keep it light with an abundance of goofy running gags like Scott’s close-up magic and Luis’ rambling anecdotes.


With the next installation in the shrinking supe’s solo series, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, audiences are expecting another lighthearted comedy. But Marvel might be pulling a fast one on fans with this movie. Set to be released on February 17, 2023, Quantumania will be the first installment in the MCU’s Phase Five. Its silly-sounding title might be a misdirection. Based on the plot details that Marvel has revealed so far, the Ant-Man threequel could take an unexpectedly dark turn. The first look revealed at Comic-Con has yet to be released online to the general public, but based on reports, it sets up more of the same. Quantumania is being framed as another fun, carefree comic caper in the vein of its predecessors. This time around, Scott has written a memoir about his role in saving the universe called Look Out for the Little Guy, and he’s on a book tour to promote it. But that little guy is about to face his most terrifying adversary to date.

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The fact that Kang the Conqueror is the movie’s main villain teases a darker story than fans are expecting in Quantumania. Kang is one of the most menacing antagonists in the entire Marvel Comics universe. After making his debut in the season 1 finale of Loki via his “He Who Remains” variant, Kang is being set up as the MCU’s next Thanos-sized big bad. He’ll be the titular baddie in the next avengers movie, The Kang Dynasty, in which the time-traveling baddie will torment all of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Considering every hero in the MCU is about to join forces to face his wrath, there’s no way that Kang will be defeated by Ant-Man and the Wasp alone in their next solo outing. This is the movie that needs to show moviegoers just how powerful Kang is before he takes on the reformed Avengers in the following phase.

Quantumania is reported to be a new adventure set in the Quantum Realm. It might finally explain what that bubbled city is all about – maybe it’s Kang’s lair. The role of Cassie Lang, aged up by Endgame‘s time jump, has been recast with a bigger star: Kathryn Newton. She promises to take on her own superhero mantle – either Stature or Stinger, depending on the comic book storyline Marvel Studios chooses to follow – in the threequel. Alongside Kate Bishop and America Chavez, Cassie will be yet another addition to the MCU’s ever-growing Young Avengers roster.

All of these details seem like evidence of another standard comic book actioner. But Marvel might be intentionally misleading fans. Quantumania will surely start off as a traditional Ant-Man movie in the style of its predecessors, but it could take a harrowing turn when Kang shows up. There’s even a rumor that Kang will kill Ant-Man to establish the threat he poses ahead of his multi-movie villain arc. He might not actually kill Ant-Man – that seems pretty bold for the MCU – but he could kill a major character like Hope or Hank to show how powerful he is.

Marvel has been exploring darker territory in recent projects. John Walker beat a Flag-Smasher to death with the Captain America shield and managed to convince himself he did the right thing. Wanda Maximoff went into full villain mode and massacred the Masters of the Mystic Arts and a different universe’s Illuminati roster. Jane Foster died of cancer and Gorr the God Butcher spooked the bejeebers out of the Asgardian children he kidnapped and caged in a black-and-white wasteland. Clearly, the MCU isn’t shying away from grimmer, grislier storylines in the brave new world of “The Multiverse Saga.” Maybe the producers are using Kang to kill off Ant-Man, after all.

Quantumania could end up being the opposite of Thor: Ragnarok. When Taika Waititi was hired to helm the God of Thunder’s third solo outing, he brought some much-needed levity and humor to a dreamy franchise. Ant-Man’s third solo movie might take the complete opposite approach, leaving the levity in the rearview mirror and diving headfirst into the darkness.

MORE: Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania Might Lose What Made the Other Movies Special

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