The first trailer for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania has dropped, meaning we’ve officially gotten our first glimpse of the MCU’s Phase 5. The trailer raises a lot of interesting questions. Who is Bill Murray playing? Why is everything so Star Wars-y? Why does Hope Van Dyne consistently have the worst hair in the MCU?
The trailer may not reveal much about the actual plot of Marvel’s third Ant-Man movie, but there are some juicy nuggets and a lot of Kang the Conqueror footage to dig into. Here’s what we learned from the trailer.
The MCU’s Phase 5 Begins
This may be the first film in Phase 5, but it appears that Quantumania opens in a similar place to most of the Phase 4 movies. Scott Lang is basking in the afterglow of having saved the universe from Thanos and looking ahead to a brighter future. Maybe no one seems to understand the difference between Ant-Man and Spider-Man, but it’s still a big improvement from his days as a convicted felon and Baskin-Robbins wage slave.
But it’s not long before things go haywire for Scott and the rest of the Ant-Man family. We learn his daughter Cassie (who’s now being played by Kathryn Newton) is a budding super-genius who’s been busy trying to contact the bite-sized inhabitants of the Quantum Realm. Only Michelle Pfeiffer’s Janet Van Dyne, who just spent the past several decades trapped in the Quantum Realm, seems to understand what a bad idea this is.
Based on this footage, it seems most of the movie takes place inside the Quantum Realm, as our five heroes are sucked inside Cassie’s satellite device and dragged into a conflict with Kang the Conqueror. By the end, Cassie will be suiting up as Stature for the first time.
Before getting into Kang’s role in the story, it’s worth taking a step back to appreciate the use of Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” as the trailer’s soundtrack. The song is essentially the story of someone trying to leave behind the world of fame and fortune in favor of returning to the farm and getting back to their roots. That probably describes Scott’s mindset in the sequel.
This also makes Quantumania the latest in a long line of MCU projects – like WandaVision, Loki and Werewolf by Night – that make reference to The Wizard of Oz. We doubt that’s just a coincidence. The deeper Marvel gets into the Multiverse Saga, the more it becomes clear our heroes are stepping out of Kansas and into a more fantastical world.
Inside the Quantum Realm
The trailer is pretty vague about what actually happens to Scott and the gang after they’re dragged into the Quantum Realm. There’s a lot of fantastical imagery and strange creatures about, confirming that Quantumania is going to explore the makeup of the Quantum Realm in far greater depth than its predecessors. With all the shots of strange landscapes, spaceships and seedy bars, Quantumania almost looks more like a Star Wars movie than a traditional MCU film. More Star Wars-y than the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, even.
Quantumania may be the closest we’ll ever get to seeing Marvel’s Micronauts comics adapted in live-action. Those comics introduced freedom fighters like Acroyear, Arcturus Rann, Marionette and Bug, who battle an armored dictator called Baron Karza inside the Microverse. Unfortunately, Marvel no longer holds the rights to most of those characters, but we may see Quantumania draw some inspiration from Micronauts and its very Star Wars-influenced plot.
One big mystery in this trailer involves what exactly Janet is so afraid of. The obvious implication is that she’s terrified of attracting the attention of Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conqueror, but we’re not so sure. As we learned in Loki: Season 1, most versions of Kang had been wiped out of existence thanks to He Who Remains, who had been using the Time Variance Authority to preserve a single “Sacred Timeline” and prevent his alternate selves from threatening the multiverse.
Theoretically, that means Kang didn’t exist inside the Quantum Realm when Janet was trapped there. But maybe now that the multiverse is back, it’s as if Kang was always there. Time travel is complicated.
Instead, it could be Bill Murray’s mystery character who has Janet cowering in her cloak. Murray only appears in a single, silent shot in this trailer, but Marvel revealed slightly more of the character in a Comic-Con-exclusive teaser. That trailer confirms Janet has a prior history with Murray’s character. One popular theory is that Murray is playing Janet’s ex-boyfriend, a relic of a time where she feared she would never escape the Quantum Realm and began making a new life for herself.
Another possibility is that Janet is afraid of running into MODOK. That big-brained villain doesn’t appear in the trailer (as far as we can tell), but he does briefly show up in the Comic-Con version. Whatever conflict is awaiting our heroes in the Quantum Realm, it’s a safe bet that MODOK has something to do with it.
Meet Kang the Conqueror
He Who Remains is dead, meaning the multiverse has been restored and those other versions of Kang are back on the table. One of those versions looks to be the main villain of Quantumania. This Kang is proudly decked out in his traditional comic book costume, blue face mask and all.
Though while we’re expecting Kang to be the main villain of this sequel, it is interesting that the trailer doesn’t really paint him as the bad guy. If anything, this footage goes out of its way to depict Kang as the one person in the MCU who actually respects Scott Lang and doesn’t confuse Ant-Man with Spider-Man.
Still, we have no doubt Kang is only looking out for himself here. Especially because the Comic-Con trailer also has Kang asking Scott, “Have I killed you before?”. So many dead heroes, so little time…
Based on his outfit, this is probably the main version of Kang we’ll be seeing throughout the Multiverse Saga – the villain who shapes the next several years of Marvel movies the way Thanos anchored the Infinity Saga.
We also see a few shots of a vast city and its high-tech military. That city may be Chronopolis, Kang’s base of operations that exists outside the normal confines of space and time. Kang doesn’t necessarily have a deep connection to the Microverse in the comics, but as far as the MCU goes, it appears that the Quantum Realm is his base of operations in his quest to conquer all reality. He may have his sights set on the rest of the Quantum Realm before moving onto the MCU we know and love.
That’s everything we know about Ant-Man ad the Wasp: Quantumania so far. Are you ready for the MCU to go full Star Wars? Is Kang the ultimate villain in this conflict? Let us know what you think in the comments.
For more on the future of the MCU, find out why Avengers: Secret Wars is poised to become the MCU's answer to Game of Thrones.
Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.