Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is set to hit theaters soon and kick off Phase 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While the Ant-Man movies have typically been, pun intended, smaller films within the MCU, this third chapter in the series is set to be a major event film and will introduce audiences to Kang the Conqueror, who will be a major threat across the Multiverse Saga. Anticipation is high, and box office projections are already expecting the film to open above $100 million.
Part of the fun of the MCU is going back and rewatching all the stories to see how they are all connected. This can also be seen as homework for some, as there are so many MCU films, yet not all are essential viewing. As the franchise goes on, Marvel Studios has gotten pretty good about narrowing in on what material should be viewed before each new entry.
Rewatching or even watching previous entries isn't even required as the films tend to stand on their own and easter eggs don't take away from the experience if you don't get it. Yet there is fun in marathoning a few entries to help build up anticipation. Here is a list of what to watch if you want to be all caught up before Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
Ant-Man Marvel StudiosDisney Ant-Man introduced the characters of Scott Lang, Hank Pym, Hope Van Dyne, Cassie Lang, and many other important players to the MCU. The film tells the story of former criminal Scott Lang who is hired by Hank Pym to become Ant-Man and steal technology from an old business partner of Pym's to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. A smaller-scale film compared to the rest of the MCU, Ant-Man serves as a nice introduction to the hero and also a good entry point into the franchise that at times plays very much like an old fashion high concept live-action Disney movie like Honey I Shrunk the Kids or Flubber.
Ant-Man establishes the key relationship that will define the franchise, particularly Scott and his daughter Cassie, who becomes his entire motivation in becoming Ant-Man. It is also important for introducing the Quantum Realm; what seemed like a single film obstacle would become important to the larger franchise moving forward. Marvel StudiosDisney Ant-Man would appear less than a year after his movie opened in Captain America: Civil War.
Recruited by Captain America and The Falcon, Scott Lang becomes an important part of the iconic airport battle sequence with his turning into Giant-Man being one of the film's biggest highlights. Ant-Man's appearance not only connects him to the wider MCU but also adds some much-needed levity in one of Marvel's heavier films while also giving Captain America's team some unexpected muscle. His involvement in the movie also sets up Ant-Man and the Wasp, so audiences may not want to go straight from Ant-Man to its sequel.
Marvel StudiosDisney Picking up after the events of Captain America: Civil War and taking place around the same time as Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and the Wasp finds Scott Lang on house arrest following his breaking of the Sakovia Accords and with Hope Pym and Hank Pym on the run and estranged from Scott. Yet after Scott has a mysterious vision of Janet Van Dyne aka the original Wasp, the team must reunite and save her from the Quantum Realm all while dealing with threats from Hank's past like the mysterious villain Ghost and some shady criminals led by Sunny Burch. Ant-Man and the Wasp not only allows Hope to suit up as Wasp for the first time but further delves into the mysterious Quantum Realm.
What seemed like a simple palette cleanser after Avengers: Infinity War now is revealed to not only be a major part in setting up Avengers: Endgame, but also setting the stage for both Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and the upcoming Thunderbolts, which will see the return of Ghost. Ant-Man and the Wasp is a fun, breezy, simple superhero story that shows the fun appeal of the Ant-Man franchise. Marvel StudiosDisney Ant-Man and the Wasp after-credit scene showed Scott Lang stuck in the Quantum Realm while Hank Pym, Janet Van Dyne, and Hope were all snapped away by Thanos during the events of Avengers: Infinity War.
In Avengers: Endgame, Scott Lang escapes the Quantum Realm to find that five hours for him has been five years for the rest of the world. He discovers that his daughter Cassie has grown up, and between his four years in prison and five years trapped in the Quantum Realm in addition to his two years under house arrest has missed a good portion of her childhood and will serve as a major character motivation for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Scott Lang also provides the key to save the universe, as the Pym particle will allow them to navigate the Quantum Realm and travel through time to retrieve the Infinity Stones.
This shows how powerful the Quantum Realm is, and the time travel aspect appears to be a key factor in setting up Kang the Conqueror for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Marvel StudiosDisney The final piece of the story doesn't even include Ant-Man but spins directly out from the events of Avengers: Endgame. Loki follows a variant of the trickster god who escaped the Battle of New York in 2012 and goes on a quest to uncover a conspiracy behind the Time Variance Authority which is pruning timelines.
At the end of the universe Loki and another variant of him, a woman named Sylvie, find the person controlling everything: He Who Remains played by Jonathan Majors. He Who Remains reveals his history and that of the multiverse. He Who Remains reveals that he has kept his various variants at bay, but as Sylvie kills him and the sacred timeline begins to break off he warns her "see you soon." When Loki returns to the TVA, he discovers a giant statue of a variant of He Who Remains: Kang the Conqueror.
The events of Loki could not have played out without Ant-Man giving the Avengers the Pym particles to traverse the multiverse so in many ways Avengers: Endgame, Loki, and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania form a trilogy of stories. This trilogy sets up the origin story for Kang the Conqueror who will become the major antagonist for the MCU across the Multiverse Saga. A new dynasty has truly begun.