The challenge and the appeal of shared cinematic universes is how the various stories all fit together to tell one overarching, cohesive narrative. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there are two films still yet to release this year, Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp, and there are still a lot of questions as to how these two films will work together. How will Marvel's smallest hero connect to Earth's biggest battle? Infinity War directors Joe and Anthony Russo recently provided some answers to that question, with Joe Russo saying:
Civil War has a big impact on everything that followed it, the events of Civil War. In that movie, there are characters who are on the wrong side of the U.S. government, and so the audiences will get to see how everyone responded to being on the wrong side and what decisions they made that allowed them to move forward in their lives.
The events of Captain America: Civil War seem as though they will have a huge impact on our heroes in this film, completing the journey that the Russo Brothers started with Captain America: The Winter Soldier. That schism that divided the Avengers did not exist in a vacuum, and the consequences of it will reverberate throughout these two films. This actually makes a lot of sense too given what we know about Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp. We know that Ant-Man and the Wasp very much deals with the fallout of Civil War and takes place right after that film, but crucially, it sounds as if it's also happening before Infinity War. As Joe Russo told Radio Times, some characters, like Ant-Man, were on the wrong side of the government in Civil War, and that has consequences.
It will be very interesting to see how Infinity War handles Ant-Man given that it sounds like Ant-Man and the Wasp may take place before the third Avengers flick. We may see him, but not know how he got to where he is yet. We have heard that Ant-Man and the Wasp stitches in to the next two Avengers films, making it more intriguing than the first film. In the trailer for Ant-Man and the Wasp, you can see Scott Lang sporting a house arrest ankle bracelet, indicating that he made choices after Civil War to not be a fugitive and to suffer the legal consequences so he could be in his daughter's life. How that choice will square with the new villain he faces will no doubt provide some difficulty. It looks like Scott Lang responded to being on the wrong side by turning himself in, but others responded differently, and that will play in to Infinity War.
Cap and Black Widow have been in Wakanda, still taking on missions for the greater good. This is also probably why we haven't seen Hawkeye in the Infinity War footage yet. He had to make his own choices as a fugitive following Civil War. Perhaps those choices involved taking on the Ronin identity so he could keep his family safe but still do good in the world. We also don't know how fractures from Civil War will affect the fight against Thanos. It is possible that the bitterness from that rift will impact the heroes' ability to agree with one another and put up a truly united front against the Mad Titan.
It is good to know that Civil War is still so impactful. That shows that this is one long narrative, and what happens matters and still affects the universe multiple films later. You can see how it all shakes out when Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters on April 27, and Ant-Man and the Wasp will follow on July 6. Be sure to check out our Marvel Cinematic Universe page for all the latest about Earth's Mightiest Heroes.