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The Marvel Cinematic Universe is in a tricky place right now, with much of the studio's plans a complete mystery to the general public. There are just two movies left in the massively successful Phase Three, with almost nothing known about the shared universe after Avengers: Endgame finally arrives in theaters. This includes the fate of franchise like Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther, and Ant-Man.
Peyton Reed's Ant-Man and the Wasp was the most recent Marvel release, set before the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Thanos' finger snap of death. The director brought another fun, capsulated story that saw Hope Van Dyne become The Wasp, and Hank find Janet in the Quantum Realm. Michael Douglas plays the OG Ant-Man in the franchise, and recently spoke to the possibility of a threequel, saying:
There's been talk [about another Ant-Man]... [but] there's been nothing formal right now that I know of. They always kind of spring it on me. The first time you hear about it, it's already in its third rewrite.
It looks like Michael Douglas is in the dark like the rest of us, regarding the future of the Ant-Man franchise. But given how successful Peyton Reed's first two movies were, it would be surprising if Marvel Studios didn't round it up to a bonafide trilogy.
This update just shows how tight security is over at Marvel Studios. While every blockbuster works hard to keep its secrets, things have gotten all the more intense since Avengers: Infinity War arrived in theaters to devastate moviegoers. In order to keep spoilers to a minimum, Marvel hasn't released Phase Four's schedule, or revealed any upcoming blockbusters other than Spider-Man: Far From Home. As such, plans for the Ant-Man franchise are also not being revealed-- even to the cast.
In his same conversation with ET, Michel Douglas also briefly addressed his possible role in Avengers: Endgame. While Hank Pym has never popped up in an Avengers flick before, the Ant-Man and The Wasp credits scene connected him directly to the events of Infinity War. When asked about Hank's possible appearance in The Russo Brothers' upcoming blockbuster, he said:
You know I can't say a word about that. They have one of those machines that, as soon as you say the word 'Avengers,' a blowgun comes to the side of my neck.
While Michael Douglas may have side stepped questions about his possible Endgame role, it seems logical that Hank Pym might pop up during new highly anticipated sequel. Moviegoers saw Hank, Janet, and Hope fade to dust as a result of Thanos' finger snap of death, leaving Paul Rudd's Ant-Man stranded in the Quantum Realm. Good news: Janet somehow manage to live there for decades, even picking up some abilities along the way. Bad news: we have no idea how, and it doesn't look like Scott is ready to be left in the mysterious setting for any length of time.
The Ant-Man franchise has had a fascinating tenure in theaters, especially after suffering a bit during the development process. Baby Driver director Edgar Wright was originally set to help the origin story, but left due to creative differences with Marvel Studios. While Wright's work was still present in the screenplay, it was a departure that shook the fans and those involved in the project. After all, the director was one of the reasons Paul Rudd signed on to play Scott Lang in the first place.
Ultimately Peyton Reed took over directing duties, and managed to bring a sleeper hit to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Ant-Man movies have carved out their own niche pocket of the shared universe, with Scott Lang crossing over and interacting with the Avengers in Captain America: Civil War. While he was noticeably absent from the events of Avengers: Infinity War, we learned he was on house arrest, and therefore couldn't be called upon for the Battle of Wakanda. Too bad, because his tech would have made the epic action sequence all the more exciting.
While he was excluded from Infinity War, it looks like Scott Lang is going to have a significant role in Avengers: Endgame. His appearance at the Avengers HQ ended the first trailer, revealing he'd managed to survive being stranded in the Quantum Realm. He was also shown in the second brief teaser, suiting up alongside Don Cheadle's War Machine. Ant-Man is in the building, and it's clear that we'll be getting plenty of Paul Rudd once The Russo Brothers' blockbuster finally arrives in a few months.
The big question is how exactly Ant-Man will factor into the overarching narrative of the franchise and Endgame's plot. The surviving heroes are going to need all the help they can get, with Scott Lang and Captain Marvel coming to help fill out the titular team. It's unclear if/how the Avengers will attempt to reverse Thanos' finger snap of death, although many fans think the Quantum Realm will factor heavily into it.
The true power of the Quantum Realm hasn't been explored in the first two Ant-Man movies, but it's been known to do a variety of outstanding things. So could time travel be one of them? In the Ant-Man and The Wasp credits scene, Janet warns Scott not to be pulled into a Time Vortex. That seemed to back up the popular fan theory that the survivors will go back in time, and possibly stop Thanos from ever snapping his finger. If the Quantum Realm is the macguffin to make this happen, Ant-Man could have a more important role in Endgame than the fans might have predicted.
As for the future of the Ant-Man franchise, smart money says a threequel is coming. With many of the original Avenger actors coming to the end of their contract with Marvel Studios, the MCU will need to lean on the characters who were brought in later. Prime among them is Ant-Man, especially if he gets a meaty Endgame role, and gets to potentially win over more fans.