At San Diego Comic Con over the summer, after Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige announced the upcoming Phase Four slate, he ended things by saying this: “I didn't even have time to talk about the Fantastic Four.” So of course we will be seeing Marvel’s First Family sometime down the line. Disney also just acquired the property, as the X-Men, from the Fox merger earlier this year. But when will they show up? And how? One Marvel fan has some ideas and it all centers on Ant-Man 3.
Just last week, it was confirmed that Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas would be returning for a third installment of Ant-Man, with Peyton Reed also returning as director. According to Douglas, the movie is set to begin filming in early 2021 and recent rumors point to a summer 2022 release. So we’re talking Phase 5 – an ample amount of time for the Fantastic Four to come in hot… to really stretch itself inside the universe, to reveal itself... clobber through. Anyway, let’s get into the theory.
What if the Fantastic Four were trapped inside of the Quantum Realm (or “Quantum City”) and got their powers this way, instead of going on a space exploration? Perhaps they were part of experiments with Pym technology in the ‘60s, when Hank Pym is working with it. One Reddit user has a theory that the team has been trapped there for decades and the characters from the Ant-Man movies will come in contact with them and maybe bring them up to size in the real world.
In the Marvel comic books, there is a prominent villian named Kang the Conqueror who is a time traveler from an alternate timeline in the future who is related to Fantastic Four leader, Dr. Reed Richards. Kang builds himself a time machine, travels to ancient times and later creates a base in Limbo called Chronopolis. Now, when Michelle Pfeiffer’s Janet Pym is rescued from the Quantum Realm at the end of 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp, some fans think they spotted a hint of Chronopolis’ dome too.
The theory suggests the Fantastic Four is stuck in the Quantum Realm thanks to Kang and obtained their iconic powers by being exposed to the “Negative Zone” – a more dangerous part of the realm. The user believes that the end of Ant-Man 3 will have Scott Lang or Janet van Dyne (since she has lived there for years) will go back to Chronopolis and free the four heroes.
Considering Kang’s origins touch upon aspects of the MCU that seem to be already in the works, it’s not a crazy theory. His story encompasses the multiverse, time travel and the more ancient, cosmic corner of the universe that the The Eternals is soon looking to! Not to mention it's a great setup for the Fantastic Four. Approaching the story as a period piece would change it up from the two past iterations – not to mention Ant-Man 3's Peyton Reed once pitched a ‘60s-set Fantastic Four movie in the early ‘00s.
What do you think about this theory? Would you like to see the Fantastic Four be introduced via the Quantum Realm in Ant-Man 3? Sound off in the poll and comments below!