The Marvel Cinematic Universe is set for its next major shift in the status quo. Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania will seemingly be the ultimate resolution for the Ant-Family trilogy, while also marking a starting point for Phase Five and various new plot threads. The film is set to introduce the next Avengers big-bad in Kang the Conqueror as portrayed by Jonathan Majors. As seen through the marketing and the latest trailer, Marvel Studios is making it clear that the Ant-Man franchise is moving away from the strictly light-hearted tone of the first two installments. Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania has lofty expectations for being a turning point in the Multiverse Saga. With that in mind, here are five elements Marvel Studios’ next film needs to get right in order to be a success.
Connections to Phase Four
With the conclusion of Phase Four, one major complaint from fans online was the lack of a “connective tissue” between projects. Some have drawn the conclusion that Marvel Studios has no “plan” for the Multiverse Saga; even after they showcased their future plans. This is a ridiculous conclusion to draw with Phase Four mirroring the early days of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with projects being building blocks to introduce characters and concepts that will pay off by the time films like Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars hit theaters.
When it comes to Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, the film has a golden opportunity to prove the nay-sayers wrong. As the first project of Phase 5, Marvel Studios can quickly change the narrative into that of full anticipation for how each project connects to the conclusion of this saga. This was a key element that made the Infinity Saga such a triumph in the 2010s. If Quantumania can be the film to kickstart that positive momentum for the general direction of the MCU, then it will be that much more strongly received historically speaking.
And based on eagle-eyed viewers of the trailers, this seems to be the case in tying Chronopolis to important artifacts from Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Ms. Marvel. Here’s hoping that these connections will be overt plot points in the new Ant-Man and The Wasp film.
Lead Into ‘Avengers: The Kang Dynasty’
While having an eye toward the past is critical to the success of Quantumania, focusing on the future is equally important. The upcoming film is the first introduction to Jonathan Majors‘ Kang the Conqueror; not counting the wildly different variant shown in the Loki season one finale. As such, this film enters the road to Avengers: The Kang Dynasty for him to become the main antagonist of the MCU.
Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania absolutely needs to get the character right in order for the film to be a worthwhile trilogy ending and for the Multiverse Saga to be worth watching. Audiences should be leaving the film in February with a clear understanding of why Kang is dangerous to whatever permutation of the Avengers he faces in 2026.
And Quantumania being a direct path to The Kang Dynasty goes beyond just the titular character. The film’s exploration of the Quantum Realm would very well benefit from also being an exploration of key plot elements useful for the remainder of the Multiverse Saga. The Ant-Family should be host to pertinent information for the next Avengers film beyond just Kang himself. This certainly is something hard to quantify in the immediate future but would help the long-term perception of Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania like previous films in the Infinity Saga.
Set Up William Jackson Harper for More MCU Appearances
This is the most specific element of this list, but one that shouldn’t be overlooked. William Jackson Harper is one of the most underrated actors working in Hollywood today. He was a frequent name on fan castings for Fantastic Four, and his character on The Good Place highlighted how excellent Harper would’ve been as Reed Richards in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
With the recent news of the actor being cast in a supporting role for Quantumania, some quickly jumped to the conclusion of Harper being introduced as the new Mister Fantastic through the Quantum Realm. However, this is clearly not the case with casting still well underway for Marvel Studios’ 2025 reboot.
With that in mind, one would hope that Harper will still have a meaningful role both in Quantumania and become a recurring face in the MCU. Rumors have circulated that he could be playing a variety of characters which included Psycho-Man, Quasar, or just a citizen of the Quantum Realm. Ultimately, what’s most important is that he holds genuine relevance to the film. Having an actor as talented as Harper in a supporting role is a massive boon for Marvel Studios, and placing him in a decently important role can easily create a new memorable face for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Setting the Stage for ‘Young Avengers’
While Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has done a good job setting up the next two phases, one major component that currently feels underdeveloped is the Young Avengers team. A number of key players have been introduced through the previous two years, but a Young Avengers project has curiously remained absent in the tease of the future.
It would be a massive missed opportunity to not make use given their relevance in Kang’s storyline, and Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania is the perfect place to set the stage for that to happen. Kathryn Newton’s Cassie Lang could instantly become a fan-favorite character by having the events of Quantumania motivate her to form a team of fellow young heroes to help curb the multiversal calamity awaiting. This wouldn’t need to be a time-consuming element of the film to be successful. In fact, a stinger (pun intended) towards the end would be able to satiate audiences and cement a positive reception for the film.
A Strong Conclusion to Ant-Man’s Arc
While most of the elements presented for Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania are esoteric to the larger MCU, arguably the most important element for the film is successfully rounding out its self-contained trilogy. While the first two films in the franchise aren’t among the most popular, the Ant-Man movies have told a strong unifying story about family and striving to be the best version of one’s self.
Paul Rudd has provided a strong performance to grow Scott Lang into a true hero for both the world at large and his daughter Cassie. Quantumania provides the opportunity to conclude this storyline in a grandiose fashion, regardless of who does or doesn’t return following the events of the film. His time as an Avenger has forced him to lose key amounts of time with his daughter and has been challenged in being present for key parts of her life.
Now while faced with his greatest individual opponent and having to do so side-by-side with his daughter, Peyton Reed has a critical opportunity to tell a profound story about legacy and what a parent passes onto their child. If done correctly, Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania can become the next classic interpersonal tale in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, despite the massive stakes attached to the future of the Multiverse Saga.
Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania has been written by Jeff Loveness and is directed by Peyton Reed. The film stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lily, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfieffer, Kathryn Newton, and Jonathan Majors. Quantumania opens exclusively in theaters on February 17.