“You’re out of your league, Ant-Man,” Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors) tells Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) in new footage from Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. But the small-but-mighty Avenger may not be alone in its class: director Peyton Reed says the villainous Variant of He Who Remains poses a bigger threat than even Thanos (Josh Brolin). The Infinity Stone-wielding Mad Titan defined the Infinity Saga and took away half of all life in the universe Avengers: Infinite War before attempting to rip the Marvel Cinematic Universe apart to the very last atom Avengers: Endgame.
So how does Marvel go bigger than That? Kicking off Phase 5 of the MCU, Quantumania introduces a new Avengers-level threat to the entire Multiverse: a time-conquering warmonger unlike any adversary the size-shifting superheroes Ant-Man and Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) have faced before.
“We’re kicking off Phase 5 in a big, big way,” Reed said during an appearance at CCXP 2022 in Brazil. “This is the greatest adventure Ant-Man and Wasp have ever embarked on. We’re going to strange places and we’re going to encounter an opponent unlike anything they’ve ever faced – and that includes Thanos.”
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Kang is also different from its own multiversal Variant: He Who Remains. Majors appeared in the Loki season finale as the creator of the Time Variance Authority, a timekeeper and master planner who warned of a multiverse war threatening the destruction of countless universes throughout the multiverse.
“I think He Who Remains in Loki is very different from Kang the Conqueror in our movie. They are Variants, but they are very different people,” Reed explains. “Kang is someone who has dominion over time, but he conserves his energy. He’s a very, very scary character to deal with, as [Ant-Man and Wasp] find out first hand.”
Phases 4, 5, and 6 are part of what Marvel calls the Multiverse Saga, which will conclude with the two-part Avengers: The Kang Dynasty in 2025 and Avengers: Secret Wars in 2026. Though original from 2015 Ant man phase 2, the third and final installment of Reed’s trilogy will launch phase 5.
“Ant-man phase 2 completed. And now, [Ant-Man is] Kicking off Phase 5 in such a huge way, just as Scott Lang himself goes from being this petty criminal to saving the world in Endgame,” added Marvel Studios president and producer Kevin Feige. “I love that the Ant man franchise is now at the pinnacle of the MCU and entering Phase 5.”
With Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kathryn Newton, Bill Murray and Jonathan Major, Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania opens in theaters only February 17, 2023.
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