Since the birth of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Iron Man, each entry in the franchise has teased what to expect in a future installment with post-credits scenes. With Ant-Man and the Wasp, post-credits sequences once again teased the future of the MCU, though part of the tease was a hint that there might not be a future for the characters after all. Director Peyton Reed recently confirmed that the clues presented in the post-credits sequence were more fun for the filmmaker as opposed to solidifying a character’s fate.
WARNING: Spoilers below for Ant-Man and the Wasp
In one of the film’s post-credits scenes, Scott Lang heads into the Quantum Realm to collect samples, only for the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Thanos’ deadly use of the Infinity Gauntlet to catch up to the film, leaving Lang in the realm with no one surviving to rescue him. The film closed with a tease that Ant-Man and the Wasp would return, only for a question mark to appear, toying with the audience that the characters might be gone for good.
“At first, it really struck us as funny,” Reed shared with The Verge. “I mean, there were always the James Bond movies [that would tease the next film]. ‘James Bond will return in For Your Eyes Only.’ So we wanted to do a riff on that comedically, and really play into the mystery. It struck me as funny in the body of our movie, and then it also struck me as funny in the larger MCU sense of audience members hanging on every thread of any piece of information, as they should, in these movies. ‘What’s going to happen? What’s going to happen to my heroes?’ And so it was just a fun thing to play with the audience with.”
Films in the MCU don’t often explicitly reveal that characters will return, with 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy boldly claiming that the heroes would return for more adventures, despite Marvel Studios not knowing how successful the film would be.
Some fans have criticized the events of Infinity War and the “deaths” of many characters, noting that Marvel Studios has already confirmed a variety of dead characters would appear in sequels. Reed wanted to explicitly toy with that idea, likely to address those critiques, even though Ant-Man and the Wasp are both expected to appear in Avengers 4.
Ant-Man and the Wasp is now playing in theaters.