Ant-Man and the Wasp marks a considerable tonal shift in the MCU from the bleak ending of Avengers: Infinity War, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Many critics and reviewers saw the latest Marvel release as a refreshing change of pace, offering a lighter, funnier alternative to the dark and expansive movie that came before.
Nonetheless, it was inevitable that Scott Lang and Hope van Dyne’s latest outing would at least have to acknowledge the grim, universe-changing repercussions of Thanos’ actions in Infinity War, and so director Peyton Reed left audiences with one last bombshell before they left theater. Before we continue, though, be warned that spoilers lie ahead.
We are, of course, referring to the mid-credits scene of the movie, which sees Hope, Janet and Hank all turn to dust as a result of Thanos’ fatal finger-snap. It’s not everyday that a film being praised as a fun, low-stakes thrill-ride ends with several characters falling victim to a mass genocide, and based on his recent comments, Reed knew that this moment would create quite the contrast.
“The thing that really appealed to us was because it was a thing the whole way through of how are we going to deal with this issue Infinity War, and it occurred to us we were going to do it in an Ant-Man and the Wasp way. Which was to tell our story, make it self-contained, and make the ending of the movie with everything wrapped up in such a neat bow at the end of the movie. The mission at hand, Scott Lang being on house arrest and seeing his daughter, the X-Con guys landing the big fish and getting their company saved, Hank and Janet reunited – it’s all The Partridge Family, the neatest possible bow of all time. And then we go into a colorful credit sequence. And then do this scene that would hopefully punch the audience in the gut.”
The director then explained the challenge of incorporating the events of Infinity War into his own, rather different movie, stressing that it was important that they didn’t try to recreate the impact of that last film’s ending.
“I think everybody in the back of their minds’ are like, ‘okay, they can’t ignore it, they can’t ignore it.’ What’s going to happen and who is it going to happen to? So we wanted to just have fun with that. And for me, you’re not going to do the event in a bigger way than Infinity War did it. It had to be its own different tone and it had to be specific to our movie.”
With that cliffhanger of a mid-credits sequence, Ant-Man and the Wasp confirms that even the cheeriest parts of the MCU are in a pretty miserable state right now. And it won’t be until Avengers 4 comes out on May 3rd that this mess will finally be fixed.