While Ant-Man may not be the most popular Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) property, the movies serve an important purpose: moving the narrative forward for the current Marvel phase. The new movie, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, is no different, but definitely has higher stakes, and recently MCU head Kevin Feige explained why.
In a deep dive on Phase Five from Empire about the movie and new villain Kang, Feige explained that while past Ant-Man movies may have been less of a setup and more of an exhale (like after Infinity War), this one is different.
“We wanted to kick off Phase Five with Ant-Man because he’d earned that position,” Feige told the publication. “To not simply be the backup or the comic relief, but to take his position at the front of the podium of the MCU.”
This means that Ant-Man gets to face off against THE villain: Jonathan Majors’ Kang. This also means that Ant-Man will go from running around the city of San Francisco to taking on potentially the most powerful Marvel villain so far.
It’s a pretty good upgrade, but also one that the character has earned, according to writer Jeff Loveness. “The first discussion we had was, ‘What if Ant-Man is accidentally in an Avengers movie by himself?”
Feige also shared that Kang was the best choice when it came to telling the Phase Five story.
“He is the obvious choice as you’re dealing with the Multiverse. Kang allowed us to do a new kind of Big Bad. He’s a different type of villain, warring amongst themselves as much as he’s warring with our heroes.”
Majors also touched on Kang and what he means to the MCU, sharing that Kang is a whole new type of character.
“Kang adds tonal diversity, real conflict and real friction,” he said. “You’re being introduced to a new vibration in the MCU. There’s conflict – not just mano-a-mano, not just hero and villain, but ‘your way of life’ and ‘my way of life’. I’m coming for it. We’re in battle here.”
Feige also provided a little backstory to Kang and why he’s so eager to tussle with Ant-Man and company.
“Kang’s a very powerful person, but when we meet him he’s in a position where he needs to get that power back,” Feige said. “He has a ship and a device that would allow him to go anywhere, and anywhen he wants if he can get it online. If only he had access to genius scientists with Pym particles.”
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania hits theaters on Feb. 17.