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The ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ Trailer Doesn’t Hold Back

What with Kang, Lang, and M.O.D.O.K., Marvel’s latest look at the first film in Phase 5 seems to lift the lid more than the typical trailer for an MCU release

Marvel Studios/Ringer illustration

It’s only the second week of 2023, but the first piece of Marvel Studios content of the New Year has already arrived. The latest trailer for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania debuted during a one-sided college football national championship on Monday night, providing a closer look at what will be the first film of the MCU’s Phase 5 when it arrives on February 17. And the trailer reveals a lot.

In the first Quantumania preview, which arrived in late October, the upcoming film’s big bad—Jonathan Majors’s Kang the Conqueror—is more talked about than seen, with the only close-up shot of his face reserved for the footage’s final moments. But in the latest trailer, Kang is front and center. “You’re an interesting man, Scott Lang,” Kang says to open the preview. “You’re an Avenger, you have a daughter, but you’ve lost a lot of time, like me. We could help each other with that.”

Like many Marvel trailers, the first preview revealed little by way of plot, opting instead to reintroduce the audience to the Quantum Realm and to tease the long-awaited arrival of Kang the Conqueror after the character’s soft launch as his variant He Who Remains in the season finale of Loki. In that trailer, we also learned that Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton) has seemingly created a means of communicating with the Quantum Realm despite being only in her teenage years. (What with the trio of young super-geniuses in Peter Parker, Riri Williams, and apparently Cassie Lang, one has to wonder, What’s going on with the American education system in the MCU, and who deserves a medal?) Cassie’s technological breakthrough naturally gets the Ant-Man clan into trouble as they’re all sucked into the Quantum Realm. The preview ends with Kang offering Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) an ominous deal that would return him and his family to their own dimension.

The latest trailer, on the other hand, appears to lay out the plot in full, including the basic details of the deal that Kang offers and Scott foolishly accepts. Kang wants Scott to bring him something that might just start a multiversal war, and in return, he promises to grant the Avenger and his family much more than a ticket back to Earth; Kang can offer him time itself. And as a father who’s lost so much time with his daughter that the actress playing her has been recast twice, Scott can’t refuse that offer.

“I don’t care who this guy is. I just lost so much,” Scott says via voiceover as the on-screen images convey the years he lost with Cassie during the Blip. “He can give us a second chance.”

But the Quantumania preview goes even further than that, revealing, in no particular order:

  • That Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) tells Scott that Kang has the power to “rewrite existence and shatter timelines” as she urges him not to take the deal
  • That Scott takes the deal and Kang doesn’t hold up his end of the bargain
  • Glimpses of what appears to be Kang’s base, the city of Chronopolis, from the comics, along with his iconic blue mask and how Marvel Studios has reinvented it for the screen
  • Our first look at the MCU’s take on M.O.D.O.K.
Marvel Studios

We also see glimpses of what sure looks like the climactic battle between Kang and Ant-Man and perhaps even the very end of Lang, with the Avenger getting beaten to a pulp as he all but concedes any chance of beating the time-traveling villain, saying: “I don’t have to win. We both just have to lose.”

What may be most revealing of all about the latest look at Quantumania, though, is just how much the film seems designed to introduce Kang the Conqueror and set up the forthcoming events of the Multiverse Saga. Phase 4’s start to the Multiverse Saga felt directionless and disconnected at times compared to the Infinity Saga, but Quantumania is shaping up to be a swift course correction as the rest of Marvel Studios’ road map comes into focus. The movie may belong to Ant-Man and the Wasp in title, but Evangeline Lilly’s Hope Van Dyne has barely gotten a word in through two trailers, and here we see the spotlight shift to Kang in a major way as he assembles an army while planning for something much bigger than taking on the guy named “Ant-Man.” The preview even teases Quantumania as “the beginning of a new dynasty,” a nod to the upcoming Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, which is expected to be the penultimate entry in Phase 6 when it hits theaters in May 2025.

There’s always the chance that the new Quantumania trailer features some misdirections, like the trailers for previous MCU films such as Spider-Man: Far From Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but it seems to supply more advance knowledge than Marvel typically dispenses. Given that Ant-Man has not exactly been the most memorable MCU franchise to date, and that Majors’s climactic appearance as He Who Remains in Loki gave the ongoing series one of Marvel’s most thrilling conclusions ever through the strength of riveting monologues alone, the film’s marketing team may be onto something here. There’s still the question of whether Scott will make it out of Quantumania alive as the old guard of Avengers continues to make way for the new, and whether Cassie will follow in his footsteps to become the hero known as Stature sooner rather than later. But when the third and potentially final Ant-Man film arrives next month, we’ll get a good indication of where the Loki and Avengers franchises are headed, as well as our first full-fledged meeting with the Thanos-level villain who’s primed to shape the future of the Multiverse Saga.