'Ant-Man and the Wasp' End-Credits Scenes, Explained
By John Boone
Massive spoilers for "Ant-Man and the Wasp" and "Avengers: Infinity War" below.
Considering the franchise-imploding, all-consuming scope of the movie that came before it -- that'd be Avengers: Infinity War -- Ant-Man and the Wasp is practically quaint in its self-containedness. That said, there are a number of seeds planted even before the end credits roll that are sure to alter the future of Marvel's cinematic universe as we know it: the "evolution" of Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) so that she now feels pain and has...magic hands, or something; Cassie Lang's wanting to "help people" like her dad, laying the groundwork for her future as the superhero Stinger. Then there's the one-two punch of the post-credits stingers. (No pun, intended)
The Mid-Credits Scene: Well, that answers one lingering question I had after Infinity War. In case you didn't see that one -- though, seeing as it made billions with a B at the box office, I'm guessing you did -- Thanos raptured half the universe's population with the snap of his fingers. At the time, I predicted Ant-Man and the Wasp would take place concurrently with Infinity War and (somewhat jokingly) guessed the end-credits scene would be Ant-Man or Wasp disappearing. But not like this!
First, the scene: Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Janet are working side-by-side on the rooftop of a parking garage, presumably in San Francisco. "I used to be a respected scientist. I had my name on buildings," he grumbles, to which Janet points out, "You wanted a smaller quantum tunnel..."
It is, indeed, a smaller tunnel into the quantum realm than the one we'd grown accustomed to, made to fit in the back of an X-Con security truck. Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), donning his Ant-Man suit, steps out of the truck and we learn that he plans to go subatomic to collect quantum healing energy. Once inside the quantum realm, Scott proceeds to secure, as he puts it, "healing particles for our new Ghost friend." That would be tease enough on its own, that unlike other one-and-done villains, Ava aka Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) is sticking around. But then it's time to be pulled out of the tunnel.
"Quit screwing around," Scott nervously chuckles when he receives no response. And then we cut back to the rooftop, where Hank, Hope (Evangeline Lilly) and Janet are gone, ash swirling in the wind as Scott calls out over a microphone receiver, "Guys! Guys!"
Not only is the Wasp gone, but the OG Ant-Man and Wasp are gone, too. (Janet, we hardly knew ye!) On top of all that, our current Ant-Man is trapped amid the pixelating unknown of the quantum realm. After such a lighthearted romp of a movie, seeing that dust is shocking. This is easily one of the biggest cliffhangers in Marvel history. So, what does it mean?
Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige promised that Ant-Man and the Wasp "connects directly" to the still-untitled Avengers 4, and there it is. The Snappening has reached every corner of the Marvel universe, which is especially noteworthy considering this is the last MCU movie in the present timeline before the conclusion of Infinity War. (Captain Marvel, the next movie hitting theaters, is set in the '90s.) But Feige also said, "These characters are gonna be very important going forward," so what about the Wasp? More on her fate in a moment.
The End-Credits Scene: An Emergency Broadcast System announcement emits from the TV -- probably an alert related to the aforementioned disappearance of 50 percent of the population -- as the camera pans through the empty rooms of Scott's home. The bleeping of the EBS mixes with a rhythmic beating. Then we see the source of the latter: A giant ant playing the drums. (Which ant? Likely not Ulysses S. Gr-ANT or any of the poor insect souls eaten by seagulls.)
I'm surprised the gag didn't end with the ant playing a rim shot.
The tag, I suppose, is there to leave audiences with a touch of the Ant-Man franchise's absurd silliness after such a bleak mid-credits scene. As is the traditional "Ant-Man and the Wasp will return" message that appears onscreen, before a question mark pops up to read: "Ant-Man and the Wasp will return?"
Haha! But, uh, will the Wasp return? Where did she go? And how will she come back? Though we don't know the when, where or why of Hope van Dyne's un-dusting, Evangeline Lilly did inadvertently tease a team-up with Captain Marvel in Avengers 4, out May 3, telling ET, "When I was working on Avengers, I got to know Brie Larson pretty well." (The ever-coy Feige only added of the pairing, "Someday, maybe. That would be cool.")
As far as we know from the Infinity Warpost-credits scene, Captain Marvel is still out there -- alive and well and, most importantly, not ash -- and is set to help the remaining Avengers take on Thanos. Now, we know at some point, somewhere, somehow, that will include the Wasp, too.