Ant-Man 3’s Ending Might Have Fooled Us All

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This article contains major Ant-Man 3 spoilers

We’re shrinking down once again, and as Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania comes to streaming, it’s time to look back at the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s divisive Phase 5 debut. Paul Rudd’s pint-sized hero joins OG Avengers Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor in the exclusive trilogy club, while boosting the Multiverse Saga forward.

Despite Quantumania putting the pieces in place for the franchise-shattering Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors), some argue you could’ve skipped the end without missing much – apart from MODOK’s CGI butt. Whispers from behind the scenes suggest the ending was reshot in something of a hurry, and although it seems like an odd decision to make, there’s a wild theory that this alternate ending is here for a specific reason.

We previously covered how it’s easy to pinpoint the rumoured reshoots, which swapped out the original idea of Lang and Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) being trapped in the Quantum Realm for a “happy” ending where the family tucks into a Baskin-Robbins birthday cake. Echoing the opening montage of Lang enjoying his Ant-Man fame, the movie’s finale had an ominous tone before we jumped into the Council of Kang’s post-credit stinger.

But as shared by New Rockstars, there’s a big theory that suggests the reality Scott and Hope escaped to wasn’t the original timeline of Earth-616 continuity (Earth-199999 if you’re Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse). Things seemingly came full circle as we got a rehash of the opening, complete with the same Welcome Back, Kotter theme song. Lang’s narration says, “My life doesn’t make sense,” and it’s clear he knows something is wrong. Although it could just be the looming threat of more Kangs, it could also be that he knows this isn’t his home. 

The ending’s weird vibe is backed up by the fact several people Scott passes are wearing a vibrant purple that clashes against a green backdrop, while there are other nods to Kang’s signature colors from the comics. The post-credit features the Council of Kangs outside the Sacred Timeline, gathering their forces and warning the Avengers (not that they really exist anymore) have learned of the Multiverse, as they enact their master plan to stop Earth’s Mightiest heroes. It’s possible that the Baskin-Robbins ending takes place after this, with the Kangs having whipped Scott into a new timeline.

Speaking to ComicBook.com, writer Jeff Loveness addressed the theory and hinted that there might be more to it than we first thought. “I think it’s very interesting. I can’t say much. It actually is not too far off from some possibilities, but I can’t say anything,” said Loveness. “For now, the only important thing to say is that the multiverse is limitless and Scott Lang was the man who saved the universe in [Avengers: Endgame] and now he may be the person who accidentally f-cked up the multiverse for everybody.”

Others have suggested that Scott is undergoing some sort of psychedelic trip – similar to the one Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) experienced in Ant-Man and the Wasp, meaning he hasn’t escaped at all. This would line up with the original ending, which was going to leave Scott and Hope trapped in the Quantum Realm. The extras in the final scene do act like they’re in some sort of The Truman Show recreation, leading to theories about a third option where the Kangs have trapped Ant-Man in their own simulation. After all, it was a little too easy for Cassie (Kathryn Newton) to rescue her dad from the Quantum Realm. 

There were early talks of Ant-Man 4, but assuming Ant-Man and Wasp will be crucial to the fight against Kang in Destin Daniel Cretton’s Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, these lingering plot threads will have to be picked up. Remember, Quantumania’s reported original ending had Cassie seeing something mysterious on her readings and things cutting to black – was she supposed to realise daddy dearest was marooned in an alternate timeline or Westworld-inspired creation of the Kangs?

After an achingly long tease throughout Phase 4, Phase 5 is going in hard on the Multiverse, with Quantumania’s Victor Timely post-credit hinting at Loki season 2 hunting Kang variants. Having Scott in an alternate timeline would allow us to revisit something like the fan-favourite Earth-838 of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, however, showcasing one with only minor changes proves the Multiverse doesn’t have to be all worlds where you’re made of paint or look like Spider-Man: The Animated Series

With things poised to get more confusing than your average episode of Rick and Morty, it sounds like the Quantumania team isn’t willing to give us more than a tantalizing tease right now. Having Scott tucking into a slice of cake in an alternate universe might seem like small potatoes when compared to a colosseum full of Kangs, but as with all things in the MCU, they’re done with purpose. Will this Quantumania theory pay off, or have we lost our minds like Erik Selvig in Thor: The Dark World?

The post Ant-Man 3’s Ending Might Have Fooled Us All appeared first on Den of Geek.

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