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Ant-Man 3 — eight things we learned from the press conference

The Ant-Man 3 cast and MCU boss Kevin Feige got together to talk Marvel Phase 5 and how the film starts the superhero movie franchise's next chapter.

Paul Rudd is back to lead the Ant-Man 3 cast as Scott Lang

The MCU‘s smallest superhero is set to play an enormous role in the franchise’s future. After the bombastic carnage of Avengers Endgame gave way to a muddled and Covid-compromised Phase Four, there’s been a rudderless feel to the biggest juggernaut in Hollywood. With the beginning of Marvel’s Phase 5 and the Ant-Man 3 release date upon us, that’s set to change. There’s a focus – and the focus is Kang the Conqueror.

After a swaggering Jonathan Majors monologued his way through the finale of the Marvel series Loki – he’s back as another variant of Kang in Quantumania. This big, scary multiversal traveller will loom large over the MCU for the next few years, getting title billing for the Avengers 5 release date. But it isn’t all about the Marvel villain.

The new movie is a family affair, with Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly’s MCU characters finally given a chance to join forces with Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet and Kathryn Newton as Cassie, as well as Michael Douglas as Hank Pym. The Ant-Man cast and crew assembled for a press conference to answer some of the burning questions about the movie and their futures in the franchise. Here’s what we found out…

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These guys love talking about “family” almost as much as Vin Diesel

The Lang/Van Dyne clan are very much at the heart of Quantumania, even amid the bizarro world of the Quantum Realm. It’s the first time the entire family of Ant-Man characters has been given the chance to head out on an adventure together, and director Peyton Reed said this is a story built on “the secrets that family members keep from each other”.

For Marvel boss Kevin Feige, the “vulnerability and relatability” of this family created the contrast needed in order to introduce a future Big Bad of the scale of Kang. Meanwhile, leading man Paul Rudd said the science fiction movie finds Scott wanting to focus more on the chance to “have some time and be a normal dad” to Cassie after the chaos and “missed years” of Avengers Endgame. It’s all about family, but there isn’t a Corona or a Fast and Furious character cameo in sight.

Cast of Wizard of Oz

The Quantum Realm was inspired by Wizard of Oz and Flash Gordon

While the Quantum Realm has been a part of the MCU for a long time, this superhero movie represents the first chance fans have had to dive into its infinite possibilities – meeting all manner of creatures amid a colourful world. “It is a place that is on the sub-atomic level where space and time act differently,” said Feige, adding that this film is about “manic quantumness” – whatever that means.

Feige said he and Reed had spent three and a half years working on the design, with “parallels to Wizard of Oz”. Reed said he gave great freedom to his artists to bring their own ideas to it and drew from “whacked-out things” in the history of sci-fi, like Flash Gordon and Barbarella, as well as real-world microscopic photography to reflect how the whole of the Quantum Realm’s vastness is “taking place in your fingernail somewhere”.

He added: “We looked at everything from electron microscope photography to things like Heavy Metal magazine in the ‘70s and ‘80s. We wanted to bring in all of these elements. There’s a sword and sorcery element, and there’s a real Mœbius element to it.”

Jonathan Majors as Kang in Ant-Man 3

Jonathan Majors used lockdown to study Kang… and Tom Hiddleston

Going forward, the MCU is all about the movie villain Kang. And by Kang, we mean Kangs. We’ve already met He Who Remains, and the version in Quantumania is definitely “The Conqueror”. Majors, who’s set to dominate 2023 given his role in the impending Creed 3 release date, has been challenged by the prospect of portraying multiple Kang variants with “a throughline between them” and likened his MCU arrival to “joining the Shakespearean troupes back in the day”.

As for prep, he said the fact he got the part during the Covid-19 lockdowns of 2020 had a big impact on his work. “In Loki, I’m dealing with Tom. I got to watch him the whole time. This opportunity came to me in lockdown, so I studied Tom Hiddleston for hours a day. Then when that was done, I went, ‘okay, Paul Rudd, you’re up’.”

Spending lockdown watching the TV series Loki? See, Majors is just like the rest of us, except for the talent, the muscles, and the successful acting career.

Michael Douglas is in the Ant-Man 3 cast as Hank Pym

Michael Douglas doesn’t understand Marvel phases at all

During the Q&A session, Douglas turned to Feige and asked the boss to explain what on earth it means that this movie is taking place in Phase Five. After briefly providing a bullet point tour of previous phases, Feige said that this film “begins a more specific storyline heading towards some Avengers films down the line”. Douglas was clearly impressed, declaring with apparent surprise that “you really do have a plan”.

After providing Douglas with this explanation, moderator Randall Park asked Feige just how far ahead he and the rest of the Marvel team plan. He said: “We work in about three phases at a time. Three phases together, as we all know, make a saga”.

Michelle Pfeiffer is Janet Van Dyne in the Ant-Man 3 cast

Michelle Pfeiffer loved her more action-heavy role this time

Janet Van Dyne is a key figure in Quantumania, given she’s the only member of the family with real experience of the Quantum Realm – and she’s nursing her fair share of secrets about it, too. For Pfeiffer, this meant more focus on action and stunts, which was something she really got into to make sure her character was believable as “kind of a badass”.

Pfeiffer said: “I kind of wish I’d had more preparation. As things go, it sort of evolves over time. We have amazing stunt people, there’s a whole department, and you’re incredibly supported. There’s training that goes along with that. I worked with them to exhaustion, really, on some of those more physical scenes. But it’s a lot of fun.”

Evangeline Lilly plays Wasp in Ant-Man 3

Evangeline Lilly really wants a Wasp solo movie

Being a co-titular hero is not enough for Evangeline Lilly, who responded to a question about a possible solo action movie for Wasp by declaring: “I think you might have asked the most important question of the day”. Lilly referred the question to Feige, who said with a diplomatic flair that “the opportunities within the MCU are endless, as they are in the multiverse, so we will have to see what happens in the future.”

Lilly’s response was pretty emphatic. She said: “Just for the record, if that opportunity did present itself, I am fully suited up and ready to go.”

MODOK in Ant-Man 3

Everyone is excited about MODOK

It’s fair to say that the character of MODOK – Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing – has been a bit of a white whale for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with the big-headed villain absent from MCU projects and given a comedy edge in an animated series starring the voice of Patton Oswalt.

Marvel bigwig and producer Stephen Broussard added: “[MODOK] has kind of loomed large in our imagination of how and if we could pull that off. It has felt like a challenge going back years here at Marvel. We had an idea, and the time was right to bring MODOK to the big screen finally.”

Reed said it was “a personal thrill” to bring him to the screen in this MCU movie. The character this time around is portrayed by Corey Stoll, who previously played the main villain Yellowjacket in the first Ant-Man movie. Reed said he had been fascinated with the character since reading comics growing up. “MODOK was always this insane character. He’s grotesque,” said the director. MODOK probably won’t be putting that line on his Tinder page.

Kathryn Newton joins the MCU in Ant-Man 3 as Cassie Lang

Kathryn Newton has wanted to be a superhero since she was a child

With apologies to everyone reading this who has ever found a grey hair, Kathryn Newton was just 11 years old when she saw Iron Man back in 2008. But the experience lit a fire in the star, who revealed she subsequently told friends at school that she wanted to be a superhero. “Anyone who knows me from high school, it was probably my superlative in the yearbook,” she said. “It made me dream. I went with my dad to the theatres, and I just wanted to be a superhero.”

Fifteen years later, she’s making good on that as Cassie gets to don a super-suit of her own and have a good mess around with some Pym particles.

For more from the MCU, check out our Ant-Man 3 review and delve into our guide for how to watch the Marvel movies in order. Or, look to the future with our guides to the Captain America 4 release date and the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 release date.