Why does the latest Ant-Man 3 trailer spoil the new Marvel movie?

The latest Ant-Man 3 trailer has done something very rare for Marvel movies, and spoiled several major plot details in the MCU film

Ant-Man 3 trailer: Jonathan Majors as Kang

We need to talk about the new Ant-Man 3 trailer. There is a certain genre of movie trailer which shows the audience a condensed version of the film. You know the kind: you watch them and then realise that there’s simply no need to see the movie itself – at least not for the plot.

Recently, the trailers for MCU movies have been on the opposite end of this spectrum. Think back to the trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. There are tiny snippets of vague dialogue and glimpses of out-of-context battles. From the trailer, it’s next to impossible to deduce any precise details about the plot: why things are happening, or exactly who’s involved.

The same was true of the trailers for Doctor Strange 2, Thor 4 (which were, arguably, better than the actual superhero movies themselves), and so on and so forth. These trailers evoke a sense of the movie and hint towards their style and tone, while otherwise explicitly avoiding plot details. So why, then, was the new trailer for Ant-Man 3 so spoilery?

From the new trailer for Ant-Man 3, there’s not much left unknown about the action movie’s plot. Firstly, we know the entire premise: Ant-Man and the rest of his Ant-Crew of MCU characters get zapped into the Quantum Realm.

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From there, Quantumania ensues. They meet Kang the Conqueror who is also trapped and looking for a means of escape, and Kang offers to work with Ant-Man, telling him that he can return the time Scott Lang lost with his daughter during the blip.

Michelle Pfeiffer’s Janet Van Dyne says “He can rewrite existence and shatter timelines. You cannot trust him.”

“I don’t care who this guy is” replies Rudd’s Scott Lang, “he can give us a second chance.” As it turns out though, Van Dyne is right. The trailer reveals Lang lives to regret his short-lived alliance with the manipulative Kang, whose tricks leave Lang scrabbling to defeat the Marvel villain.

And there we have it. There are some gaps (we don’t know what Ant-Man needs to bring Kang, or his ultimate fate) but we still get the picture: Ant-Man gets stuck in the Quantum Realm with Kang, they strike a deal to both escape, and Kang double crosses the Avenger who realises his mistake far too late.

Ant-Man 3 trailer: Paul Rudd as Scott Lang

It isn’t too hard to fill in the blanks with your own imagination and knowledge of the MCU to get a clearer picture of what proceedings will eventually look like. Bill Murray’s character and MODOK will both have their roles as antagonists on the side, but the goal here is to facilitate Kang’s grand entrance as the MCU’s next Big Bad. And we got all that just from the trailer.

Because we’re so used to the MCU’s infamous brand of secrecy, the lack of it in the Ant-Man 3 trailer sticks out like a wasp at a picnic. And, the truth is, it makes for an enticing watch.

Unsettling VFX (and exhausting use of green screen) aside, Ant-Man 3 looks like one of the more promising of the MCU’s new movies, and one that will fundamentally shake things up again just as proceedings are beginning to feel stale. It touches on the same sense of impending doom that the franchises’ very best movies, namely Infinity War, have been able to capitalise on.

Ant-Man 3 trailer: Jonathan Majors as Kang

It makes sense then, that the MCU would want to eschew its typical format of not-giving-anything-away, in favour of truly showcasing what Ant-Man 3 wants to be. If it’s more likely to draw audiences in, and kick Phase 5 off with a box office bang, then being more transparent about the plot details is a price worth paying because – let’s face it – there’s a lot riding on the upcoming adventure movie.

If Kang fails to delight, or if there’s a continued sense that things aren’t quite at the standard they used to be, audiences may continue to lose interest and the MCU’s entire foundation as it strides forward into its new era will begin to crumble.

With its Ant-Man 3 trailer, the MCU has – like Scott Lang – taken on a risky gamble. They’ve played their hand upfront, aiming to hook fans back in exchange for ditching their famous mystique. For the sake of the franchise’s future, and with optimism that it can return to its best, let’s hope that – unlike Scott Lang – that gamble pays off.

For more on the MCU, check out out guide to the Secret Invasion release date, the Captain America 4 release date, the Black Panther 3 release date, and find out what we know about the many Marvel series with our explainers on Loki season 2, and Moon Knight season 2.