Ant-Man and the Wasp: All you need to know about Marvel's insect-sized superhero film
Despite its heroes' diminutive size, Ant-Man and the Wasp swatted away the competition last weekend, logging $76 million in ticket sales in North America. Marvel's latest comes on the heels of two mammoth successes this year for Disney: Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War.
However, following the grandiosity of Infinity War, Ant-Man and the Wasp offers a more modest, funny and light-hearted change-of-pace for Marvel. The film is the sequel to 2015's Ant-Man, which introduced Paul Rudd as a thief enlisted by Michael Douglas' Hank Pym to become a do-gooder.
Ant-Man and the Wasp is the 20th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe — and the 20th to debut No 1 at the box office. So, ahead of its release in India this Friday, here's all you need to know about Ant-Man and the Wasp before you buy your tickets.
What happened in the first Ant-Man (for the noobs)?
The premise behind Ant-Man is refreshingly simple: Scott Lang, a petty criminal with lot of heart, can get very big or quantum-level small via a suit that manipulates his subatomic particles. Lang is recruited by scientist Hank Pym to wear the shrinkable superhero suit and save the world from the villainous corporate tycoon Darren Cross, with the help of Hope van Dyne, Pym’s feisty daughter.
The original was admired by critics but is one of the least successful MCU releases at box offices worldwide. That actually means very little when the competition is other Marvel movies — it still went on to a global gross of more than $500 million.
What's the story of Ant-Man and the Wasp then?
Ant-Man and the Wasp — directed, like the first movie, by Peyton Reed — sees Lang languishing under house arrest in San Francisco after being caught as his superhero alter-ego fighting some of the other Avengers in Civil War. As he struggles to rebalance his home life with his responsibilities as Ant-Man, he's confronted by Hope Van Dyne and her father with an urgent new mission.
Who's Wasp and what makes her so important to the MCU?
The Ant-Man sequel may be about tiny superheroes, but the film is making a big statement about female empowerment by featuring Evangeline Lilly's The Wasp not only in the title, but giving her a larger stake in Marvel's sprawling movie franchise. The movie may be Marvel’s 20th feature film but it is the first to spotlight a female character in the title.
The prominence of The Wasp, a character who has major roles in the Ant-Man and Avengers comic books, comes after years of fan anticipation for a female Marvel superhero to get her own film. Scarlett Johansson has expressed her desire to see her character, Black Widow, get a standalone film, but Marvel Studios has kept her primarily in its marquee Avengers films.
In Ant-Man, Lilly’s character does not learn until the movie’s end that her father has built a suit that gives her power to transform to various sizes and fly.
But Marvel's first film based solely on a female superhero will be the 1990s' set Captain Marvel, which stars Brie Larson in the title role and is slated for release next year.
Who's the bad guy?
Lilly's role isn't the only prominent female character in the film. Ant-Man and the Wasp is also only the second MCU film with a female principle adversary, after Cate Blanchett's Hela in Thor Ragarnok (2017). British actress Hannah John-Kamen plays Ghost, a villain bent on sowing discord among powerful institutions, in a role that was initially written for a man.
John-Kamen's Ava/Ghost — an anti-capitalist saboteur turned supervillain in the comics — acquires her mysterious powers in a lab accident that makes her cells intangible. She is an ethereal entity who passes through walls but packs a vicious punch.
Who else is in Ant-Man and the Wasp?
Rudd, Lilly and John-Kamen are joined by an illustrious support cast, including Oscar winner Michael Douglas and nominees Michelle Pfeiffer and Laurence Fishburne. Michael Pena returns to provide much of the comic relief alongside Walton Goggins and Bobby Cannavale.
What do the reviews say about the film?
The social media reaction and reviews have been almost universally glowing. Many have praised its eye-popping blend of intricate fight sequences, stunning chases and laugh-out-loud family-friendly comedy.
How do the events of Ant-Man and the Wasp affect MCU's future, especially Avengers 4?
Marvel may have downsized the story for Ant-Man and the Wasp but its story, especially the introduction of the Quantum Realm, will have major ramifications on the events of Avengers 4 and the future of MCU. It will give us a better idea as to how Ant-Man and the Wasp fit into the events of Infinity War.
However, the Ant-Man and The Wasp cast are keeping any secrets about Avengers 4 closely guarded. During a recent interview, Rudd started to answer a question about his character's role going forward in Marvels films. "A funny story, because, you know, in Avengers 4," he said, before pretending to be hit in the neck with a dart and falling out of his chair.
So, if you want more clues about how the events of Infinity War could possibly be undone in Avengers 4, as director Peyton Reed said, “Definitely stick around for the end credits.”
Watch Ant-Man and the Wasp trailer below:
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Jul 12, 2018 16:35 PM