Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania Trailer Breakdown: Growing (And Shrinking) As A Family

With "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" on the horizon, Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is coming to a close. However, True Believers won't have to wait very long until the Multiverse Saga continues as "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" is hitting theaters shortly after the new year. And now, after creating some major buzz at this year's San Diego Comic-Con and D23 Expo, the adoring public can finally feast their eyes on the first trailer for the upcoming film from director Peyton Reed and writer Jeff Loveness.

Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly return as the titular size-shifting heroes in their third "solo" film and their first major adventure since "Avengers: Endgame." In the film, Ant-Man, Wasp, and the rest of the Ant-Fam are looking to use their quantum technology to help more people. Instead, they seemingly pick up on a thread left hanging by the Disney+ series "Loki" since they cross paths with Jonathan Majors in the Quantum Realm. However, instead of portraying the enigmatic He Who Remains, Majors is playing a much more powerful variant known as Kang the Conqueror.

As cool as it is to see the MCU's next big bad make his big screen debut, this first trailer contains a multitude of other goodies that are ripe for dissecting. So without further ado, let's break out those microscopes (or Quantum Tunnels, if you have them handy) and break down this action-packed trailer.

This powered life

The trailer starts off with Elton John's classic song "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" and a narration from Rudd's Scott Lang. "I used to ask myself a lot of questions," he says. "Scott, you're an ex-con. How are you an Avenger? That doesn't make sense." This bit sounds way too polished and thought out to be Scott's inner dialogue, so I have a theory: This is the beginning of one of his acclaimed podcast interviews, possibly even the "Big Me Little Me: A Scott Lang Interview" that was referenced in "Ms. Marvel." There has to be some way to tie that in and get another reference to that gag. Until we know for sure, the trailer holds us over with a good laugh when a cafe owner (the "he admit it!" guy from "I Think You Should Leave") mistakes Ant-Man for Spider-Man.

The laughs keep on coming thanks to a callback to Lang's past at Baskin Robbins. He started from the bottom when he was getting fired for his criminal record, but now we're here after Ant-Man (and the rest of Earth's Mightiest Heroes) saved the world from Thanos, and he's being declared the "Employee of the Century." Both of these instances are great reminders that the "Ant-Man" movies aren't afraid to get a little silly and show off the more comedic side of the MCU.

'Turn it off, now!'

Unfortunately, the laughs don't last very long after that. When Kathryn Newton's grown-up Cassie Lang introduces "a satellite for deep space, but quantum," Janet Van Dyne (played once again by the incomparable Michelle Pfeiffer, alongside Michael Douglas as Hank Pym) is very alarmed by this invention. As it broadcasts a signal into the Quantum Realm, she warns the Ant-Fam to turn it off immediately. But the warnings come too late as the device sucks everyone into the unknown abyss where the original Wasp was trapped for years. (Seems like some simple communication would have solved this problem, but what do I know?)

Beyond the Yellow Brick Road

While Elton John laments, "I should have stayed on the farm. I should have listened to my old man," Scott and Cassie find themselves deep within the Quantum Realm. However, it looks much more vibrant and populated since they last visited as a family to save Janet in 2018's "Ant-Man and the Wasp." The elder Van Dyne calls it "a secret universe beneath ours," but then solemnly reveals that she neglected to tell them something about her time spent here. (Again, they probably would have appreciated some communication about this before they were sucked into this realm against their wishes.)

From here, we get flashes of this microscopic world that more resembles something out of "Guardians of the Galaxy" than "Ant-Man." Spaceships, futuristic buildings, and alien flora and fauna are scattered around the rest of the trailer. Rather than the science heists we've seen from these movies, it appears Reed is leaning into a more comic book-based aesthetic, and we're definitely here for it.

Bigger on the inside?

As Majors' Kang proclaims "this place isn't what you think," we get more flashes of the sleek, circular design elements of this Quantum society. It's more emphasized when Hope Van Dyne gets into Indiana Jones mode and finds more circular hieroglyphics on what looks to be an entrance to a bar. The circles remind me a lot of the written language of Gallifrey and the Time Lords from "Doctor Who," and just like Team TARDIS, the Wasp encounters more Quantum locals in an establishment that resembles a "Star Wars" cantina. They don't really look like the welcoming type, which could be a problem for the hero at some point.

Hey, it's Bill Murray

During the quick cuts of the Quantum Realm, one scene shows a glimpse of Bill Murray's character, who still remains a mystery. However, the actor did previously tease that he's playing a villain in the film. It's possible that his character eventually becomes M.O.D.O.K., who was featured in the footage shown at this year's SDCC. Or maybe he's connected to the Mental/Mobile/Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing in some other way. Or, maybe he's not involved with the incredibly strange fan favorite Marvel Comics villain at all. It is very possible that there are three antagonists in this movie, but just the idea of the comedy legend associating with the character that was once portrayed by Patton Oswalt in his own animated Hulu series is pretty funny. (Note: Murray's co-worker on the set of Aziz Ansari's film, "Being Mortal," made allegations of sexual assault against him that caused the film to shut down production.)

Classic Kang

Chaos reigns in the Quantum Realm at this point in the trailer. Images of creatures and destruction build to the best look yet at Majors as Kang the Conqueror. And though he appeared earlier in attire very similar to his look in "Loki," the final shot of the character is full-on Marvel Comics' version of Kang, complete with the green and purple tunic, the helmet, and a blue tint on the character's face.

Obviously, when characters make the jump from the page to the screen, sometimes it can be necessary to make some modifications to make them make sense in "the real world." (Or they change things up so they can sell more toys.) But since apparently anything goes in the Quantum Realm, let's go all-in with Kang just as Stan Lee and Jack Kirby designed him back in the 1960s. You love to see it.

After basking in the glory of his appearance, you'll notice that Kang says, "I can get you home and give you more time if you help me." This is likely where the rumored heist fits into the story. It's uncertain what Kang would want Ant-Man and the Wasp to steal, but whatever happens, it's set to have serious consequences for the MCU as it moves towards "Avengers: The Kang Dynasty" and "Avengers: Secret Wars."

A family affair

A recurring theme of Phase Four has been family. Legacy characters have been introduced left and right over the past few MCU entries, giving the spotlight to characters like Kate Bishop, Skaar, Eli Bradley, Joaquin Torres, the Maximoff twins, Kamala Khan, and more. This movie, the first Phase Five film, looks to be following that trend. As we first learned back at SDCC, Newton's Cassie Lang would suit up in her own super suit. Now, we get to see the suit in action. Unfortunately, we don't see Cassie shrink, grow, or fly just yet, but it is still pretty cool to see her wear it alongside her superhero family. It's also unclear whether the MCU version of the character will take up the mantle of Stature or Stinger from her comic book counterparts as her codename. My guess is that she'll choose Stinger, to keep with the bug theme of the Ant-Fam. (Yes, I'm trying to make "Ant-Fam" a thing. Get on board!)

With a whole new generation of heroes emerging, the time is nearly optimal to introduce the Young Avengers into this cinematic universe. But before we get there, Cassie and the crew will have to survive their encounter with Kang in the Quantum Realm.

"Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" debuts in theaters on February 17, 2023.