Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania Trailer Breakdown: Making Up For Lost Time

With just over a month until the theatrical release of "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania," Marvel Studios has released a new trailer for the film, which marks the first movie in Phase Five of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the 31st MCU film overall. Director Peyton Reed has said that, with "Quantumania," he's going for a movie that will "be big and feel central to the future of the MCU." This new trailer leans into that hard, with everything from the music to the sci-fi visuals conveying an adventure of epic proportions that will paradoxically play out at a microscopic scale in the Quantum Realm.

The first trailer for "Quantumania," released back in October, began with a light-hearted tone, similar to the first two "Ant-Man" movies, before easing viewers into a more portentous atmosphere than what they're maybe accustomed to from an "Ant-Man" flick. This second trailer wastes no time with any kind of light-hearted setup. It opens with the same shots of Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) walking down the sidewalk, nodding to passers-by, and Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) getting out of a car and linking arms with him at a red carpet premiere. This time, however, they're overlaid by a voiceover from classic Marvel villain Kang (Jonathan Majors), who is set to shake up the MCU in a major way.

'You've lost a lot of time'

In Kang's voiceover, he strikes a Faustian note as he says, "You're an interesting man, Scott Lang. You're an Avenger. You have a daughter, but you've lost a lot of time, like me. We could help each other with that." As this is happening, we see the young Cassie Lang (Abby Ryder Fortson) wallpapered on Scott's phone. Then, we see the full-grown Cassie (Kathryn Newton) walking out of a jail cell.

This would seem to imply that Cassie might have followed her father's footsteps into a life of crime. Thanks to the events of "Avengers: Infinity War," "Ant-Man and the Wasp," and "Avengers: Endgame," Scott was stuck in the Quantum Realm for five hours while five whole years elapsed on earth. He missed the chance to see his daughter grow up, and it's possible that, in his absence, Cassie may have made some of the same mistakes Scott did before the first "Ant-Man" movie, where he was released from prison for petty thievery.

Whatever the case, the trailer picks up where the last one left off, with the activation of a device that Cassie described in the first trailer as "like a satellite for deep space, but quantum." We see Hope and her mother, Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), looking on as it throws off a blue glow. Soon, pieces of furniture, then Cassie, then Scott — pretty much everything and everyone in the room — are getting sucked down into the Quantum Realm.

'You can't trust him'

In addition to delivering a commanding voiceover, Jonathan Majors knows how to make a good physical entrance as Kang. We see his purple boots and cape silhouetted on the floor before the full reveal of his blue face—which adheres to his Marvel Comics look, but which is only an energy mask that falls away as he tells Scott, "I'm the man who can give you the one thing you want: time."

The Marvel Studios logo comes up, and we hear Janet warning that Kang "can rewrite existence and shatter timelines." On a side note, I wonder if anyone else is as dense as me and just now realizing that those are scars running down Kang's face. In the first trailer, they almost looked like tears, but we get a better look at Kang in the light here and it seems he's already bearing some battle damage.

Janet again warns Scott that he can't trust Kang, but even as we see the unforeseen ramifications of them working together — with Scott splitting off into another version of himself like Marvel's Multiple Man — Scott seems adamant about recovering the time he lost with Cassie, saying, "I don't care who this guy is. I just lost so much."

'You will bring me what I need'

Young and old Cassie are again contrasted in Scott's present and past as he insists that Kang "can give us a second chance" and dives into action. We see Janet, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), and a third person, possibly Hope, riding through the Quantum Realm on a winged creature with multiple tails. But it looks like Scott is off on his own solo mission as he aims at an orange fissure, maybe a Quantum Tunnel, in the center of a huge, spinning metallic object. It seems to be a fetch quest for Kang, who demands, "You will bring me what I need, or everything you call a life will end."

As the trailer progresses, we see more quick cuts, with shots of ships and Kang's apparent quantum army mobilizing, along with characters running and jumping and dangling off edges, and Scott being swallowed by what appears to be a writhing mass of alternate Ant-Men. There's a shot of one unraveling in his Giant Man form, which somewhat recalls a move we've seen Thanos pull on the Guardians of the Galaxy before (a subtle reminder that Kang is a villain of Thanos proportions, even if he's a "totally different" kind of character, according to Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige).

A familiar face as MODOK

The biggest new reveal in this trailer for old-school Marvel Comics fans and/or fans of Hulu's canceled "M.O.D.O.K." series starring Patton Oswalt might be that of the live-action version of MODOK. The first blink-and-you'll-miss-it glimpse of MODOK that we see in the trailer comes around 55 seconds in, where you can catch him in the background with a bald head and humanoid face that looks an awful lot like Corey Stoll.

Stoll played Yellowjacket in the first "Ant-Man" movie, and it ended with Yellowjacket seemingly shrinking to death, but it appears that he may have found a way to survive as MODOK with Kang's help. Later, around the 1:45 mark, we see MODOK in all his masked, armored glory, ready to make his live-action MCU debut. Having Stoll return as a secondary villain is an interesting way of tying "Quantumania" back to the first "Ant-Man" movie and bringing this unlikeliest of superhero trilogies full circle.

'The beginning of a new dynasty'

The trailer does a good job of setting up the emotional stakes for "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania," with Scott being tempted to make a deal with the devil so he can turn back time and be there for his daughter's childhood. It's a deal that seems destined to fall apart, with Scott perhaps setting the wheels in motion for Kang to escape the Quantum Realm, then working to undo his own damage and prevent that from happening, saying, "I don't have to win. We both just have to lose."

Toward the end, Scott and Kang go mano a mano, and Kang stomps his helmet, which is reminiscent of the scene in "The Dark Knight Rises" where Bane breaks Batman's mask. That's the last comparison on earth I would have expected to make for an "Ant-Man" trailer...

Kang has the potential to be a compelling new villain for the MCU insofar as he can seemingly lure heroes over to his side and even have them fighting variants of themselves. This could be a clue for what to expect as Phase Five of the MCU builds toward "Avengers: The Kang Dynasty" and "Avengers: Secret Wars" in 2025 and 2026.

A common complaint of Phase Four of the MCU was that it kept expanding without a goal in sight, but the trailer for "Quantumania" overtly links the start of Phase Five with the end of Phase Six by calling it "the beginning of a new dynasty." At the very end, Kang gives a primal yell and shoots twin blue blasts at the screen, and we know this won't be the last time we see him in the years to come.

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