Ant-Man Easter Eggs: The Ultimate Guide To References, Trivia, Cameos And More

Ant-Man wouldn't be a Marvel movie if it didn't contain a bunch of fun easter eggs and references to comic book creators, storylines and side characters. We've chronicled many of the references and hidden details in previous Marvel movies (like this in-depth dissection of Guardians of the Galaxy's many easter eggs), and now its time to take a look at Peyton Reed's Ant-Man. After the jump you will find over 20 easter eggs for the latest Marvel superhero movie starring Paul Rudd.

Ant-Man Easter Eggs

Spider-Man

Spider-Man Reference

At one point in the film, we're told that"we've got one that jumps, we've got one that swings, we've got one that crawls up the walls." This is clearly a reference to Spider-Man, right? Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige claims that the line was written before Marvel made their deal with Sony and was just meant to be a generic line and not a reference directly to Spider-Man. He told io9:

"When that was shot, that was before the whole [Spider-Man] thing had happened. It really was just her listing relatively generic powers leading into Falcon saying, 'I'm looking for someone who shrinks.' Now that the Spider-Man deal has been announced, it takes on a different connotation."

However, director Peyton Reed plays it off very differently, claiming that the line was added very late in the game after the Spider-Man deal happened.

"Well, as everything the Marvel Universe, things are constantly changing and evolving," he said. "It was something that very late in the game happened. We had those conversations about, 'Are we going to deal with it in our movie? Should we deal with it in our movie and if so, how?' We liked the idea of just dropping a little, tiny reference toward the end of the movie. That excited me. Just to have that connection with a character I grew up loving – it was great."

Ant-Man-Quantum-Realm-MCU-Doctor-Strange-Infinity-War

Janet Van Dyne Stuck in the Quantum Realm

In the film, Hank Pym explains the danger of shrinking too small is that you could fall into the Quantum Realm, a subatomic place where time and space are irrelevant. In the comics, it's also known as the Microverse. In a flashback, we learn that Janet Van Dyne's version of the Wasp (Hayley Lovitt) disappears into the Quantum Realm in an effort to save the world. We never see her again... or so you thought.

Peyton Reed has teased that we might see Janet Van Dyne again if you look hard enough. The easter egg can be seen during the sequence when Scott Lang goes into the Quantum Realm.

"I don't know if you caught any of the imagery as Scott is going down into the quantum realm, you might be able, on repeat viewing and definitely when you get the Blu-ray, there's something the audience can see down there that Scott doesn't see, that, may play a larger role."

Fans have also spotted a small winged creature on the right hand side of the screen during the moment when "we're falling into the Quantum Realm." If Janet is actually seen on screen, this means that she could one day be saved.  And since time does not matter at the sub atomic level, she could possibly return in a future Marvel movie not having aged a day since her "death".

Also, the Quantum Realm kind of sets up Doctor Strange. Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige explained to CinemaBlend:

"If you look up the study of quantum mechanics, when you get down that small, as Hank Pym says, space time is meaningless, and there's a lot of that stuff that applies to 'Doctor Strange, So this is sort of an appetizer for, 'If you think this is weird ... '"

Also revealed in the film is that Dr. Hank Pym was studying the Quantum Realm pretty heavily between 1987 (after Janet disappeared) to 1997. This could also tie into Doctor Strange.

Tales To Astonish

"Tales To Astonish"

As Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) reveals old classified footage of Hank Pym's Ant-Man technology in action, he admits that the stories of the tiny hero were written off, calling them "tales to astonish." The phrase got a huge laugh at my screening of Ant-Man. Tales to Astonish was the name of a real Marvel comic series published from January 1959 to March 1968. It began as a science-fiction anthology to showcase artists such as Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, but later featured Silver Age superheroes. The series also featured the first appearance of Hank Pym in issue #27, his transformation into Ant-Man in issue #35, and the Wasp's debut in issue #44. Tales To Astonish was turned into The Incredible Hulk with issue #102, published in April 1968.

Mandarin

Mandarin References

When the Ant-Man trailers were released, many fans were speculating that Scott Lang would be locked up at Seagate Prison, the same facility where Ben Kingsley's Mandarin was put at the conclusion of Iron Man 3. But it turns out Lang served his time at San Quentin in the more story-fitting location of Northern California. And while he didn't share a cell with the Mandarin, there's a reference to that villain's organization the Ten Rings. While it may not be visible in the final film, one of the characters on set for the scene had a "10 Rings of the Mandarin" tattoo on the left side of his neck.

Former /Film writer Germain Lussier theorized that since the actor was hanging out with Martin Donovan's character, maybe Martin Donovan is being set-up to be the real Mandarin? Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige seems to turn down that reading of the situation:

"I guess anything is possible but that's not necessarily what we were currently thinking," Feige said. Then he jokingly added "But now that you said it..."

Stan Lee Cameo

I feel like at this point even the non comic book audience mostly recognizes Stan Lee's cameos in Marvel movies. The legendary comic book creator can be seen in this movie during the second convoluted story told by Luis (Michael Peña), towards the end of the movie. Luis explains that his friend told him she was "Super fine!" and that the bartender, portrayed by Stan Lee, agreed that zshe was, "Super fine!" Of course, all of the story is voiced over by Michael Peña's character. Above, you can watch a supercut of all of Stan Lee's cameos up until 2014's Captain America: The Winter SoldierGuardians of the Galaxy and The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Who's To Blame For Sokovia?

The Avengers and Who’s to Blame For Sokovia?

This one is a little harder to spot: A passenger on the San Francisco cable car is reading a newspaper with the headline, "Who's To Blame For Sokovia?" This is a reference to the climax of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, where the superhero team faces off against Ultron who raises the city into the sky in his evil plan to kill all of humanity by duplicating the effect of a meteor.

Of course, the people were largely saved by the city was left in ruins. So clearly not everyone is happy with The Avengers. This is an interesting preclude to the events that will likely happen in Captain America: Civil War, with the government demanding more control over superheroes. Director Peyton Reed also teases that "there might be some other interesting things in the margin of that newspaper."

At another moment in the film, Lang suggests calling in The Avengers to help take care of things but Hank Pym doesn't trust the superhero team. Pym comments that The Avengers are probably too busy "dropping cities from the sky," which is of course another reference to the events of Age of Ultron.

Martin Donovan

Mitchell Carson: S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra

The flashback sequence which opens up the film shows that Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) did not get along with everyone at S.H.I.E.L.D.. In the 1989-set sequence, we see the Washington DC  S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters the Triskelion under construction. (We later see this S.H.I.E.L.D. base destroyed in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.) In the scene, Hank Pym resigns from S.H.I.E.L.D. after discovering that they attempted to replicate his Ant-Man shrinking technology. Pym argues with Peggy Carter and Howard Stark, characters we've seen in previous films and TV series that are too big to count as easter eggs at this point. But the moment I want to focus on is Hank gets very angry at S.H.I.E.L.D. Head of Defense Mitchell Carson, played by Martin Donovan.

The comic version of the character is fairly different from what we see in the movie, the only connective trait between both versions of the character is they're both kind of a**holes. In the comics, Mitchell Carson is a high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who is chosen to become the third version of Ant-Man, but his day never comes. In the movie, Carson turned out to be a secret HYDRA member. After S.H.I.E.L.D. collapsed in the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Carson continued his work with HYDRA in business cooperation with Darren Cross, with plans to buy Cross' Yellowjacket Suit for HYDRA. Of course, that deal was disrupted by Ant-Man.

Director Peyton Reed has revealed that the film originally had a different ending which would've tied up a big loose end left dangling at the end of Ant-Man. In the finished film, Luis (Michael Peña) relays some crucial information to Scott (Paul Rudd) through another of his delightful montages: Luis has heard through the grapevine that the Avengers are looking for Scott but the film originally ended with a showdown against Mitchell Carson (Michael Donovan):

At the end of the movie he gets away and has these Cross particles, and there was a sequence where Ant-Man has an encounter with him. But then for a couple reasons, it felt like maybe we should leave those particles out there. In that original thing, he took Martin Donovan out and got the particles.

The First Ant-Man Actor Makes a Cameo

This might be Ant-Man's first feature film, but it's not the first time the character has ever been portrayed onscreen. And if you paid close attention, you might've noticed that the film includes a fun callback to the very first live-action depiction of the character — from a Saturday Night Live sketch from 1979. You can see the nod in the scene where Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) tries on the Ant-Man suit for the first time, and eventually lands on top of a cab parked outside. The confused taxi driver hears a ping, and then a louder thud as Scott reverts to his original size.

Well, the Taxi driver is played by Garrett Morris, the first guy ever to play Ant-Man. He portrayed the shrinking superhero for a Saturday Night Live skit called "Superhero Party," alongside Bill Murray as Superman, Dan Aykroyd as the Flash, and John Belushi as the Hulk. You can watch it above.

The Milgrom Hotel

The Milgrom Hotel

After Scott Lang loses his job at Baskin Robbins, he returns to his apartment in The Milgrom Hotel. The name of the hotel is a reference to comic book writer, artist, inker and editor Al Milgrom, who according to wikipedia is best known for "his 10-year run as editor of Marvel Fanfare; his long involvement as writer, penciler, and inker on Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man; his four-year tenure as West Coast Avengers penciller; and his long stint as the inker of X-Factor." His 40-issue run on West Coast Avengers frequently featured Hank Pym.

cassie lang Stature

Stature

Scott Lang's daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson) eventually became a superhero herself in the comics in a storyline that happened after Scott Lang died. As it turns out, Cassie had been secretly taking Pym Particles for years (of course, because comic books), and learned she now had the ability to grow in size. Although the name Ant-Girl was suggested, Cassie adopted the superhero name Stature and became one of the Young Avengers.

It’s a Small World

Despite being urged not to, Luis insists on whistling to make his security guard impersonation seem less suspicious. The song that the character is whistling in the heist scene is the song "It's a Small World" from Walt Disney's famous theme park attraction, written by the Sherman Brothers. (You can hear it 55 seconds into the video above.) Of course, Disney owns Marvel and Ant-Man is a "small world after all", right? And besides, Avengers: Age of Ultron featured the titular villain singing "I've Got No Strings" from the Disney animated classic Pinocchio.

Bucky's Death

Bucky's Death Revisited

In the movies, Bucky Barnes falls from an icy train in Captain America: The First Avenger, only to return as a brainwashed super soldier in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. But in the comics Bucky's death happens in a different way: Bucky dies while he and Captain America are trying to stop a drone plane launched by Baron Zemo which is aimed at the United States. In the book, Bucky loses his arm while falling off the drone as they're stopping the explosion – Steve believes his friend was killed in the blast.

The comic book drone death sequence is partly reused in the movie for Janet Van Dyne's death, which yes, is a little different. Instead of falling off the missile, The Wasp shrinks to a sub atomic size and saves the day.

Empire Strikes Back Hoth

The Sounds of Star Wars

Skywalker Sound is credited on the audio mix so if the sound effects for Yellowjacket's lasers sound bit like the same sound effects the AT-ATs make in The Empire Strikes Back, that's probably because they are. Skywalker sometimes likes to recycle its sound library on the films they work on.

An Ant Battles a Falcon at the New Avengers Facility

Scott Lang needs to steal something from an old Stark Industries building, and we learn that building has since been converted to the New Avengers facility seen at the end of The Avengers: Age of Ultron. While the reveal is a fun moment, Ant-Man's showdown with Falcon (Anthony Mackie)  at the facility at first doesn't appear to have any lasting effect until we get to the end of credits scenes.  As for the new Avengers facility, Feige told io9:

"If you were to do a freeze frame of that reveal in Ant-Man of the Avengers facility, you'll see the part that you saw at the end of Ultron, but you'll also see a section you didn't see in Ultron, but will be a primary section in Civil War," Feige said. "That's the kind of thing you won't know until you see Civil War."

An interesting bit of trivia: the new version of the Falcon suit was designed for Ant-Man, which forced a reshoot on Avengers: Age of Ultron because the scene originally had the old Falcon outfit.

Captain America: Civil War promo art

A Scene From Captain America: Civil War

In one of the two Ant-Man credits scenes, Captain America (Chris Evans) and Falcon are seen in the middle of action in a warehouse-like room. It's revealed that they've found Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), the former Winter Soldier, who seems to have his arm stuck in some kind of contraption. Sam wonders if they should call Iron Man, but Steve immediately rejects the notion and it's suggested that they can't call any of the other Avengers. Captain America says that Iron Man might not be able to help because of "the accords." But what are the accords, exactly? Steve says they're on their own, but Sam has an idea: "I know a guy." A reference to his run-in with Ant-Man at the new Avengers facility. The screen fades to black with a promise that "Ant-Man Will Return."

This is an actual scene from Captain America: Civil War. Marvel head Kevin Feige confirmed that we'll see this scene, or some version of it, in the upcoming film:

Yes, you will. It might be different takes, it might be different angles. Somebody brought up the comparison to the Thor tag at the end of Iron Man 2, which was material shot for the Thor film but we cut slightly differently.

As you probably know, the film involves a rift between Captain America and Iron Man, and the superhero must decide which side they are on. The scene clearly sets up Scott's return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Captain America: Civil War.  As for what exactly is going on in the scene, Feige told io9:

"What you're looking at there is a giant vice that [The Winter Soldier's] metal arm has been purposefully trapped in."

the wasp

 The Wasp

In Ant-Man, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is recruited by Hank Pym to help him pull of a heist. One of the subplots of the film is that Hank wants to protect his daughter Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) from possible danger, which is why he pushed her away and didn't want her to get too involved. One of the credits scenes for Ant-Man involves Hank revealing a secret chamber with a never-before-seen Wasp suit. Hank and Hope's mother Janet were working on the suit before she died, Pym finally realized they were making it for Hope. She smiles, looks at The Wasp suit and responds, "It's about damn time."

Lilly is contracted for multiple pictures and Kevin Feige has confirmed to us that Hope Van Dyne will eventually suit up as the Wasp in phase three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But don't expect it to happen in Captain America: Civil War:

"It's a good question, and it will certainly be in phase three. Where exactly in phase three I'm not sure, but it won't be in Civil War. She was included in early versions of Civil War but there are so many characters in Civil War that we didn't want to do her a disservice, like she flies in, 'I've got the costume now', and she flies out. With Ant-Man, and I'm not saying thats what Ant-Man does in the movie, but we already know him, we've already seen him. We haven't seen her as Wasp and we don't want to rob the opportunity of seeing her in the outfit for at least almost the first time, and seeing her dynamic with Scott in a way it could play out, so we're saving it. But its going to be in Phase three for sure."

This is a departure from the comics where Janet Van Dyne is the Wasp, and a founding member of the Avengers. Hope only exists in one of Marvel Comics' alternate timelines, and becomes a supervillain (the Red Queen) rather than a superhero.

Hulk Green Sodas

Stan Lee's cameo in the last standalone Hulk film (a Marvel Studios production, even it was released by Universal) showed the legendary creator drinking green soda. The same soda was featured in advertisements used on the set of Ant-Man, although I can't verify if those ads actually made it into the background of a shot in the movie. The scene would appear in the movie right after Scott Lang was fired for Baskin Robbins.

8ad5daa0880042725569efae2ef0a8836cdc51b5

Miniture Furniture

There are some "hidden in plain sight" backstory props in Hank Pym's house. Director Peyton Reed revealed the following to Collider:

Anytime you're in Hank Pym's beautiful victorian house in San Francisco, you might want to look around the room. You might notice certain details that talk about his history in his experimentation with the Pym Particle. There might be some miniaturized objects all around the room.

You can find many miniature objects around Hank's house, including a plane, a car, a helicopter, a table and chairs. The screenshot above comes thanks to Yahoo.

Tvk9R4e

The Red Chair

When Darren Cross is showing off the Yellowjacket suit to the group in the beginning, we see a video of a chair shrinking. This is a reference to Hank Pym's first appearance in Tales to Astonish, where he shrinks a chair before using the Pym Particles on himself.

Ant-man Baskin-Robbins

Other Easter Eggs and References

  • During the new Avengers Headquarters infiltration action sequence you can hear snippets of both Alan Silvestri's Avengers theme and Henry Jackman's Falcon theme.