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Everything We Learned About ANT-MAN AND THE WASP at Marvel’s Hall H Panel

Thor and Black Panther will make all the headlines, but Ant-Man and the Wasp had the (arguably unenviable) task of being the opening act of Marvel’s panel, but it did so in clever fashion. This was a tenth anniversary of sorts for Marvel Studios, but rather than just do a typical highlight reel, they had Paul Rudd and Michael Pena host a montage and narrate the history of the cinematic story so far (rather pointedly leaving out Iron Man 2, and only noting of Iron Man 3 that “his house got blown up”).

What did we learn from all this? More than you’d think.

Paul Rudd played it like a PG version of Deadpool

Presumably taking a cue from the success of a Marvel merc at another studio, Rudd peppered his commentary with lots of outside-the-universe references, including calling the series’ biggest star “Chances Are‘s Robert Downey Jr.,”representing RDJ with a photo of him as Charlie Chaplin and a awkward toothy grin. Also in use: a photo of Chris Evans as Human Torch, David Hasselhoff as Nick Fury, and toy Hulk Hands to thumb wrestle with Pena. And I never, ever thought a Marvel movie character would reference Alexander Payne’s abortion comedy Citizen Ruth. He may not behave like this in the movie, but it felt like Marvel Studios testing out some fourth-wall-breaking irreverence.

The Ant-Man movies are still taking jabs at superhero patriarchy

Said jabs may not be sufficiently strong for those who’d like to see some real haymakers thrown at the glass ceiling, but the big reveal at the end of the summary was that Rudd and Pena have been condensing the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in order to convince Michelle Pfeiffer to play original Wasp Janet Van Dyne. Pfeiffer responds by saying it sounds like a big sausage fest, an assessment Evangeline Lilly shows up to endorse. The two ladies walk away as Pfeiffer shares her anecdote about the old Catwoman costume not having any way to use the bathroom, and she wonders if the Wasp’s does.

This prompts Pena to ask Rudd how he went to the bathroom in his costume. Rudd, of course, says, “I just go.”

The Wasp’s costume is new

As cool as the end-credits costume revealed in the last Ant-Man movie was, it did not cover her full body, as a shrinking suit should. The new one looks more like Ant-Man’s, but in baby blue and gold, not unlike the Milano spaceship from Guardians of the Galaxy. And with wings, of course.

Stay tuned. #antmanandthewasp

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Pym suits up again

We saw concept art of modern-day Michael Douglas in what looks to be a newer Ant-suit. Looks like his notion that he couldn’t shrink any more may have been a tad premature. Or maybe Pym particles improve, because…

Black Goliath may be coming

Kevin Feige announced that Laurence Fishburne will play Dr. Bill Foster, who in the comics was a lab assistant of Hank Pym’s, working on a less harmful version of Pym particles that he tested on himself, giving him growing powers that he first used as Black Goliath, and later as a substitute Giant-Man. He also has ties to another major Marvel character…

Is there a Netflix tie-in at last?

Bill Foster is the ex-husband of Claire Temple, played by Rosario Dawson on the Defenders shows. That doesn’t mean she’ll show up in the movie, and at best she may be just an easter egg mention, but it’s nice to see everything connect.

We have a villain, and he has become a she.

Not necessarily THE villain, but definitely the main one we know about so far. Ghost, played by Hannah John-Kamen (Killjoys) is traditionally depicted as both an Iron Man foe and a socially awkward cyber-criminal, so the gender switch could be an interesting change. Given that Scott Lang is a white-collar, anti-corporate crook, it makes more sense that he might face off against someone who works along similar lines but with less pure motives (Ghost has no qualms about killing, for example). Ghost’s suit can phase in and out and make other objects invisible, and in comics, s/he has also been affiliated with Justin Hammer, the Sam Rockwell character from Iron Man 2 who deserves another shot in the MCU.

There’s lots of playing in traffic

Of the unfinished effects shots we saw, many involved our shrinking and growing heroes making their way atop and below moving cars, ending as Giant-Man tries to hide between two buildings, rather unsuccessfully.

It looks like fun. Are you excited? Let us know your thoughts below.

Images: Marvel Studios

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