Spoilers ahead for Ant-Man and the Wasp. In the most recent Marvel movie, Ant-Man and the Wasp, the catastrophic events that took place in Avengers: Infinity War go, for the most part, un-addressed. This is due to the movie's time period; it takes place before the Avengers work to stop Thanos from destroying the world. Yet the timelines catch up at the very end, as shown in the first post-credits scene when many Ant-Man and the Wasp characters suddenly disappear. Speaking over the phone, director Peyton Reed explains just how that Ant-Man and the Wasp post-credits scene affects Avengers 4, because it's the question on everyone's minds after watching the latest superhero showdown.
"I have to imagine that there is some sort of resolution coming for all the characters," Reed says. Not only does that refer to Ant-Man's Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), Hope Pym (Evangeline Lilly), Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), and Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), but to everyone in the MCU, as directors of any Marvel movie have to get keyed in on what's going on in all of the other films, too. "There’s a lot of interplay including myself, the Russo brothers and everyone else directing the other movies," explains Reed. "We’re obviously highly focused on our individual movies but we know since the larger things play out and we screen portions of our movies for the other directors, they sort of see tonally what we’re doing and what the actors are doing."
As much as Ant-Man 2 focuses on the repercussions from Captain America: Civil War and the newly formed team between Ant-Man (Rudd) and the Wasp (Lilly), the post-credits scene shows that even the Pyms fall victim to Thanos' destructive finger-snap from the end of Infinity War. During that scene, Ant-Man enters the quantum realm in order to find a mysterious energy and while he's there, Hope, Hank, and Janet turn to dust just like the Avengers who incinerated in Infinity War.
Marvel fans undoubtedly would have been upset had Ant-Man 2 completely ignored the events of Infinity War, which ended with half of the Avengers evaporating into dust — not to mention half of the earth's population, too. Reed explains that the Ant-Man team wrestled with how to fit both stories together. "Even in the first story meetings we talked about, ‘How are we going to take into account this insane event that happens at the end of Infinity War?’" recalls Reed. "Throughout the pre-writing we talked about a lot of different versions... do we really slowly see the events of Infinity War throughout our story, or how do we do it? And we finally landed on the structure that we have in the finished film that you saw."
Reed goes on to explain why he and the writers of Ant-Man and the Wasp chose not to include more the events of Infinity War throughout the movie. "That felt kind of lame to do as we felt like we’d seen that before, and it wasn’t that exciting," he says, adding, "Also, we knew people were going to be coming into this movie looking for clues." The director explains that he wanted to focus on following up on Civil War, and then shocking everyone at the last second with that post-credits scene. "Hopefully they’re surprised when events happen as they do in our tag," he says. "Surprised" puts it mildly.
It sounds like everyone will have to wait for more clues to unfold in the next MCU movie, which happens to be Captain Marvel, out March 2019. If nothing else, Ant-Man and the Wasp have raised the stakes of Infinity War's ending even more — which didn't seem possible. At least Reed seems hopeful that a resolution is coming.