If You Haven’t Watched The Ant-Man Movies, It’s Time To Super-Size Your Marvel Knowledge Before Endgame

Get on board that toy train.

Ant-Man might be the most underrated franchise in the MCU. But if you haven’t caught up with Paul Rudd’s snarky small-time crim, you’re going to want to very soon – because it’s going to be a huge part of Avengers: Endgame.

Set just a few months after the mind-melting, city-levelling events of Age Of Ultron – the loudest and most confusing of the Avengers movies to date – Ant-Man’s smaller stakes and determination to actually be a fun movie seemed like a bit of an odd Man out.

It also suffered from some messy production vibes, after original writer-director Edgar Wright – the guy who brought us Shaun Of The Dead, Scott Pilgrim and Baby Driver – exited due to creative differences with Marvel. It seemed like it was going to end up a pale imitation of what could have been, instead of a truly original addition to the series.

But the whip-smart script Wright co-wrote with Joe Cornish (Attack The Block) remained and was worked on further by Rudd and Adam McKay (Anchorman), while Bring It On director Peyton Reed pulled together a fun and fast heist movie that made the most of its star.

That’s the boring background – and in a way, it doesn’t really matter. The end product was actually one of the most fun MCU movies since the first Iron Man (and proved Thor: Ragnarok’s lighter, less self-important vibe would totally work).

It’s basically Iron Man meets Honey I Shrunk The Kids: our intro to Hank Pym’s size-controlling technology see Scott Lang (Rudd) wearing a suit that makes him huge or teeny, and fighting a bad guy for control of the world-changing tech.

There are not only obligatory sequences with everyday objects made giant, but also spectacular action set-pieces based on what it would be like to fight inside a briefcase flying through the air, or on a toy train set.

Plus, Rudd was the exact right choice for the role: as delightful and ageless as a never-ending packet of Tim Tams, believable as a trying-to-reform ex-con and a loving dad, and also as a reluctant superhero trying to do the right thing despite what it might cost him.

And the rest of the cast – from a crotchety Michael Douglas and the scene-stealing Michael Pena to a not-here-to-f**k-spiders (or ants) Evangeline Lilly and an under-used-as-always Judy Greer – is stacked deep with talent.

But most importantly, it’s looking more and more like Hank Pym’s tiny-making-tech will be key to Avengers: Endgame.

The Quantum Realm – the smaller-than-atoms space where extra-tiny suit-wearers end up if they go too small, and where Doctor Strange very briefly ended up during his journey to becoming the powerful sorcerer he is now – is looking like it will be a major part of the fourth Avengers film.

We know this because Tom Holland accidentally told us, bless him.

And while they’ll give us a bit of background in Endgame, all the timey-wimey and/or physics-bending stuff will be way less confusing if you cop some background in the form of Ant-Man and, possibly more importantly, Ant-Man & The Wasp.

Scott might have shown up to pick a side in Civil War and find himself having to be actually introduced to most of the team, but as we learned from the first real trailer for Endgame, he’s also going to turn up to offer Cap and the team his old van packed full of quantum tech.

He’s a real Avenger now, and he deserves your respect despite the dumb name.

Just like his eponymous films in the increasingly grim, high-stakes world of the MCU, Ant-Man is a cheery, goofy presence at the gates of Avengers HQ.

Let him in before Endgame: you might be coming for the plot gaps it’ll fill in, but you’ll want to stay for the fun.

A Revised Ranking Of The Hollywood Chrises, For A Post-Pratt 2019

Sorry, Star-Lord.

If there’s one thing that handsome white men named Chris with successful superhero movie franchises have in common, it’s their handsomeness, and also their successful superhero movie franchises.

“And they’re all kinda scruffy and squinty and jacked, but in a sweet way”, as Kate McKinnon put it during Chris Pine’s SNL appearance in 2017.

But who is the best of the Hollywood Chrises?

Some people are too cowardly to choose:

But not us. Here, we present an updated ranking in this, the year of our lord 2019. And if there’s one thing we know, it’s who’s the worst.


(Yes, 5.) Chris Pratt

Look, where else are we going to put the 2019 version of the man we once loved as schlubby Andy Dwyer?

Yes, we thirsted after both his adorable, April-loving pre-Marvel Andy dad bod, and his newly ripped physique when those Guardians Of The Galaxy pics leaked. And we listened when he told us how to poop at a party, and mourned when he and Anna Faris split, admiring their gracious statement of mutual respect.

But now he’s talking like a youth pastor on late-night shows, and attending a Hillsong-inspired church that’s not quite kosher when it comes to accepting LGBTQ+ folks – and his response to Ellen Page’s criticism of his involvement left a lot to be desired.

Sorry, Star-Lord: you are now officially Worst Chris.


4: Chris Messina

He’s always been fine. Whether you got on the Messina Express after Julie & Julia, The Mindy Project, or opposite Amy Adams for the second time in Sharp Objects, the hotness was undeniable and real. And he can dance, for real.

Between his new role as a DC villain – Birds Of Prey’s Victor Szasz – and the bonkers-hot bleach job he’s got for it, Messina is now officially a Hollywood Chris.

Bad-guy roles will showcase the gruff, knife-edge energy that makes him the one Chris you probably wouldn’t take home to meet the parents. Only his newness to the list can keep him this low, and he won’t be for long.


3: Chris Hemsworth

Look, Our Chris can’t be ignored. He’s been a thirst machine since Home & Away, and Hollywood has slowly learned that he’s supposed to be a big puppy dog, not a hulking human deltoid. He was the second-best thing (second only to Kate McKinnon) about the last Ghostbusters movie, and the more the MCU leans into his evolving characterisation of Thor as an intergalactical goofball who happens to look like a pirate had a baby with an angel.

His energy is a teensy bit Byron-Bay basic-beach, and with the launch of his new workout program, though, we’ve had confirmation that he’s totally the type of dude who’d have “fitness” as an actual interest listed on his Tinder profile.

But hey, at least he’s funny.

2: Chris Evans

Oh, Cap. Evans has been living up to the ideals of his most famous character for years – his Twitter presence is an amazing mix of adorable photos of his dog, self-roasts, calling out racism and lies from politicians, more self-roasts, and passionate advocacy for social justice causes.

And he is glorious to look at, whether it’s baby Evans from Fantastic Four/Not Another Teen Movie era or Captain America Chris.

Unfortunately, though, he is a fan of the New England Patriots. And for that, he loses crucial points.


1: Chris Pine

Get yourself a Chris who can do everything. Duet with Barbra Streisand? Done. Piercing baby blues? Totally. Full-frontal nudity in a historical epic? Sure thing. Thoughtful reflection on gender double standards around onscreen nudity? Got it that too.

Totally down to play love-interest second fiddle in a female-driven superhero movie instead of gunning for his own comic book franchise? On it.

Super-weird, meta Christmas carol for the Into The Spider-Verse soundtrack?

Also willing to sing about how he’s not all those other Chrises?

Chris Pine. Best Chris. No contest.

Chronic Plot Spoiler Tom Holland Has Already Shared A Huge Detail From Avengers: Endgame

Spoiler-Man! Spoiler-Man! Spoils whatever plot points he can!

Tom Holland is the biggest spoiler spiller in the MCU.

It’s hard to mind, because he’s so adorably excited about it all – and because we’re always so thirsty for details. But it’s enough of a problem that he’s not allowed to do press alone, and his co-star and fellow Brit Benedict Cumberbatch has been tasked with keeping him from giving away every Avengers film.

Now, a new look at an old interview with Holland and Cumberbatch during press for Avengers: Infinity War has turned up a little detail that’s a lot more notable now we’ve seen both that film and Ant-Man And The Wasp, and seems to give away a crucial detail about Avengers: Endgame.

When asked by Access Hollywood who flubs the most lines, Cumberbatch owns up: “Me!”

But Holland defends him: “He has to talk about so much Quantum Realm… stuff.”

“Stuff, just stuff,” interjects Cumberbatch, almost under his breath, with the resigned air of a man who’s been told to try and keep the adorable puppy from peeing on everything but is already getting out the paper towels.

It’s not nearly as bad as Mark Ruffalo’s classic “everybody dies”, of course:

But it’s a pretty big confirmation that we’re going to spend a fair bit of time in the Quantum Realm.

(Let’s talk in more detail about this, including spoilers for the second Ant-Man movie.)

The Quantum Realm is the sub-atomic space we were introduced to in Ant-Man, and where Paul Rudd’s character was left stranded at the end of Ant-Man And The Wasp. We learned from that movie that humans stranded there can actually survive there for a long time, as Michelle Pfeiffer’s character, Janet Van Dyne, did for decades.

There are plenty of fan theories suggesting that the dusted characters, including both Cumberbatch and Holland’s, might be rescued or revived with the help of the Quantum Realm’s weirdo physics – or that they’re just hanging out there, hopefully avoiding the tardigrade belt.

And it’s also confirmation that Strange, at least, is definitely back on deck sometime in Endgame, and Spider-Man must be as well. Strange didn’t talk about the Quantum Realm in Infinity War, and spoiler-prone Holland is famously not given the scripts other than the pages with his actual scenes – and sometimes he’s not even getting those.

So how would Holland know that Cumberbatch goes on about the Quantum Realm so much, unless they had scenes together in (or talking about) that itty-bitty little psychedelic space?

The silver, black and red colour scheme revealed on some new merch also seems to be inspired by the Ant-Man suit, suggesting there’s some Quantum Realm action going on for everyone.

Look, it’s all wild mass guessing at this point – but May is a long way away, and with so many of our faves still not feeling so good, we’ll take every hopeful clue we can get. 

And we’ll probably get most of them from Tom.

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