The first adventure of MCU Phase 5 is out in theaters, and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is doing quite well at the box office. Despite negative reviews, Ant-Man 3 made over $257 million globally in its first week. Most of that comes from the opening weekend sales. But now that we know the Quantumania ending and what it means for the MCU, we also know Ant-Man 3 should have ended differently.
It turns out that Marvel changed the end at the last minute with reshoots. We have no idea why, but we know how the third installment in the Ant-Man saga should have ended. In case you haven’t seen Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, big spoilers will follow.
The final battle in Quantumania is a final face-off between Kang (Jonathan Majors) and Scott Lang (Paul Rudd). The villain wants to escape the Quantum Realm, and he nearly does. But Ant-Man is determined to keep him there, even if that means getting stuck himself and being separated from Cassie (Kathryn Newton) once more.
Hope (Evangeline Lilly) comes to the rescue, delivering the potentially fatal blow that might have killed Kang the Conqueror. We have no idea whether or not he’s really dead.
The film’s first credits scene tells us that all the other Kangs in the multiverse think The Conqueror is dead. They had previously exiled this terrible Kang variant to the Quantum Realm. They did not dare kill him, and they’re not happy that an Avenger did.
Hope and Scott return to the real world, with Quantumania giving us the seemingly happy ending we expect from such a movie. Of course, Ant-Man does have a moment where he questions his actions, remembering what Kang had told him about the fate of the multiverse.
But this isn’t how things should have gone down.
The original ending to Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
About a month ago, we saw a massive leak that revealed Quantumania‘s subtitles. It wasn’t enough to chart the film’s entire plot. But it confirmed an Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania plot leak from October. That Quantumania leak walked us through all the action, including the ending.
Looking back at the plot leak, you’d quickly notice that all the details are accurate except for the ending. According to that leak, Kang would have escaped the Quantum Realm, leaving Scott stuck once again. As a reminder, Ant-Man was trapped in the Quantum Realm for five hours when Thanos (Josh Brolin) snapped his fingers at the end of Infinity War. That translated to five years in the real world.
This time around, Scott wouldn’t have been alone. Hope returned for him, but Kang trapped both of them in the Quantum Realm.
Why did Marvel change the ending?
It’s unclear why Marvel changed the ending. But The Direct reminds us Marvel did Ant-Man 3 reshoots in early January, about a month before the film’s release.
Marvel might have changed the ending because of that plot leak. The new ending certainly didn’t leak before the premiere.
Another theory is that Marvel might have changed the larger Multiverse Saga story. It might not need Kang the Conqueror to escape the Quantum Realm. I’d have preferred to see the villain get out. Maybe the character was on a path of becoming a He Who Remains variant during Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars. Then again, we never saw a corpse.
There’s also Scott Lang to consider. Marvel dumped him in the Quantum Realm at the end of Ant-Man 2, so he could save the day in Endgame. Pulling a similar ending for Ant-Man 3 would have been strange, no matter how much sense it would make for Ant-Men and Wasps to be stuck in there.
We might never know the truth, as Marvel often changes its stories during production. We always hear about reshoots for MCU titles, and some of them are more extensive than others. But maybe that’s a problem Marvel needs to fix: The goal is obviously to have a great script and stick with it while trying at all costs to prevent leaks.