Ant-Man and the Wasp is the 20th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and has the unenviable position of coming on the heels of the biggest film in the franchise to date, Avengers: Infinity War. Whether you think it feels inconsequential in the wake of Thanos’ assault on the universe or a refreshing change of pace, Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man sequel doesn’t skip a beat when it comes to packing in fun gags and subtle nods to the comics and other bits of pop culture (check out our review if you’re curious where we landed on it). Although Ant-Man and the Wasp is one of the most “standalone” films we’ve seen in the MCU for some time, it still has enough Easter Eggs worth pointing out (and if it’s anything like the first movie, there are likely a few that no one has yet spotted). Here are 15 hidden details you may have missed in Ant-Man and the Wasp!
15. Animal House
Scott Lang has been on house arrest for nearly two years when we catch up with him at the beginning of Ant-Man and the Wasp, so he’s had to find a number of ways to entertain himself over that span. A delightful montage confirms that Scott spends his days learning the drums, planning elaborate play-dates with his daughter Cassie, and watching movies, among other things. Getting “kidnapped” by Hope and Hank effectively puts an end to Scott’s house arrest routine but we do get a glimpse at one movie he’s been spending his time watching: National Lampoon’s Animal House.
The specific scene that’s playing in the background is interesting, as it involves Professor Dave Jennings (Donald Sutherland) theorizing about the nature of the universe, stating “our whole solar system could be, like, one tiny atom in the fingernail of some other giant being.” Sounds like a nice little (pun intended) nod to the Quantum Realm, no?
14. X-Con Security Consultants
While Scott has been under house arrest, his friends Luis, Dave, and Kurt have been busy setting up their own security company as a way of finally giving themselves legitimate employment that plays to their strengths as former criminals. What you may not have realized is that this all falls in line with a similar story from the comics, where Scott starts a company called “Ant-Man Security Solutions.” His business does pretty much the same thing — helping clients protect their assets from being stolen — but the company name in the movie, X-CON Security Consultants, is much more attractive, even if it’s lacking in subtlety.
13. Agents of Atlas
Scott Lang’s relationship with his FBI handler Agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) is played up for laughs in Ant-Man and the Wasp, with the pair having a mutual respect and admiration for each other despite the fact that Woo is technically playing an antagonistic role. However, much like most of the minor character roles in Marvel movies, Woo is much more significant than many will realize.
Introduced way back in 1956 as a secret agent seeking out “The Yellow Claw”, Woo has generally been portrayed well over the years despite suffering from some familiar Asian stereotypes in his early days. More recently, Jimmy Woo has adopted a role similar to Professor X and his Xavier School, working as the Headmaster of the Pan-Asian School For The Unusually Gifted in Mumbai.
12. Lose the Baseball Cap
One recurring trope in the MCU that we just noticed specifically because Ant-Man and the Wasp pokes fun at it is how often characters will disguise themselves with a baseball cap and sunglasses. We see this most frequently with Steve Rogers aka Captain America, who dons the look in both The Winter Soldier and Civil War in order to avoid detection.
When Hank, Hope, and Scott sneak on to a university campus in order to talk to Bill Foster, they’re all wearing baseball caps and sunglasses. Scott cracks a joke about how terrible their disguises are, but it doesn’t stop Hank from repeating it later in the movie while sneaking out of FBI custody. It looks like the hat and shades combo is here to stay, people!
11. Goliath in Iron Man 2
One of the most important new characters introduced in Ant-Man and the Wasp is Dr. Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne), a former colleague of Hank Pym who was once known as the hero Goliath (no affiliation). As it turns out, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen Goliath mentioned in the MCU, but we have to go all the way back to Iron Man 2 for the hero’s first mention.
As Tony Stark is researching a way to cure his illness caused by his arc reactor’s palladium core, he asks Jarvis to “tap the Oracle grid. I need some things out of storage. Give me everything from Projects PEGASUS, EXODUS, and GOLIATH.” We now know what “Goliath” was all about, while “Pegasus” had to do with the Tessaract. However, the secrets of “Exodus” have yet to be revealed …
Speaking of Laurence Fishburne, Ant-Man and the Wasp includes a clever little nod to arguably his most popular role as Morpheus in the Matrix trilogy. We first meet Fishburne’s Dr. Foster while he’s teaching a class and on the blackboard behind him, there are a variety of math equations and a reference to the “Matrix” clearly visible among them. Coincidence? We think not!
The true identity of Ant-Man and the Wasp’s mysterious villain Ghost is revealed early on to be Ava Starr, daughter of Dr. Eilhas Starr, a deceased former colleague of Hank Pym and Bill Foster. Dr. Starr isn’t a character created specifically for the movie, however and is actually even more significant in the comics. A scientist-turned villain, Dr. Starr adopts the name “Egghead” and becomes a regular villain for Ant-Man, using his genius-level intellect and skills in the robotics and engineering fields to create a variety of weapons to make up for his lack of actual superpowers. So in a way, he’d probably be proud of his daughter following in his footsteps!
8. Young Goliath
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has made a habit of using special effects to make actors look younger in flashback scenes, as seen with Michael Douglass in the original Ant-Man, Robert Downey Jr. in Captain America: Civil War, and Kurt Russell in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. For the flashback showing the catastrophe that turned a young Ava Starr into Ghost, you would expect that Laurence Fishburne was digitally de-aged but it’s not even him playing Bill Foster in the scene. Instead, it’s his son Langston Fishburne, an actor and ballet performer best known for his recurring role on the web series Vanessa & Jan.
7. Writing on the Chalkboard
Yet another chalkboard Easter Egg, this one comes during Scott and Hope’s humorous infiltration of Cassie’s school. When the pair are in the classroom, there’s a lesson written out on the chalkboard instructing students on how to modify a list of phrases to include plural possessives. One of the sentences, which includes the line “the flowers that my aunts grow” is a nice little ant pun that proves the film’s set decorators are in on the Easter Egg train.
6. Hints at Cassie Lang’s Future
When Cassie Lang gives her father a bedside pep-talk and tells him that she hopes to grow up to be a superhero like him someday, it plays off like something you’d hear any child say if one of their parents was an Avenger (wait, was Ant-Man ever technically part of the team? It’s hard to keep track). However, this is no throwaway line, as Cassie does indeed grow up to become a full-fledged superhero.
In the comics, Cassie exposes herself to Pym Particles in the hope that they will imbue her with super abilities (this occurs after Scott Lang has already passed away). After an argument with the Young Avengers, Cassie’s superpowers manifest themselves by causing her to grow enormous in size and strength, just like her dad. Fortunately, things quickly settle down and Cassie eases into her role as Stature, a selfless hero who ends up fighting alongside the Initiative against the Skrulls during the Secret Invasion event.
5. Quantum Realm Easter Eggs
There’s so much going on visually in the Quantum Realm that it’s no surprise that the filmmakers would include hidden details in the background. Viewers spent hours examining the original Ant-Man’s Quantum Realm scene hunting for Easter Eggs and they found a big one in the form of a superhero silhouette. It was later confirmed that this was indeed a cameo from the original Wasp, who we learn in the sequel has survived at the subatomic level for decades.
Considering we spend even more time in the Quantum Realm during Ant-Man and the Wasp, we can only imagine what Easter Eggs are hidden within it this time out. Since Marvel hasn’t spilled the beans yet and we don’t have a copy laying around to closely inspect, we’ll likely have to wait until the film is released on home video in order to find out what secrets the Quantum Realm contains.
4. Centurion Tease
When it comes to villains, Ant-Man and the Wasp’s two most prominent antagonists are Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) and Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins) but the film arguably has a third in the form of the FBI. While the Feds are just trying to do their job in enforcing Scott Lang’s house arrest, one member stands out due to his seedy connections.
Hoping to get Scott and Hope out of the picture, Sonny reaches out to his contact in the FBI named Geoffrey Ballard (played by Sean Kleier). That name probably doesn’t mean much to the average viewers, but Marvel Comics readers will recognize it as the alter-ego of Centurion, an enemy of heroes like Iron Man and Goliath.
3. Official Giant-Man Status
We first saw Ant-Man transform into Giant-Man in Captain America: Civil War and he repeats the trick in Ant-Man and the Wasp during the climactic chase to get Hank Pym’s briefcase lab. While no one actually says the name “Giant-Man” out loud, the superhero moniker is technically made canon in the movie, as we see him identified as Giant-Man during the live news report being watched by Scott’s ex-wife Maggie and daughter Cassie. Considering he’s left stuck at the subatomic level in the film’s post-credits scene, it’s doubtful anyone is going to be referring to Scott as Giant-Man anytime soon, but it’s still cool to see him referred to as such for the first time in the MCU.
The final scene of the movie (before the end credits anyway) sees Scott, Hope, and Cassie taking a much-needed rest by taking in a movie at the drive-in (which turns out to be a line of Hot Wheels cars in front of a laptop). The film being taken in is totally on-brand — a black-and-white horror classic featuring giant killer ants. The film looks to be the 1954 sci-fi monster flick Them!, which sees a nest of gigantic irradiated ants terrorizing the American people. It may not look like much by today’s standards, but Them! is highly regarded as one of the best science fiction films of the 1950s.
1. Stuck in the Quantum Realm
If you stayed for the mid-credits sequence — and at this point, why wouldn’t you? — you know that Ant-Man and the Wasp directly ties into the events of Avengers: Infinity War for its final scene, with Hope, Hank, and Janet turned to dust by Thanos’ “snappening” and Ant-Man now stuck in the Quantum Realm. With the only three people seemingly capable of rescuing him dead (at least temporarily), the big question now is how Scott will make his escape.
One of the big rumors is that Avengers 4 will be set years in the future, which has been backed up by reports that Marvel is looking to cast an older Cassie Lang. Assuming Cassie ends up becoming a hero like her dad, she could be Scott’s savior, though the Quantum Realm’s time vortexes could also be of significance in resolving the effects of the Infinity Gauntlet.