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Rumor Report: Did Ant-Man 3 Really Get Cancelled?

Has Ant-Man 3 been lost to the Quantum Realm forever?

A source allegedly close to Marvel Studios is reporting that a three-quel for the tiny Avenger isn't going to happen, and that Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and Hope Van Dyne/The Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) may see their further adventures relegated to the upcoming Disney+ streaming service. 

The rumor comes courtesy of We Got This Covered, which cites rumor monger "Mikey Sutton" as the source of the info. This isn't Sutton's first turn at the ol' rumor mill (which we'll get to shortly), but let's take a look at the meat of this latest report.

Sutton points to two reasons in particular for the decision to shrink Lang and Van Dyne down from the big screen to the small one, and on the surface, they make sense. First, Marvel Studios head honcho is said to be preoccupied with the task of folding the X-Men and Fantastic Four, along with the other formerly Fox-owned properties recently acquired by Marvel's parent company Disney, into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

Feige has had plenty to say about this, most of it exceedingly vague. At San Diego Comic-Con 2019, Marvel Studios rolled out their entire Phase 4 slate before Feige wrapped up by literally saying that there was no time left to talk about the Fantastic Four and "the mutants," and asked to clarify the status of these characters after the presentation by everyone from ComicBook.com to Variety, Feige remained maddeningly non-specific. The only real takeaways from any of the King Geek's remarks regarding those properties to date: Marvel has them back, Feige is excited, and we won't see them on screen for a long time.

Second, Sutton claims that Feige is invested in exploring different genres with the MCU's Phase 4 and Phase 5 offerings — for example, the franchise's first kung-fu flick (with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) and monster movie (with Blade) — so apparently, there simply won't be any room left on the slate for more conventional superhero adventures.

Indeed, we do know that the MCU will blur genre lines in the upcoming phases; we also have a spy thriller (Black Widow) and a psychological horror flick (Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness) on tap. We submit that this is nothing new for the MCU, which has played in different genres for years now, but we digress. (For the moment.)

WGTC's report goes on to speculate that Ant-Man and friends' relocation to Disney+ makes a lot of sense, given that the streamer's limited series will sport feature film-sized budgets and will be primarily oriented toward families. It all fits! So, now that we've broken down the rumor, let's blow a few Giant Man-sized holes in it.

First, let's look at this rumor from a pure common sense standpoint. The "Feige is just too busy" angle has been dragged out in one other recent circumstance: as a (pretty thin) excuse on the part of Sony Pictures CEO Tony Vinciquerra as to why his studio and Disney couldn't re-up their agreement to share custody of Spider-Man. You'll notice that it's not actually Feige complaining about how busy he is in either circumstance; it's other parties putting those words in his mouth for him, which seems a little bit suspect.

As we alluded to before, it also doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense to advance the notion that because Marvel wants to do some different things with some of its upcoming features, legacy heroes and/or their feature franchises must be left behind. If that were the case, we certainly wouldn't be getting Thor: Love and Thunder, an unprecedented fourth film for an original Avenger.

One could even make the argument (and we're about to) that Ant-Man and his supporting characters were more important to the MCU's overarching narrative through Phase 3 than virtually any others. The Ant-Man films introduced the technology that made it possible for the Avengers to travel through time and acquire all of the Infinity Stones before Thanos could (in Avengers: Endgame); for that matter, if Lang hadn't been freed from the Quantum Realm by the timely intervention of a rat, the universe would be toast. The Ant-Man flicks may be the lightest and breeziest of the MCU's franchises, but they've been charged with doing a surprising amount of narrative heavy lifting — and while they haven't exactly blown up the box office, they haven't flopped, either., combining for over $1.1 billion dollars worldwide.

All of these points aside, it's worth considering that a couple of sources that we know to be close to Marvel Studios — namely, Rudd and co-star Michael Douglas — have made public remarks indicating that Ant-Man 3 isn't off the table. During a Television Critics' Association presser back in February, Douglas indicated that while nothing has been formalized, there had absolutely been talks about Ant-Man 3, although he didn't expect to hear whether it was actually going down until "its third rewrite." (via ETOnline) As for Rudd, he's simply gone on record stating that he doesn't know when or if Ant-Man 3 will happen as recently as June, although it's possible that he knows more than he's letting on — which brings us to the case of the dueling rumors.

You see, this isn't the first tidbit concerning Ant-Man 3 that the rumor mill has churned out. In June, an alleged insider going by the name "Roger Wardell" leaked a massive information dump which was purported to reveal Marvel's entire Phase 4 slate — and when said slate was revealed at SDCC, the info turned out to be largely accurate, although many of the projects the leak pertained to (such as Captain Marvel 2 and Black Panther 2) won't be on tap until Phase 5. Most impressively, Wardell clued us in that Thor 4 was in the works over a month before the project was formally announced — and he insists that Ant-Man 3 is indeed in the pipeline.

Wardell had previously earned his cred by accurately leaking plot details of Avengers: Endgame months before the flick's release, giving him a pretty sterling track record. By contrast, let's look at some of the info leaked by Mr. Sutton so far: he has reported that a Wolverine vs. Hulk movie is in the works; that Doctor Doom and Galactus will be Endgame-type villains at some point; that Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron director Joss Whedon will return to direct an X-Men film; and that the Netflix Marvel characters will be revived, with the same actors, on FX or Hulu.

We submit, dear reader, that every one of those reports seems highly improbable. We could spend all day poking holes in them, but you signed up for a short, informative article, not a 20,000 word treatise. Suffice to say that there is no evidence whatsoever to back up any of these claims, and considering that we know that the X-Men won't grace the MCU anytime soon and that Marvel Studios can't use the Netflix characters for at least two years from the end of their series' runs, all of these reports have one thing in common: there won't be any way to verify them for years.

So, will there be an Ant-Man 3? The simple fact is that we don't know, but we have no compelling reason to think there won't be. The Ant-Man flicks have served a valuable purpose as fun, light palate cleansers in between huge, universe-shaking events, and we think it pretty likely that the MCU will be in need of another one of those at some point. Also, Mr. Feige, if you're reading this: please know that if fans never get the chance to hear Lang's motor-mouthed buddy Luis recount the events of Avengers: Endgame in his own inimitable fashion, you can expect about four million sternly worded emails.