(Spoilers from the entire MCU may be found below.)
The Avengers: Endgame trailer was always going to be a dicey affair because Marvel’s extremely limited by what they can reveal for the Phase Three capper. So we saw superheroes wallowing in depression over losing half the universe, yet Ant-Man also showed up, looking like comic relief. That’s generally what he does best (Ant-Man and the Wasp was largely intended as a palate cleanser after Infinity War), but his presence sparked speculation that the emergence of this “lesser player” from the Quantum Realm meant that he knew the secrets of time travel. And in turn, he could possibly be the key to reversing Thanos’ snap.
A new theory on Reddit digs deeper into the trailer moment when Ant-Man appeared on CCTV (viewed by Black Widow and Cap) in front of Avengers headquarters. Black Widow wonders aloud whether they’re looking at old footage — a question that isn’t wouldn’t be uttered for no good reason. And indeed, one wonders how Scott Lang could have rescued himself from the Quantum Realm after Hank Pym, Janet Van Dyne, and Hope/The Wasp all fell prey to Thanos’ dusting (in a post-credits scene), leaving Ant-Man trapped in a subatomic state. He clearly survived that moment but looked like he was stuck forever, and this theory from burghguy3 wonders whether Scott traveled back in time (to either 1993 or 1983) to visit Hank Pym and glean wisdom about the Quantum Realm. The user cites supporting evidence from Ant-Man:
In Ant-man, Hank mentions that he’d been “watching Scott for some time now”. While that could be due to Scott’s criminal exploits, I think it’s because he met him in the past. Hank was also WAY [too] trusting of Scott with his Pym-tech. This is a guy who goes to great lengths to hide his tech from other people; the whole first movie is about Hank not wanting one of his former mentees from inventing his own version. Yet he hands it over on a silver platter to an ex-con he’s never even met before? It’s because he has met him, in the past, and he already had one of his suits, so Hank knew, logically, that he eventually trusted him with it.
TL:DR – Scott ends up back in 1993 and links up with Hank, who then knows to look up Scott in the future (in Antman), creating a neat time loop. We’ll also meet a teenage Hope, who is played by Emma Furhmann, who sorta looks like a younger Evangeline Lilly anyways.
It’s actually a solid stab at how Endgame could play out, much more than silly chatter pointing toward Black Widow’s morphing trailer hairstyles as the key to fixing the universe. That’s a thing, apparently, which holds less water than speculating about how the mysteries of the Quantum Realm could be tied to the Soul Stone, where it is entirely possible that all of the dusted superheroes currently reside. Where does this theory go from here? Well, it’ll be interesting to see whether Ant-Man appears in any credits scenes from the upcoming Captain Marvel. Wouldn’t that be something? In the face of all these high-powered superheroes, it’d be refreshing to watch this underdog helping Carol Danvers — who Samuel L. Jackson already spoiled in terms of her unexpected time travel abilities — defeat Thanos.
Avengers: Endgame arrives in theaters on April 26.