WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Marvel's Ant-Man and The Wasp, in theaters now.
The idea has been floated plenty of times before: A prequel film set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe all about S.H.I.E.L.D. agents in a world before The Avengers would an incredible addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In a sense, we've already got a bit of that. Captain America: The First Avenger dabbled with the birth of S.H.I.E.L.D., while Agent Carter and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. gave fans a peak at the agency's early days and its doings in-between the major Marvel releases.
But after Ant-Man and The Wasp, it's time to double down on S.H.I.E.L.D. Marvel Studios needs to produce a film about the height of the agency's sleuthing work in the form of a S.H.I.E.L.D. movie starring Hank Pym, Janet Van Dyne, Peggy Carter and Howard Stark.
Audiences have received scant glimpses at what a film like this would look like, first in Agent Carter and then later in the flashback sequences from the first Ant-Man film. Ant-Man and the Wasp offers even more of a peek into this tantalizing big screen opportunity, as the film features Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne once again in action, both past and present, doing what they do best.
And there are plenty of routes for a S.H.I.E.L.D. prequel to go down. Let's talk a bit about where such a film could go.
It's hard not to compare the sleeping Hydra force in S.H.I.E.L.D. with Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith's Order 66, the secret programming embedded in the Republic's clone army that forced them to turn against their Jedi commanders toward the end of the Clone Wars. If extended Star Wars lore is anything to go by, there are likely forces in the Marvel Universe that came awfully close to discovering the MCU's Order 66-equivalent. In keeping with the original mission of S.H.I.E.L.D., this movie could follow agents throughout the 1980s as they hunt down remnants of Hydra and uncover a plan from the organization that reveals their ties to S.H.I.E.L.D.
Ant-Man and the Wasp could be the heavy hitters, with Peggy Carter and Howard Stark playing administrators in a 007-esque series of situations. You'd get a bit of that superhero work, an extension of the Ant-Man and The Wasp brand and some more fleshing out of the years between Captain America's big freeze and the debut of Iron Man in 2008.