WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Ant-Man and the Wasp, in theaters now.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been cross-pollinating its various movie franchises for a very, very long time. Things started out relatively modestly with the arrival of S.H.I.E.L.D. in 2008's Iron Man, but the MCU's interconenctive tissue quickly grew stronger, with teases to more and more superheroes and villains that would go on to have larger roles to play in other films. Through minor roles for characters like Hawkeye, Thanos or Spider-Man, Marvel's movies have been playing a long game, introducing things here destined to play larger roles years down the line.
It's no surprise, then to learn that this is also the case for the newest film in the franchise, Ant-Man and the Wasp. Ever since the Ant-Man sequel' trailers, we knew that Laurence Fishburne would play a scientist and Hank Pym's former partner on a Project called G.O.L.I.A.T.H., and now we know this ties Fishburne's Bill Foster character to Tony Stark's world.
The project was actually first mentioned in Iron Man 2. But if you don't remember actually hearing the name in the Iron Man sequel, that's because you had to be playing really close attention because the mention was only found in an extended scene from the film, only available with the home release of the 2010 movie.
Project G.O.L.I.A.T.H. is mentioned in the extended cut of the scene where Tony Stark discovers a new element to replace the palladium core of his arc reactor. As viewers might recall, the scene features Tony looking at a hologram of his father's miniature replica of the Stark Expo, where the genius-billionaire-playboy-philanthropist studies the schematics to discover the theory of a new element left behind by his father. But, in the extended scene of the film, before Tony goes "back in hardware mode," he instructs J.A.R.V.I.S. with a specific order: "Tap the Oracle grid," he tells his A.I. system. "I need some things out of storage. Give me everything from Projects P.E.G.A.S.U.S., E.X.O.D.U.S. and G.O.L.I.A.T.H."
It would make sense for Tony Stark to be aware of Project G.O.L.I.A.T.H., considering both Hank Pym and Bill Foster worked on it for S.H.I.EL.D. The project the two scientists worked on saw them use Pym Particles to increase body mass for a record 21 feet of height. As we know from 2016's Ant-Man, Hank Pym was working for S.H.I.E.L.D. in the '80s, the same time as Tony's father, Howard Stark. Through either his father's files given to him by Nick Fury or S.H.I.E.L.D.'s data, Stark was aware of the capabilities of the project, and of the science at work. Since Pym Particles were an experimental science, Stark could have looked into it to find out more about how he could create the new element he was then desperate to synthesize.
Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. would also make an appearance in another film ahead of its key role in Ant-Man and the Wasp: 2012's The Avengers. Led by Erik Selvig, Pegasus was where the astrophysicist and his team studied the Tesseract, and its capabilities. Now, here we are six years later and we fibally see G.O.L.I.A.T.H. fully integrated as part of the MCU. As for E.X.O.D.U.S. however, we have not yet discovered what that particular project is yet. Perhaps we will find out in next year's Captain Marvel, or another movie further down the line.
With Marvel, there is simply no way to know when and where a certain planted seed will sprout. We finally discovered what Project G.O.L.I.A.T.H. was after it was first mentioned eight years ago -- in a deleted scene, no less. But this just goes to show how far Marvel plans ahead. It's this sort of interconnected tissue that makes this cinematic universe so rewarding and so enthralling, going on ten years and counting.
In theaters now, Ant-Man and The Wasp stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Peña, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Judy Greer, David Dastmalchian, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, Hannah John-Kamen, Randall Park and Walton Goggins.