It might have seemed like every Marvel character and their mother was featured in Avengers: Infinity War, but for those who were keeping count there were a couple of glaring superhero-shaped holes where essential Marvel characters should have been. Foremost among them were Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), a founding member of the Avengers, and Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), who fought in the battle between Avengers in Captain America: Civil War. Now, the film's screenwriters, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, have answered why the latter hero was excluded.
The writing duo told The Hollywood Reporter that part of Ant-Man's absence had to do with Ant-Man and The Wasp, which, along with Captain Marvel, are the two films sandwiched between Infinity War and Avengers 4.
"When we get to this time next year, all will become clear," McFeely said. "Ant-Man clearly had a specific requirement, which is he had an entire movie [July's Ant-Man and The Wasp] that is going to come between these two movies. Same thing with Captain Marvel, by the way. We looked at that as an opportunity, not as some sort of back-bend we had to do."
Markus elaborated on the difficulty of incorporating Ant-Man, whose franchise is tonally different from the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
"Ant-Man the franchise is very lighthearted," Markus said. "It's fun. It maybe even skews younger. If we were to put Ant-Man in this extremely heavy movie, and then have to say to the guys who are making the Ant-Man movie, 'Yeah, he went through hell, but now go ahead and have your little romp and we'll pick it up afterwards,' that's why we have to really sort of manage your interconnections and go, 'Let's go and hold off so you can enjoy that without feeling a bad taste in your mouth.'"
In the film, the most we get of Hawkeye and Ant-Man is a comment from Black Widow that the two of them opted to return to their families following the events of Civil War. After that, the duo are never spoken of again. In the meantime, Marvel has been having some fun with Ant-Man's absence in the lead up to a trailer that drops tomorrow.
Debuting July 6, director Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man and the Wasp stars Paul Rudd as Scott Lang, Evangeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne, Michael Douglas as Hank Pym, Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet van Dyne, Judy Greer as Maggie, Bobby Cannavale as Paxton, Michael Peña as Luis, T.I. as Dave, David Dastmalchian as Kurt, Walton Goggins as Sonny Burch, Hannah John-Kamen as Ghost and Laurence Fishburne as Bill Foster.