Is Danai Gurira on the ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Poster Because Okoye Is the New Black Panther?

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There was an interesting real-world subplot that developed last week when the “Avengers: Endgame” trailer dropped. Marvel Studios also released a poster for the film, and every actor whose character was featured got their name listed at the top, save one: Danai Gurira, who plays the Wakandan warrior Okoye from “Black Panther.”

This bit of info understandably irked some folks — Okoye is a great character and Gurira is awesome in the role. So it made perfect sense to question why her name was left off the top of the poster if her face was important enough to be included on the thing in the first place.

Disney quickly put out an updated version of the post with Gurira’s name on it, and the furor died down as everyone resumed parsing every frame of the “Endgame” trailer for clues to how this whole “Avengers” story is going to end. But I say that the fact that Okoye is even on that poster is a big clue about her importance in this film.

Also Read: It’s Super Weird That ‘Captain Marvel’ Doesn’t Have Anything to Do With ‘Avengers: Endgame’

Her inclusion on the poster is particularly interesting because she is the only character on it who hasn’t been seen at some point in one of the two trailers or the Super Bowl commercial. So why in the world would she be on the poster if she isn’t a key character in the film? The answer, we can’t help but think, is that she actually is a key character.

It’s impossible to guess just how important she will be overall, given how secretive Marvel is being in general about “Avengers: Endgame” and the fact that Gurira has not been featured in any of the leaked set photos that have come out. And, of course, the fact that Marvel has not even really suggested that Okoye will be a key figure in “Endgame” at all.

But, again, there has to be some reason why they would put her on the poster, and I can’t help but think that it’s because Okoye will take up the mantle of the Black Panther after T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) becomes one of the victims of Thanos’ (Josh Brolin) deadly finger snap.

Also Read: 10 Major Takeaways From That Super Exciting New ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Trailer

But what does that mean for her involvement in the plot of “Endgame”? She hasn’t been included in any of the team shots from the marketing, but then again neither has Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and there’s no question he’s going to figure in heavily to everything that goes on in the movie. But if I had to guess about the specifics of Okoye’s involvement, I would think that Wakanda would certainly be involved in whatever plan the Avengers eventually cook up since it has by far the best technology on the planet.

Since Shuri (Letitia Wright) is also a victim of Thanos’ snap (she’s listed as one of the missing in the first “Endgame” trailer), our heroes won’t be operating at peak efficiency — but just having those stores of vibranium will no doubt be helpful. And if the Avengers are doing stuff in Wakanda, then Okoye will by extension definitely be around.

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Making any guesses beyond that would be very difficult since we know so little. But you can be sure that Okoye is not the type to want to take advantage of the situation in order to keep her Black Panther powers — T’Challa was her close friend and she, like all our other surviving heroes, will definitely be up for doing whatever it takes to undo the unfathomable damage Thanos caused.

But to find out what exactly “whatever it takes” will involve for Okoye specifically, we’ll probably just have to just watch “Avengers: Endgame” when it hits theaters on April 26. Not long now.

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Here we are, just six weeks away from “Avengers: Endgame.” This is it. This is the climax of the first 11 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And Marvel Studios has blessed us with what we can only assume is the final new trailer we’re going to get for this thing, and our hype levels are at maximum. While of course this trailer is still very light on important details — they’re going to keep this thing as under wraps as possible until it actually hits theaters on April 26 — there are some things we can glean from it. So let’s do that right now.

1. Reflecting on the past

The first large chunk of this trailer is spent reflecting on how the good guys ended up here, with flashbacks to “Iron Man,” “Thor” and “Captain America: The First Avenger” from Phase 1 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We also get some narration from Peggy Carter that is actually something she said to Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) back in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” as well as a shot of Steve carrying Peggy’s casket at her funeral in “Civil War.” And, of course, a few flashes of old heroes who died when Thanos snapped his fingers at the end of “Avengers: Infinity War.”

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It follows that “Endgame” will be heavy on that sort of sentiment since it represents the end of the story of the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far, and we’re all kind of expecting at least one or two of the main heroes to die before the movie is over. So here’s hoping “Endgame” itself is sentimental in this way as well, instead of this just being a trailer thing.

2. No Thanos

We don’t see Thanos. Nobody mentions Thanos. The Avengers are obviously fighting to undo the thing that Thanos did, but are they going to actually be fighting against Thanos to do it? There’s long been a theory that Thanos will not be the main villain of “Endgame,” though who knows who or what else could be the big bad here. But the fact that Thanos does not get even an indirect shoutout in this trailer will no doubt fuel that theory.

3. This face Rocket makes

There’s not a lot of happiness in this trailer, as mostly we just see folks making sad faces or determined faces or angry faces. But not Rocket (Bradley Cooper). No, in this shot where he’s perched up there on War Machine’s shoulder he looks like he’s excited to ruin somebody’s life. He is HYPED. It’s so nice.

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4. Ant-Man is searching for someone?

There’s this one random shot of Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) looking at a light pole that’s been plastered with missing persons posters. Could this be a a glimpse of Ant-Man’s early arc, where he tries to find his family after returning from the Quantum Realm? We do know that Hope Van Dyne, Janet Van Dyne and Hank Pym were all victims of the snap at the end of “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” which was how he himself got stuck down there. Or maybe this scene is just right after he returns to Earth and is learning about what happened for the first time.

5. Hawkeye/Ronin on an exploding space ship?

Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) is no longer just Hawkeye — he’s apparently taken up the mantle of the character Ronin at some point before the main events of “Endgame” get going. And we get some shots of him, alone, in what looks like a big action sequence where he’s running down a hallway away from an explosion. And then, later, in that same hallway wielding his bow.

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The tunnel looks very much like something we’d see in a spaceship, but that’s just a guess since we have no context. But since he’s the only one we see in that environment in this trailer I find this bit very interesting. Perhaps moreso than it actually deserves.

6. Those snazzy white suits

Last year some toy designs leaked that showed some members of the Avengers wearing white uniform suits, and indeed that leak turned out to be legit as we see a bunch of the surviving folks wearing those suits in this trailer. Are these just uniforms, or is there some more practical reason that they’re wearing them? Could they be time travel suits? Suits to allow them to traverse the Quantum Realm? We have more thoughts on this topic here.

7. Steve and Tony are together again!!!!

It’s a small thing because we knew they would reunite in “Endgame,” but after we got through all of “Infinity War” with no scenes of Iron Man and Cap together we’ve been pretty eager to see them get back together. And we finally get to see them share a scene in this trailer, with that part where they’re wearing the white suits.

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8. They might slipping in shots from the end of the movie again

We finally got to see some glimpses of what appears to be a big “Endgame” action sequence, and the location is curious. It’s a totally ravaged landscape, and we see Captain America, Nebula and Rocket and War Machine there. And maybe Ant-Man too, since that bit where’s tiny and pushing a lever looks very aesthetically similar.

I can’t help but wonder, given the precedent set by the “Infinity War” marketing (they literally put Tony Stark mourning Peter Parker in a trailer), if this sequence is from the end of the movie. They’re obviously fighting somebody but we can’t see who it is, and Steve has the angriest look on his face we’ve ever seen. So is Marvel Studios teasing us by sneaking the climactic battle from “Endgame” in this trailer?

Also Read: That Crazy ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Ending Was Part of Doctor Strange’s Plan

9. Captain Marvel shows up real early in the movie

There’s one bit with Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) in this trailer, way at the end. And what I find very interesting about this bit is that we briefly see the back of Black Widow’s (Scarlett Johansson) head, and she’s sporting the same hairstyle she had in “Infinity War.” Whereas in the rest of the trailer she’s back to being a redhead, which means all that other stuff happens later on. This backs up our read that the scene from “Endgame” that Marvel put in “Captain Marvel” as the mid-credits stinger does take place pretty soon after the fight with Thanos.

10. Kate Bishop?

So, uh, a lot of folks seem to think that this trailer is introducing a new hero, one Kate Bishop. This thought is inspired by this shot of Hawkeye seemingly teaching this young girl archery — Kate Bishop in the comics takes on the Hawkeye mantle after Clint dies. So there is reason to believe that’s what’s happening here. But if they’re just casually bringing her in like this, uh, wow, that wild. But, hey, I guess they did just do something similar in “Captain Marvel.”

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Let’s Talk About Why the Avengers Are Wearing Those White Suits in the New ‘Endgame’ Trailer

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So a few months back we spotted some leaked toy designs that indicated that our heroes would be sporting some very future-looking white uniforms in “Avengers: Endgame,” and that leaked turned out to be completely legit as the third trailer for the impending megablockbuster (you can watch it here) ends by showing  most of the surviving Avengers wearing exactly that.

Specifically, we see Captain America (Chris Evans), Nebula (Karen Gillan), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) wearing these new suits. It’s particularly notable that Rhodes is actually wearing his War Machine suit, just modified in the styling of the uniforms.

It’s also notable who we don’t see wearing them: Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), Bruce Banner aka the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Captain Marvel (Brie Larson). We have no context for this scene, whether it happens early on or late in the movie, but it’s worth pointing out that in the brief shots we get of our heroes fighting in what looks like a thoroughly war-torn landscape –which feels like a climax-ish situation — none of them are wearing these things.

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Now, you may be tempted to think these uniforms are just an aesthetic choice, but I don’t think that’s the case. I think there’s an actual practical reason for the Avengers to pop these things on, and it involves travel into the Quantum Realm and/or through time.

It’s fairly well known at this point among the nerds that “Avengers: Endgame” will delve into some previously unused fantastical comic book mechanics to try to undo Thanos’ snap that killed half of everyone in the universe — specifically, time travel. And so they would likely need some kind of suit tailored to that use since that kind of thing isn’t an innate ability. Like how Ant-Man has to wear his suit that was specifically made for shrinking and enlarging himself if he wants to, you know, shrink or enlarge himself.

And if the Avengers are going to travel through time, perhaps by using the Quantum Realm as a shortcut (remember that line about a “time vortex” from “Ant-Man and the Wasp”), then it stands to reason that they would need special suits to actually do that.

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But this is all still speculation, of course. Marvel is doing a pretty great job of not giving away anything even while including all these seemingly revealing shots. But that’s par for the course — they literally put Tony Stark crying over Spider-Man’s ash pile in one of the “Infinity War” trailers and nobody was the wiser about it.

So we’ll see. We’re only a month and a half away now. “Avengers: Endgame” lands in theaters, as you probably know, on April 26.

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8 Things We Learned From That Intense ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Super Bowl Commercial

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Deep breath, everyone. We’ve been waiting anxiously any and every piece of info we can get about “Avengers: Endgame” ever since “Infinity War” blew us away by killing off most of the of Marvel Cinematic Universe’s roster of heroes.

We just got, during the Super Bowl, our second piece of marketing for “Endgame,” after Disney dropped a short teaser trailer back in December. This Super Bowl ad was just 30 seconds long, but it may actually have more substance than the previous trailer. It’s all just a bunch of context-free stuff at first glance, but there may be a lot going on here.

I’m going to make that argument, anyway, over the course of the rest of this article as I break down the biggest shots from the “Avengers: Endgame” Super Bowl ad. So let’s try to figure out what we learned from this thing.

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1. The world is all out of wack

That’s not surprising at all, of course, given what happened. But this spot gives us two shots that demonstrate the weirdness of this new world. First, a shot of Liberty Island in New York with tons of boats surrounding it. And, second, a shot of Citi Field in Queens, where the Mets play, completely empty with the diamond faded. These two very brief shots say a lot.

2. Steve Rogers goes to a support group

So the Thanos snap, everybody who’s left is obviously very upset about the whole thing, with half of humanity just deleted from existence. And so Captain America himself, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), is going to a support group. “Where do we go, now that they’re gone?” reads the sign.  But Steve doesn’t look like he’s ready to accept the new reality. And it certainly doesn’t sound like he’s ready to accept it.

The Super Bowl ad has exactly one line in it — Steve saying, “Some people move on. But not us.” HMMMM.

Also Read: How Will ‘Captain Marvel’ Play Into that ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Ending and ‘Endgame’?

3. Tony Stark doing some kind of work with a blowtorch with Nebula on the ship they’re marooned on

So the first trailer started off with Tony (Robert Downey Jr) acting all morose and recording a message to Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow) about how he’s going to die in space. This add shows Tony one time, doing something with a blowtorch to the guts of the ship he and Nebula (Karen Gillen) are stuck on.

This of course makes me immediately think of the first “Iron Man” film, when Tony built his first suit when he was captured by an Afghani warlord. Just Tony doing Tony things in order to survive. I bet he’s gonna plug the arc reactor on his chest into the ship somehow, to really drive that comparison home.

4. Rocket goes to a cabin in an unknown place

So there’s one pretty odd shot of Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) in the middle of the spot where he opens the door to what looks like a seaside shack of some sort. Where is this? It looks like there’s some traps on the ground there, so presumably it’s Earth? But it’s very interesting that they’re showing this location. Because…

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5. Thor is also in an unknown place that looks vaguely like the landscape in the Rocket shot

But Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is not in that cabin that Rocket was entering. It kinda looks like he’s in a space ship that just landed somewhere. Or maybe some kind of alien ruin? But where in the world could it be? I have no idea.

6. Ant-Man and War Machine look like they’re ready to fight somebody inside Avengers HQ

There’s no indication about what’s going on there, though an earlier shot shows some of the other surviving Avengers standing dramatically in front of Avengers HQ. But they’re not in suits in that previous shot. This time, Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and War Machine (Don Cheadle) emphatically shut their masks like they’re ready to go at that moment. Are they just gearing up for a mission elsewhere, or is the war coming to them?

7. Steve very angrily tightening the strap on his shield

So the longest shot in the trailer is pretty inexplicable. It’s Steve Rogers holding his shield — his original shield, not the dual Wakandan shields from “Infinity War” — and violently tightening the strap holding it to his arm.

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This bit is super intriguing because out of context it doesn’t make any sense. Given how sort of angrily he pulls on that strap, you have to think this is happening during an intense moment. Could it be in the climactic fight at the end of the movie? Would the Russos really have slipped something from the end of the movie into a trailer? Well, they put a shot of Tony being said about Spider-Man’s death into an “Infinity War” trailer, so yes.

8. All the heroes who were on Earth at the end of “Infinity War” and survived the snap are in the final shot of the spot

It’s very unlikely that we’re going to see all the Avengers together — even just the ones who are alive at the beginning of “Endgame” — in the marketing, but at the very least we get every Avenger who survived Wakanda, plus Rocket, in one shot in this commercial. It feels good, even if the shot doesn’t look like a happy one and you can barely even see them. Captain America, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Thor, Rocket, War Machine, Ant-Man. Man.

“Avengers: Endgame” is out April 26.

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Will There Be an ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Trailer During the Super Bowl?

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It’s a cliche by now that a lot of folks watch the Super Bowl primarily for the commercials, and for movie studios the Big Game tends to be a pretty big marketing day. So you tune in for the football and the funny ads, and you’re treated to new trailers for some of the biggest movies of the year.

And there’s little doubt, at this point, what will be the biggest movie of 2019. After “Avengers: Infinity War” grossed more than $2 billion worldwide and ended on probably the most insane cliffhanger in the history of the cinema blockbuster, everyone is expecting “Avengers: Endgame” to make a similarly gargantuan splash.

This is an unusual year for the Super Bowl in that we aren’t expecting a whole lot of movie trailers during the game this year. For whatever reason, studios seem to be shying away from the spectacle this time. But will Disney be among those skipping the Super Bowl this year?

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Officially, there’s no word on whether “Avengers: Endgame” will make an appearance during the Super Bowl, but we are expecting a new trailer Sunday evening.

The marketing cycle for the film started fairly late for one of these things, with the first trailer dropping in early December. For a mega-blockbuster like “Endgame,” we expect three trailers before it lands in theaters on April 26. Around the release of “Captain Marvel” in March is a natural place to put one, and so the Super Bowl likewise would make perfect sense as far as timing.

But that’s just our guess — we don’t actually have any official word about an “Avengers: Endgame” trailer for the Super Bowl. But we would be surprised if the game comes and goes without one.

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On the other hand, given how cryptic and relatively low key we expect the marketing for this movie to be — Marvel doesn’t want to give away anything — they could very well just skip past the Big Game confident that they don’t have to make a huge push to get folks out to see how this whole thing ends. Anything is possible.

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The Biggest Takeaways From That Dope First ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Trailer

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The very first trailer for “Avengers: Endgame” is now out, and surely you all have seen it by now if you’re reading this. If not, well, get on it!

It’s not super heavy on detail, which is to be expected this far out, but there are still details we can glean about the plot of this crazy thing. So let’s do dive in.

1. Tony Stark is adrift in space in the Guardians’ ship

All of the first minute of the trailer is spent with Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr), who is adrift in space in the Milano seemingly about to run out of food and air. Tony is recording a goodbye message to Pepper Potts. It seems likely this could be the very beginning of “Avengers: Endgame,” with a rescue to mirror Thanos’ attack on the Asgardians in “Avengers: Infinity War.”

The question is: who’s doing the rescuing? Could Captain Marvel show up on the stage that early in this?

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2. Nebula is with him

Nebula (Karen Gillan) was the only other survivor from Titan, and I guess the ship that she rammed into Thanos during the big battle in “Infinity War” wasn’t fit to fly after she wrecked it.Of course, if Nebula is with Tony, why wouldn’t they be able to get anywhere? She would know how to fly the Milano, you would think. Hmmm.

3. Thanos is still wearing the burned up Infinity Gauntlet

We get a brief look at Thanos (Josh Brolin) on that planet he retired to after doing mass murder on a scale hitherto undreamt of. He’s set up his armor as a scarecrow, and he’s still wearing the Infinity Gauntlet. We know it’s not completely broken — we saw him use the burnt-out gauntlet to teleport out of Wakanda at the end of the battle there. But is there a reason he’s still wearing it? Maybe he knows that the Avengers will need it if they wanna undo what he did? That’s how it goes in the comics, anyway.

4. They know Spider-Man got dusted

There’s a shot in Avengers HQ with Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) looking at two pictures and crying. The pictures are of Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Peter Parker (Tom Holland). Presumably this means the Avengers think they both got dusted. That makes sense for Scott, since he really did disappear at the time of the snap as he was in the Quantum Realm at the time. But they would have known Peter went to space with Tony Stark in pursuit of the Black Order.

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Of course, there’s a pile of other questions this item inspires. Like: Could that scene happen after Tony is back on Earth? Do any of the other Avengers even know Spider-Man’s secret identity? I guess Pepper or Happy could have told them, presuming they survived. Anyway, this is an interesting nugget, at least.

5. Clint Barton (aka Hawkeye) is now Ronin

There’s been a lot of speculation that Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) would show up in “Avengers: Endgame” as Ronin — who in the comics is kind of a Russian Captain America type of character who was married to Natasha Romanov/Black Widow back in the day. It looks like the Ronin part of that is definitely true, and it’ll be interesting to see if their backstory as a married couple is also part of this.

One thing that seems clear, at least, is that given the look on Clint’s face and the narration laid over that shot (“We lost friends, we lost family, we lost a part of ourselves”), it seems fairly safe to guess that his family did not survive the finger snap, and that’s why he reverted to this old identity.

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6. The surviving Avengers on Earth have a plan

I mean, of course they have a plan. But it’s still important that it’s there. Unfortunately, there is not much here to guess what that plan is — they appear to at least be heading out somewhere when Black Widow utters her “This is gonna work, Steve,” because it looks like they’re in a quinjet at during that scene.

But maybe the bigger clue about the plan comes with the stinger at the end of the trailer.

7. Scott Lang (aka Ant-Man) is out of the Quantum Realm

And there we are. This was the big “EndGame”-related moment from “Ant-Man and the Wasp” — Scott goes into the Quantum Realm and gets stuck there when Hope Van Dyne, Janet Van Dyne and Hank Pym get snapped. Now, it seems incredibly unlikely that Scott just managed to somehow get out without learning something important down there.

In fact, it seems like the logical assumption is to think that when Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) does show up it’s to save Tony, but my hunch is more in the direction of Carol Danvers popping up in the Quantum Realm and helping Scott. Because I think that would explain better why she hasn’t been on the galactic stage at all in two decades.

But anything is possible, and Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Natasha are clearly surprised when he does pop up. My guess, at it always has been, is that whatever happened with Scott in the Quantum Realm will end up being key to the plot of “Avengers: Endgame.”

And that’s all we got right now. Like I said previously, there’s not a whole ton to chew on here. But even so we can’t help but get hype when watching it, because “Avengers: Endgame” is shaping up to be the blockbuster event of, well, maybe ever.

This thing is out April 26.

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We’ll get right to the point: here’s the first trailer for “Avengers: Endgame,” otherwise known as the only thing any of you reading this post have cared about since April.

So, uh, holy crap, right guys?

We start by seeing Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) adrift in space, running out of food and oxygen, and many of the other Avengers mourning “Infinity War” villain Thanos’ destruction of half of all living creatures — and then Chris Evans’ Captain America and Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow hatching a plan.

“This is going to work, Steve,” she tells him.

Their talk is interrupted by the sudden arrival of an Avenger they have not seen in a long, long time: Ant-Man (Paul Rudd).

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What does it all mean? We’ll have some thoughts about that soon, but meanwhile, we’ve spent the painful seven months since Thanos wiped out half of all life in the universe trying to figure out what’s coming, and we have some pretty good guesses.

Here is how we think “Captain Marvel” might be connected to the end of “Infinity War. And here is our guess for what Doctor Strange saw in the one version of the future in which the Avengers defeat Thanos. We also think the Hulk might have some crazy new developments ahead.” And of course, click here to see what we think about the crazy “Ant-Man and the Wasp” connection to Infinity War.

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But wait, there’s more. What if “Infinity War” was actually a giant, elaborate test? What would happen if this obscure Marvel hero made an appearance. And you don’t really think Vision is dead for real, do you? Neither do we. And if you need it, here’s a deep dive into what happened in the comic books that “Infinity War” is based on.

Finally, pour one out for everyone who was wiped out by that Thanos finger-snap.

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(Spoilers ahead for the ending of both “Ant-Man and the Wasp” and “Avengers: Infinity War”)

“Ant-Man and the Wasp” got its digital home video release on Tuesday night, and if you’re like me the first thing you did was watch the movie’s audio commentary with director Peyton Reed in hopes that he might give some insight into how its ending, which intersects directly with that of “Avengers: Infinity War,” would lead into “Avengers 4” next year.

And while Reed’s commentary was certainly full of fascinating and interesting nuggets about the characters and behind-the-scenes goings-on on “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” it did seem to be missing any chatter about the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in general and Ant-Man specifically.

That is, until the very end of the film, when Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) is marooned in marooned inside the Quantum Realm because Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) and Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) all fell victim to Thanos’ finger snap.

Also Read: Could Ant-Man Show Up in ‘Captain Marvel’? We Think So

Finally, Reed starts to look forward a bit, but it’s all in service of lightly trolling the audience because of course he isn’t actually allowed to say anything about “Avengers 4.” So, yes, it was disappointing that we don’t get any substantial tease for what’s next from this commentary, but also this was pretty. Read Reed’s full comments below.

“What this means, in the larger sense — of course I’m not at liberty to say. You know that! Even if you’re sitting here listening to this, and you’ve been listening to me ramble on for two hours. And you’re hanging on the hope — oh man, is he gonna reveal something about ‘Avengers 4’ that I don’t know? Well guess what, you’re in luck. I have here the screenplay [shuffles papers] for ‘Avengers 4,’ which I am going to read to you right now.

“But before I actually get through the entire script I’m just going to read some of the salient plot points. Now, these are not only spoilers, I would say these are extreme spoilers. So I’m gonna go through them very, very carefully. So the first question is: is everyone dead, or who’s coming back?

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“Well, here’s what I’ll say about — I can only speak about our characters in ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp.’ So Scott Lang is in the Quantum Realm, and he is seemingly trapped, and we don’t quite know how he’s gonna get out. We know in the first movie he had some grow discs with him that he used to get out. Dramatically, we can’t go to that well again. That would just be lazy. As filmmakers, we can’t do that again. So we made sure that he does not have any grow discs with him in the new suit. And, remember, it appears that it’s the malfunctioning suit. So how’s he gonna get out of that? Well, here’s how [crackling noise that he makes with his mouth, then silence for several seconds] …and he manages to do what I just said. So, umm, you guys got that, right? Cool.

“So, now let’s talk about our favorite Avengers. Let’s talk about Spider-Man. Let’s talk about Iron Man, Captain America, Black Panther, Hulk. What happens to these characters in ‘Avengers 4’? Well — hang on, someone’s coming. Yeah. You know what, I’m being told that I cannot actually tell you any of this stuff. I thought the street date of this disc would allow me to reveal some of the secrets, but I’m not gonna be able to reveal any of that. I apologize for that. Sorry to get your hopes up about that.

“I can talk to you about the next ‘Ant-Man’ movie. [pause] Actually, I’m not allowed to talk about that either. There’s really been no determination as to whether there is even going to be a next ‘Ant-Man’ movie, or ‘Wasp’ movie, or anything. We don’t know anything. And I’m not allowed to talk about that. So, umm, let’s talk about, umm, let’s talk about ‘Planet of the Apes.’ You guys like the ‘Apes’ movies?”

Also Read: 13 Major Lingering Questions We Have After Seeing ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’

From there, Reed does proceed to talk about his love of the “Planet of the Apes” franchise, then “Star Wars,” then Altoids — he jokes that because of the prominent appearance of an Altoids tin in “Ant-Man and the Wasp” he now gets a lifetime supply of the mints.

Anyway, all that certainly wasn’t what we were looking for when we turned on the commentary, but it was pretty funny. In any case, only five more months or so until “Captain Marvel” comes out, and (sheesh) seven until “Avengers 4” gives us a resolution to all this. “Only” seven months.

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Lisa Cholodenko Adds Directing Duties to Kristen Wiig’s ‘Toni Erdman’

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The english-language adaptation of German comedy sensation “Toni Erdmann” is still alive at Paramount, TheWrap has learned, but with some key changes in housekeeping.

Jack Nicholson is no longer attached to star as an errant father to a joyless daughter, despite reports to the contrary on Wednesday, one insider familiar with the project said. Kristen Wiig is still attached to star as the daughter, career-driven until her dad teaches her chaotic lessons about what matters most in life.

Lisa Cholodenko (“Olive Kitteridge,” “The Kids Are All Right”) is now stepping up to direct the project in addition to writing the adaptation — a role she took this Spring after former producing team Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner dropped out.

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Nicholson spent a long time on the fence during early development, which would have brought him out of an 8-year movie hiatus. He last appeared in the 2010 James L. Brooks comedy “How Do You Know,” opposite Reese Witherspoon and Paul Rudd.

Wiig will also serve as producer. Representatives for Nicholson and Paramount did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Maren Ade directed the original, which became Germany’s entry and subsequent nominee for the Best Foreign Language Oscar. It starred Peter Simonischek and Sandra Hüller as father and daughter.

News of Cholodenko’s escalated duties on “Erdmann” was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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He’s been a dimwitted camp counselor, a dimwitted millionaire, a dimwitted sports reporter, a dimwitted surf instructor, a dimwitted drug lord, and a searingly honest portrayal of working-class ennui and frustration as a sensitive small-town fisherman….

Netflix Orders Paul Rudd Comedy ‘Living With Yourself’

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Netflix has ordered an eight-episode comedy series, “Living With Yourself” starring Paul Rudd in a dual role.

Rudd will star as a man struggling with his life who undergoes a novel treatment to become a better person, and finds he’s been replaced by a new and improved version — revealing that his own worst enemy is himself. The series was created by “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” alum Timothy Greenberg, who will serve as showrunner.

Netflix says Rudd will star in the first season of the show. He is the only cast attached to the series as of now. The project was initially set at cable network IFC as part of its 2016-2017 development slate, though Rudd was not attached at the time.

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“Little Miss Sunshine” directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris will direct the series and serve as executive producers. The duo most recently directed the Billie Jean King-Bobby Riggs biopic “Battle of the Sexes.” Anthony Bregman and Jeff Stern will oversee for their Likely Story banner; Jax Media’s Tony Hernandez, Rudd and Jeff Blitz will also executive produce.

Rudd is no stranger to Netflix, having starred in the TV-series follow up to the 2001 cult comedy “Wet Hot American Summer,” as well as in Duncan Jones’ science fiction movie “Mute.” He is currently starring in Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man and the Wasp” which has grossed more than $430 million worldwide.

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This Obscure Marvel Hero May Be Key to ‘Captain Marvel’ and “Avengers 4’

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So here we are, stuck in the painfully long space of time between this summer’s “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp” and next year’s “Captain Marvel” and the as-yet-untitled “Avengers 4.” There’s a whole eight months between now and “Captain Marvel” in March. That’s a lot of time to make wild guesses about what’s to come in the final two chapters of this stage of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

I’ve spent a lot of time going down comic book rabbit holes the last couple months to try to get a handle on all this, and I’ve got one of those wild guesses for you right here. This one involves what part Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), will have to play in all this madness. And how “Ant-Man and the Wasp” may have given us a pretty big hint about that by having Scott Lang, the Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), get stuck in the Quantum Realm when Thanos snapped his fingers.

I think the clue comes courtesy of an obscure hero from the ’80s named Quasar.

Ever heard of Quasar? No? Don’t worry, that’s not all that unusual. For a cosmically powerful hero from Earth, Quasar (real name Wendell Vaughn) is pretty obscure, and as I’ve polled various comic book nerds about him, only once have I gotten a stronger response than “Oh, yeah, that guy.”

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His lone solo run lasted from 1989 to 1994 — 60 issues, and only nine of them are available in the Marvel Unlimited app. Nine! It’s not unusual for old runs to be missing issues on Marvel Unlimited, but that’s a pretty unusual and dramatic ratio. While, sure, he did pop up every once in a while for crossovers and guest appearances after his solo run, and Marvel recently handed off the Quasar mantle to a new character, nobody cares.

But while I categorically don’t think we’re gonna be seeing him in a movie any time soon — or ever — there are interesting Quasar-related things that I think have a pretty good chance of being very relevant to the Marvel Cinematic Universe after “Ant-Man and the Wasp” and ahead of next year’s “Captain Marvel.”

But before I get to those things, we should step back for a second and talk about the Quantum Realm. The Quantum Realm has been one of the MCU’s most interesting enigmas — specifically because of the name — since it was introduced back in the first “Ant-Man” movie. The comic book equivalent of the Quantum Realm concept is the Microverse, though it does not resemble the Microverse all that much from what we’ve seen of it so far in “Ant-Man” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp.”

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The real mystery of the Quantum Realm’s name is not just about why they went with a name that has no comic book parallel, but why they went with that name specifically. And I think I’ve come up with a possible answer.

So in Marvel comic books there’s a concept of a sort of side dimension that characters use to travel around the universe quickly. Basically every sci-fi universe has some version of this — hyperspace in “Star Wars,” for example — but Marvel has been pretty haphazard about it over the decades they’ve been using this conceit, which a bunch of different names being thrown around to describe this side dimension.

But the basic concept has been relatively consistent over the years. Characters will use some kind of dimensional portal or wormhole to travel to this other dimension, and from there they can jump back out to wherever they want to go. The first time Marvel used this idea was back in “Fantastic Four #37” in 1965, when Reed Richards and pals use an experimental rocket drive to fly through what Reed calls “subspace” to get to the Kree Empire in a different galaxy.

“Subspace,” “hyperspace” and “warp space” are the three main terms that are thrown out there to describe this method of travel, though those are not the only ones, and most of the time they kinda just gloss over what’s actually going on when folks skip around the universe. Like it’s just your run-of-the-mill sci-fi faster-than-light travel, don’t worry about the specifics.

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And that’s more or less how the MCU has treated interstellar travel thus far. They just go fast, don’t worry about it. And so we don’t know or care about how that works.

Okay, so there are two reason I’m talking about this right now. First, here’s how Jack Kirby drew this “sub-space” for the first time back in “Fantastic Four #37”:

So, that is vaguely reminiscent of the some parts of the Quantum Realm that we see in “Ant-Man and the Wasp.” See for yourself:

Now, let’s go to my second reason for bringing all this up: Quasar! Finally, let’s talk about Quasar.

So the really interesting thing about Quasar is that he is, essentially, a quantum superhero. His power comes from the Quantum Bands which can do, well, whatever the author of the comic in question wants them to. That’s the fun of “quantum” things.

But there is one specific thing that Quasar can do with the Quantum Bands that is relevant to all this — he can use them to do that sub-space travel thing without a ship. Except he doesn’t call that side dimension sub-space or any of the other terms that are used in Marvel lore. He calls it the Quantum Zone.

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You could try to argue that Quasar’s Quantum Zone is not the same as sub-space — but it functions the same way. And when he makes what he calls a Quantum Jump in “Quasar #32,” some people watching even guess that he’d entered warp space.

So we’re going to assume they’re the same thing.

Now, even more interesting is that Quasar’s Quantum Bands draw their power from the Quantum Zone, much like how Doctor Strange draws his power from other dimensions. And even more more interesting is that Quasar was given the Quantum Bands, and thus his power, by the cosmic entity Eon — who named him the new Protector of the Universe.

The previous Protector? Mar-Vell, who we’re going to see in “Captain Marvel” next year, as played by Jude Law.

Again, I don’t think there’s even a small chance that Quasar himself is going to show up in the MCU, but I would guess there’s a distinct possibility that Carol Danvers, Captain Marvel herself, will be given some of Quasar’s quantum abilities.

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It would fit irritatingly well based on how the MCU likes to sort of remix comic book lore, and based on certain assumptions we have about what will happen in “Captain Marvel” and “Avengers 4.” Let’s run through those real quick:

1. Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man, is now stuck in the Quantum Realm after “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” and he probably won’t get out the way he came in. We’re assuming a “time vortex,” which Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) mentioned just before he went down there, will be involved. We don’t know what a time vortex is, but we’re guessing it’s a wormhole back to the normal world — which also probably sends whoever goes through one to a different time than the one they came from.

2. Mar-Vell, the original Captain Marvel and the Protector of the Universe, will die in the 1990s-set “Captain Marvel,” setting in motion the events that will lead to “Avengers: Infinity War.” This is especially important given Mar-Vell’s relationship to Thanos in the comics — Mar-Vell was made a Protector of the Universe specifically because he and Thanos were arch-enemies. Read more about that here.

3. Carol Danvers will obviously take up the mantle of Captain Marvel and somehow be key to defeating Thanos in “Avengers 4.”

4. Time travel will be involved in defeating Thanos and undoing the damage caused by the Infinity Gauntlet in “Infinity War.”

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So if time travel is important, it stands to reason that our heroes will have to figure out a way to travel to whatever times they actually want to visit on purpose. And that timely mention of time vortexes in “Ant-Man and the Wasp” would also indicate that that the Quantum Realm will be involved in facilitating said time travel — otherwise they’d need to steal the Time Stone off Thanos’ burnt out Gauntlet, which doesn’t seem like a logical way for the “Avengers 4” story to kick off.

So if the Quantum Realm of the movies is the equivalent of the Quantum Zone from the “Quasar” comics, and if Captain Marvel in the MCU, possibly as Mar-Vell’s successor as Protector of the Universe, has some sort of Quantum Band-type tool that can harness the power of the Quantum Realm, then she may well be able to use it to send the Avengers off on a rollicking time adventure.

Based on the pieces we have to work with at the moment, this feels like as good a guess as any. The MCU has often mixed and matched pieces from the comics in new places and characters, and often just goes in completely new directions with stuff, like Janet van Dyne’s as-yet-undefined quantum abilities which have no apparent precedent in the comics.

Also Read: The ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Deleted Scene That Should Have Been in the Movie

Now, if we’re right about any of this then it’s likely we’ll only be half-right. Like maybe there is a character who can use the Quantum Realm to jump through time in a controlled manner, but it’s not Carol Danvers. We theorized elsewhere that Ant-Man could meet a past version of Janet down there — maybe the reason she knows what a time vortex even is is because she has used one before, or watched Scott go through one. Or maybe Ant-Man himself will figure it out after being stuck down there a while.

Or maybe we’re completely wrong. But based on what we know about the situation in the MCU at present — which admittedly is not really all that much — and based on what we know of how the creative overseers of the MCU operate, what I’m suggesting here certainly feels like the sort of thing they would do.

But whatever the answer is, we’ve got a long wait until we find out one way or another. “Captain Marvel” is a mere eight months away.

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‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’: What the Heck Is a Baba Yaga?

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

(Note: This post contains spoilers for the story of “Ant-Man and the Wasp.”)

Early in “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” the heroes encounter the movie’s primary antagonist: a woman in a gray suit who has the supernatural-seeming ability to pass through solid matter.

When Scott Lang, a.k.a. Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) takes Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Hope van Dyne, a.k.a. the Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) to meet up with his former criminal accomplices-turned business partners for help, they’ve already heard about the woman, who they dub Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen). The description of a woman with strange powers sounds more like folklore than science to Kurt (David Dastmalchian), who compares Ghost to a legendary figure called Baba Yaga.

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The moment makes for a fun joke, as Kurt’s ominous talk about a frightening woman who lives in the woods comes with its own spooky music. But if you’ve never heard of Baba Yaga, the reference might have gone straight over your head, except that Kurt says she’s a witch. So who or what exactly is Baba Yaga? Apart from being a supernatural old woman of Russian folklore, who can either help people or hurt them, the comparison with Ghost doesn’t seem particularly apt at first.

Baba Yaga is a witch-like old woman who lives in deep in the forest, according to Russian legend, and she does have supernatural powers. She carries a massive pestle and goes around in a huge flying wooden mortar. Baba Yaga is described as being hunched, deformed and frightening, sporting brown claws. She also has a long nose, often a trait witches are depicted with, and iron teeth, just to make the image more unsettling

Oh, and the coolest part: she lives in a house in the woods, surrounded by skulls, that stands on chicken legs, for whatever reason.

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Baba Yaga’s motivations change from story to story — sometimes she’s a villain who eats people. Other times, she’s mothering and helpful. Marissa Clifford ran down the deep and often contradictory of Baba Yaga for Vice in 2017, including the ways Baba Yaga sometimes embodies different and conflicting character aspects within the same story.

Ghost isn’t especially similar to Baba Yaga in “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” at least on the surface. The witch flies around in a mortar and pestle, for starters, she’s spooky looking and powerful, and she eats people — whereas Ghost is mostly just a woman who has an affliction that is sometimes useful for stealing things or doing SHIELD-sponsored secret agent work.

Dig a little deeper, though, and Kurt’s comparison of Ghost to Baba Yaga is actually pretty telling. The villainy of both characters is often ambiguous, for a start: Ghost comes off as a bad guy, but really she’s not out to hurt anyone, she just has a goal to accomplish to save her own life. Still, she can be spooky, like Baba Yaga, and while she doesn’t eat people, Ghost potentially can be a killer. She has a dark streak in her desperation, as illustrated when she considers threatening Scott’s daughter, Cassy (Abby Ryder Fortson) to get Hank’s lab and the cure that might reside inside.

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And of course, the major conflict between Ghost and the Wasp and Ant-Man — that Ghost intends to extract quantum particles from Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) in order to cure her own “quantum phasing” affliction, which runs the risk that it will “tear Janet apart” — is kind of like cannibalizing her. Most of the movie is about running from Ghost, like characters have to escape Baba Yaga, but ultimately she can be convinced to be a good person.

Kurt’s creepy mention of the Slavic legend is actually on-point in some thematic ways, even if Ghost isn’t a horrific old crone with a chicken house. Given that Ant-Man rides ants, though, a house with bird legs might not have been too out of place in “Ant-Man and the Wasp.”

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(Note: This post contains massive spoilers for both “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” so read on at your own risk!)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe was gutted by the events of “Avengers: Infinity War” and the arrival of Thanos, a villain so strong even the combined might of nearly every MCU superhero couldn’t stop him.

You know what happened by now: Despite a valiant effort to stop Thanos (Josh Brolin), the Avengers and their allies failed. The Mad Titan collected all six Infinity Stones on his Infinity Gauntlet, and with a snap his fingers used their united power to erase half of all life in the universe. All because Thanos believes mass murder on a cosmic scale will rid the universe of its problems and free the survivors to create sustainable utopias.

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That’s not how the heroes (or audiences) saw it though. Cue Peter Parker’s “Mr. Stark, I don’t feel so good,” and fans worldwide agreeing wholeheartedly as a huge number of their favorite heroes dissolved into ash.

How huge? As if millions-of-sequels-suddenly-cried-out-in-terror-and-were-suddenly-silenced huge.

Here’s everyone lost to Thanos’ finger snap, from “Infinity War” through “Ant-Man and the Wasp.”

Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan)

Captain America’s best friend Bucky was among the first to disappear in Wakanda, which is especially a bummer given how hard he fought to reclaim his life and identity after being brainwashed by HYDRA to become the Winter Soldier.

T’Challa, the Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman)

Wakanda’s king vanished as he helped Okoye up, apparently leaving the nation without a king, again.

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Wanda Maximoff, Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen)

Adding insult to injury, seconds after losing Vision when Thanos pulled the Mind Stone from his head, killing him, Wanda fades to dust mid-mourning.

Sam Wilson, Falcon (Anthony Mackie)

Captain America’s buddy Sam has been coming into his own as an Avenger across the last few movies he’s appeared in, but despite being a major force in the Battle of Wakanda, in the end, the coin-flip of Thanos’ snap got him.

Groot (Vin Diesel)

Groot’s end is the second-most heartbreaking in “Infinity War,” thanks to his hugely emotional moment as he vanished in front of Rocket Raccoon, but we didn’t know the full extent of the gut-punch until “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn shared what the final “I am Groot” meant on Twitter.

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Peter Quill, Star-Lord (Chris Pratt)

His anger at what Thanos did to Gamora wasn’t enough to keep Star-Lord from fading away after the battle on Titan — but if there’s a Soul Realm hidden inside the Soul Stone, Peter and Gamora might be reunited.

Drax (Dave Bautista)

Most of the Guardians of the Galaxy vanished after the finger snap, including Drax, whose death is even more tragic because Thanos killed Drax’s family years before, and his Infinity Gauntlet finished the job.

Mantis (Pom Klementieff)

Right alongside Drax, Mantis faded away as well, after spending most of her life as a slave to Ego (Kurt Russell) as seen in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”.

Peter Parker, Spider-Man (Tom Holland)

The most heart-wrenching moment in “Infinity War” finds Peter succumbing to disintegration as he begs his mentor, Tony Stark, to help him. Mr. Stark, we don’t feel so good either.

Also Read: ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ — That Crazy Ending Was Part of Doctor Strange’s Plan

Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch)

Of all the people to disappear, Doctor Strange was seemingly the most calm and at peace. He spent part of “Infinity War” viewing potential futures with the Time Stone, and so it’s safe to say that losing to Thanos, and then apparently dying, were actually part of his long-view plan to win the day. We just have no idea how.

Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson)

Nick Fury’s disappearance happened in the “Infinity War” post-credits scene. He had just long enough as he vanished to realize what was happening and to summon help from a source we haven’t seen before: Captain Marvel (Brie Larson).

Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders)

Former SHIELD agent and Fury’s long-time bodyguard and right-hand woman, Maria and Fury’s disappearance likely severs the Avengers from any lingering SHIELD infrastructure that might have helped them in “Avengers 4.”

Also Read: How Will ‘Captain Marvel’ Play Into That Wild ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Ending?

Hank Pym (Michael Douglas)

“Ant-Man and the Wasp” didn’t catch up to the events of “Infinity War” until its post-credits scene, after Hank and his daughter Hope were finally reunited with his wife, Janet, the original Wasp. Unfortunately, they didn’t have long together.

Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly)

Hope went right along with her father, and seemingly no one in the Ant-Man crew had any idea that the events of “Infinity War” were taking place in Wakanda during the end of “Ant-Man and the Wasp.”

Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer)

After 30 years stuck in the Quantum Realm, Janet was rescued with just a few days before Thanos’ attack zapped her out of existence. That’s a pretty big bummer.

Also Read: ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ May Have Just Set Up These ‘Avengers 4’ Time Travel Plots

Characters who are definitely still kicking

While Thanos managed to kill a whole bunch of people, he didn’t kill everyone — just half of everyone. That means quite a few heroes are still alive. We don’t know about the fates of a lot of folks — like Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) or Peter Parker’s pal Ned (Jacob Batalon). Here’s the list of people we know for sure didn’t disintegrate.

Steve Rogers, Captain America (Chris Evans)

The First Avenger lost his best friend to Thanos, but more than that, he failed in a way Cap has never suffered before. His final line of the movie — a simple, “Oh god” — was just as horrifying as watching so many heroes fade away.

Tony Stark, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.)

Tony has been traumatized by his fear of something like Thanos’ invasion, and Tony’s inability to stop it, since “The Avengers” and the alien attack Loki (Tom Hiddleston) led on New York. That attack was backed by Thanos, and it seems with the Mad Titan’s arrival, Tony’s worst fears have been realized.

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Thor (Chris Hemsworth)

Thor’s track through “Infinity War” is incredibly tragic, and it’s clear in a few scenes that he’s just barely holding himself together after the losses of Loki and Heimdall (Idris Elba). After finally becoming the leader his people needed, Thor was unable to save them, and he seems to feel responsible for letting his barely contained pain control him such that he struck Thanos with Stormbreaker in the chest, so he would suffer, rather than the head to kill him instantly.

Natasha Romanoff, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson)

Natasha has been making major strides to become a better person in the post-SHIELD era, but it was clear that losing to Thanos hit her very hard.

Bruce Banner, the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo)

His constant struggles with the Hulk side of his personality left Banner struggling in “Infinity War” between not wanting to be the Hulk, and needing the Hulk. Losing to Thanos is definitely going to exacerbate their internal conflict.

Also Read: Here’s What ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Could Mean for the Hulk’s Future

James Rhodes, War Machine (Don Cheadle)

Rhody fought alongside Cap and crew in Wakanda, and became closer friends with Sam Wilson during the battle. Losing Sam hit Rhody hard, as did the fact that Thanos was able to do something so devastating, and the Avengers weren’t able to stop him.

General Okoye (Danai Gurira)

Okoye’s loyalty to T’Challa, and more importantly, the throne of Wakanda, is a defining part of her identity — so when her king vanished before her eyes, she was obviously and incredibly crushed.

Also Read: ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ – James Gunn Reveals What Groot Told Rocket at the End (Spoiler!)

M’Baku (Winston Duke)

M’Baku also stands as a fierce leader and protector of his people, and while we didn’t spend much time with him in “Infinity War,” it was clear losing so many with no way of stopping it was a huge blow.

Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper)

Rocket lost just about everyone to Thanos, though at the end of “Infinity War” he doesn’t even know the extent of it, since he was on Earth with Thor. It’s losing Groot, his best friend and, in a real sense, his son, that ravages Rocket — and one wonders how he’ll be able to recover.

Nebula (Karen Gillan)

No stranger to pain and loss, Nebula was the most stoic of the heroes. After arriving on Titan to try to kill Thanos, she watched the disintegration knowing full well what had happened. Nebula seems likely to be the one character whose life isn’t upended by the snap. She has one goal: kill Thanos. Nothing has changed that.

Also Read: Nebula of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ Should Get Her Own Movie (Commentary)

Scott Lang, Ant-Man (Paul Rudd)

While Scott wasn’t present for “Infinity War,” like everyone in the universe, he was affected by it. Unfortunately, Thanos snapped his fingers exactly when Scott was briefly diving into the Quantum Realm during the post-credits scene of “Ant-Man and the Wasp.” Since Hank, Hope and Janet disappeared back at normal size, there seems to be no one to pull Scott out of the Quantum Realm, apparently marooning him there. Or is there….

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We Asked the ‘Ant-Man’ Physicist Who Named the Quantum Realm to Explain What It Is

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

There is real magic in this world.

Growing up in Spata, a small town outside of Athens, Greece, I never imagined Marvel would one day give me the opportunity to introduce them to an even stranger, more mind-bending version of the alternate dimension where Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) finds herself trapped for 30 years — and from which her daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) fights bravely to bring her home.

Still, I wish the characters in “Ant-Man and the Wasp” were a bit more curious about the mysteries of the Quantum Realm. Wouldn’t you want to know if there was a Starbucks down there? Anything quantum is transcendent, a spiritual awakening of the mind, one that not even Nespresso can provide. So let me tell you about the Quantum Realm. I named it, after all.

Also Read: Here’s How We Think ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ Links ‘Infinity War’ to ‘Avengers 4’

As a quantum physicist at Caltech’s Institute for Quantum Information and Matter (I know it has a sexy name, but it has brains too), I am often asked, “So, what is quantum physics?” by people I have just met. I mean, they don’t even want to know what my majestic-sounding name, Spyridon, means (it means nothing, but still). Yet they ask probing, personal questions like “What IS quantum physics?”

Well, quantum physics is a theory of physics, nay, a theory of knowledge-transcending physics, which unlocks the power of the human race to question reality in ways that go beyond the emergent, semi-classical basis of observation resulting from quantum decoherence of the true, pluripotent nature of the Quantum Realm.

Okay, I didn’t mean to dumb it down.

Maybe a more technical explanation using linear algebra and differential calculus is appropriate here. Alas, I was told there is a word limit for these kinds of guest columns, so I won’t go into the details. Sorry. Instead, how about I tell you what I told Paul Rudd, Peyton Reed, Erik Sommers and Chris McKenna about the Quantum Realm? For such a tiny place, my Spidey-sense tells me that it will play a big role in the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Also Read: ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’: Does the Quantum Realm Have a Bigger Role to Play in the MCU?

There is real magic in this world. It all started nowhere, at a time when no time existed. The Big Bang, the cradle of spacetime, didn’t happen at a particular point in space or time. Space and Time emerged from a place where neither concept existed. A place where the laws of physics, even those of Quantum Physics, had not yet crystallized into the reliable rules we use to predict the orbits of planets around stars, or the likelihood of two particles colliding in an explosive kind-of affair to give birth to new physics. It all started at a place beyond physics. For those super-nerds among you, the place I am referring to is not even an abstract mathematical universe. It goes deeper than that. It is a place where every choice is possible and has consequences for what comes to be. And what comes to be is what we call reality.

But what is reality? Have you ever heard someone define the word? I mean, really define it, like in a way that you could apply it to everyday life? Einstein tried and failed miserably. So let’s try it too. It’s okay. The worst thing that can happen is we’ll be as dumb as Einstein.

Let’s define reality as a dynamic set of events that can be reliably observed by an individual, on demand. You, flying through space while dreaming, are not part of reality, according to this definition. You, dreaming about flying through space, are part of reality. Why? Because, in the second case, you could record yourself sleeping, and record your brainwaves while dreaming, the latter of which could be interpreted using a machine-learning algorithm feeding on data of previous brainwave recordings matched to an account of your own dreams. The key difference between you flying in the dream, and you dreaming of “you” flying, is that the individuals you need to convince (that could be just you, let alone your mom and dad, or your therapist) of your flying powers are not found in your “dream” world: They are found in this world, the “real” world.

And, yes, if you lost yourself in the “dream” world, never to wake up again in this world, dreams would become your reality, allowing you to experience “miracles” that are somehow not part of this, our shared reality.

It gets even crazier. I mentioned that the events should be reliably observed. Who decides what is a reliable observation? I mean… some events seem easy enough to classify as real. The sun rising every morning, your car not moving through traffic, a single electron going through two distant slits at the same time… Yeah, that last one snuck in there somehow. Being at two places at the same time is a quantum thing. But you think quantum physics is weird? Consider going back to the 1850s, a few years before Scottish physicist (and all-around bad boy) James Clerk Maxwell developed the theory of electromagnetic waves. Now, there you are, wearing your rose-gold Apple watch, telling people you can talk to others around the world and hear them through the air. What we take for granted now is what we called magic in the past. And those who decide what defines the ever-changing boundary between reality and magical thinking are scientists.

We, scientists, just loooove judging everyone, and everything, as harshly as possible. And among us, the Simon Cowells of science, are experimental quantum physicists. If biologists claim a new discovery, they need to provide evidence that their confidence in their experiment is higher than 95 percent. In other words, their discovery may be false due to experimental error, but the probability of that happening is less than 5 percent (one in twenty). To you, that may sound impressive, but to an experimental quantum physicist, that sounds positively quaint. For a discovery in physics, such as the recent Nobel-prize winning discovery of gravitational waves (go Caltech!), or the discovery of the Higgs boson (don’t call it the God particle; trust me on this one), you need to be pretty darn confident in your experimental evidence. That is, 99.99994 percent certain, to be exact. We call it “five-sigma” confidence (sigma stands for standard deviation). Biology relies on “two-sigma” confidence. The Quantum Realm is closer to one billion sigma (plus or minus).

And here it is: Reality is a dynamic bubble containing events that can be observed on demand, with a confidence surpassing five-sigma. Dynamic means that the boundary of the bubble changes with time, as new events pass the five-sigma test and we welcome them into the realm of the real. The most important aspect of all this is that five is less than six, which is less than one billion. In other words, reality has stringent requirements for membership, but not impossible. Yet, some events, such as “walking through a wall,” are so unlikely that we don’t think they will EVER be part of reality. Like, flipping a fair coin a million times and getting a million heads in a row (don’t even try).

So, we make a deal with the devil. We call events outside of our reality impossible, not just highly unlikely from our particular point of view. Then, we proceed to push these impossible events to the realm of the imagination. Time travel, teleportation, Spider-Man dying. When they happen, we all lose our collective shit.

This is getting a bit too long, so let me wrap up. The Quantum Realm is a place where almost everything is possible. If you know how to navigate it by mastering quantum entanglement (don’t ask, unless you are willing to take me out to a fancy dinner), you can engineer reality to manifest itself to your liking, just like a computer programmer can write code that allows you to experience being a soldier in virtual reality, fighting unicorns with lasers during the First World War. Space and Time are dimensions that emerge from a soup of pure possibilities, the Quantum Realm. The laws of physics themselves are merely suggestions within the Quantum Realm, only taking a more definite form as we “zoom out” from that place of infinite possibilities, to find ourselves in the macroscopic world we call home.

So, how do people maintain their sanity (and their form) within the Quantum Realm? Love.

Just kidding. It takes decades of studying math and physics, with a bit of philosophical and lots of magical thinking. Or you can just be a badass like Michelle Pfeifer. She could probably even beat Chun Li.

Ant-Man Almost Fought for the Other Side in ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ Says Peyton Reed

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

(Please note: There are minor spoilers ahead for “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” “Infinity War” and the MCU at large)

“Ant-Man and the Wasp” is set two years after the events of “Captain America: Civil War,” which is the last time audiences saw Paul Rudd’s character Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man, suit up and shrink down.

Then, Lang was recruited to fight alongside Captain America in opposition of Team Iron-Man and the Sakovia Accords, the supposed driving force of conflict in the movie.

Seeing as Lang was helping Captain America, a war criminal by this point, he was in violation of Sakovia Accords. The next time we see Lang in “Ant-Man and the Wasp” he’s serving the last three days of his two years of house arrest. According to “Ant-Man and the Wasp” director Peyton Reed, however, Lang’s story arc from “Civil War” on was almost vastly different.

Also Read: ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ Film Review: Paul Rudd’s Shrinking Hero Returns for Buzzier Sequel

“There was a question [in ‘Civil War’] as to what side Ant-Man was gonna fight on and at one point he was going to be Team Iron Man,” Reed told TheWrap.  “I said, ‘Hold on a second, we built this whole movie where Hank Pym — Scott’s mentor — is definitely not a fan of the Starks and he would hate that.’ They said, ‘yeah OK maybe he should be Team Cap.’”

And it’s a good thing too. The scene in “Civil War” where Lang meets and is enamored with Captain America is played for laughs and is reference again as a running gag in “Ant-Man and the Wasp.”

Reed, who also directed the first “Ant-Man,” said he worked with brothers Anthony and Joe Russo when they were preparing to direct “Civil War.”

“As far back as the first ‘Ant-Man,’ the Russos and [Christopher Markus] and [Stephen McFeely] — the [‘Captain America: Civil War’] writers — came to the cutting room and I showed them footage from the first movie of so they could formulate what they were going to do with that character in ‘Civil War,’” Reed told TheWrap. “It’s a cool give and take, and something I’ve never experienced before — well, I don’t think they’ve made movies like this before.”

“It was really important to kind of share information,” he continued. “I think we all feel very protective about these characters and want to make sure if they’re appearing in other movies that they’re treated well and have the right character choices.”

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[Note: There are spoilers ahead for “Ant-Man and The Wasp,” “Infinity War” and the MCU at large. Read at your own risk.]

“Ant-Man and the Wasp” isn’t director Peyton Reed’s first time around the block working with Marvel, but he certainly had more room to play this time around.

Playing off of the heist movie format that was laid out in the first “Ant-Man,” Reed told TheWrap he wanted to take the crime genre in new directions. Novels like “Get Shorty” and “Rum Punch,” both of which were adapted for the big screen — the latter serving as the basis for Quentin Tarantino’s “Jackie Brown” — inspired the two-time Marvel movie director.

“It was just us sitting in a room — and that’s me and the writers and Stephen Broussard our producer — and just talking about, from the beginning we wanted to stay in the crime genre, but really talking about, ‘Could we make this like an Elmore Leonard novel’? If Elmore Leonard had written a science fiction novel and Marvel made a movie of it, that was the mindset,” Reed said.

Also Read: ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ Grows to $11.5 Million at Thursday Box Office

After coming on board late in the process to direct 2016’s “Ant-Man,” Reed has returned to the franchise and the Marvel machine, but with much more control over the film, its characters and the world in which they live.

“I certainly can’t speak for any other filmmaker who’s worked in that system, but on this movie we had a tremendous amount of freedom to devise the story,” Reed told TheWrap. “We went off and really talked about what we wanted to pay off that we’d set up in the first ‘Ant-Man,’ and obviously dealing with the stuff in ‘Civil War,’ but beyond that no one from Marvel sat there and said it’s got to be this genre or it’s got to be this, or these things have to happen.

I think that perception has stuck around about Marvel, but I really have not found that to be true,” he continued. “I feel an incredible amount of freedom.”

“Ant-Man and The Wasp” takes place two years after the events of “Captain America: Civil War,” which is the last time audiences saw Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) suit up a the titular, tiny hero.

Also Read: 13 Major Lingering Questions We Have After Seeing ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’

The film unfolds over the course of the three remaining days Scott Lang has in his two years under house arrest, which resulted from being caught after fighting alongside Captain American in “Civil War,” violating the Sokovia Accords.

Reed and “Ant-Man and the Wasp” screenwriters talked about how to pay off decisions Ant-Man made in in previous films.

“It gave us a really organic jumping-off point, you know,” Reed said, adding that he didn’t know what “Infinity War” and “Captain America: Civil War” directors the Russos Brothers and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely even thought about that connection. “But my reaction was, ‘Oh, man, Scott exposed the tech to The Avengers and Tony Stark and he got thrown in prison and the suit got confiscated — that is Hank Pym’s worst nightmare. And that is going to alienate Hope Van Dyne, and so here ‘s the jumping-off point for this movie. It was great.”

Now that Marvel is in the third phase of its cinematic universe, the studio is letting the reins loose, giving their directors and filmmakers more authority to develop the characters, film and tone into something that feels different from the rest of the universe. “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Black Panther” are recent examples.

Also Read: Could Ant-Man Show Up in ‘Captain Marvel’? We Think So

The only thing Reed said he knew he had to consider as far as sticking to the Marvel plan was tying in “Infinity War.” But there was even freedom in approaching that. “Ant-Man and The Wasp” takes place before the cataclysmic event of “Infinity War.” There’s no reference or hint to Thanos or anything that’s happened in that film until the mid-credits scene in “Ant-Man and the Wasp.”

“We always knew we were coming after ‘Infinity War’ and we knew how ‘Infinity War’ ended,” Reed said. “We knew at some point we were gonna have to figure out how our particular tone, how the ‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’ tone was gonna deal with that event. But we never really considered this movie taking place after ‘Infinity War.’

“We knew the audience was going to come into our movie looking for those clues as to the timeline and we talked about structures early on: Do we tell our story and then slowly, as it progresses, start to see these Easter eggs of these things in backgrounds on screens about ‘Hey, this stuff is going on in other parts of the world, what’s going on?’ And that just seemed to us kind of clumsy and like we’ve seen that conceit before,” Reed said. “And then it became a question of that tag scene and what we do in it and also who’s involved in it — there was a lot of discussion about that.”

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