Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania underwent significant last-minute reshoots, resulting in a disappointing ending for the film’s main antagonist, Kang the Conqueror. The MCU has failed to effectively set up Kang on the big screen, with his introduction and development mostly being explored in the TV show Loki. The rumored original ending of Quantumania, where Kang would have escaped and posed a real threat, would have been a better choice to establish him as a formidable villain for the future of the franchise.

Every MCU movie undergoes reshoots to some degree, but Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania‘s big reported last-minute changes seem even worse nine months after the movie’s initial release. As the movie that kicked off the MCU Phase 5, expectations were predictably high for Quantumania. The MCU Phase 4 proved uneven, with some well-received projects mixed with critical disappointments. The onus seemed to be on Ant-Man, the star of two previously well-received projects, to refocus the MCU. Moreover, Quantumania was marketed as the movie that would introduce Kang, the man who would follow in Thanos’ footsteps as a Saga-spanning villain.

Quantumania did some things well, like delivering a beautifully colorful rendition of the Quantum Realm, but it also struggled in some important ways. Most notably, Kang never quite seemed to be as imposing as he probably should have. Despite being set up through the film as a horrifying conqueror of realities, the ending of Quantumania sent him away with a bit of a whimper. Reportedly, that wasn’t always the plan.

Quantumania’s Ending Underwent Last-Minute Reshoots

Though Marvel Studios hasn’t officially commented on what changed or why, set photos and certain details in the movie make it clear that Quantumania‘s ending underwent significant reshoots oddly close to release. Set photos showed Scott Lang actor Paul Rudd acting in reshoots on January 6, 2023, just over a month before the movie’s wide release. In these scenes, Scott is carrying a cake. While that didn’t mean anything at the time, that scene ended up being one of the movie’s last, as Scott stops to ponder Kang’s ominous warning of future trouble on his way to a birthday dinner.

So, while it’s clear that Quantumania‘s ending underwent a change, how exactly it changed is more open to speculation. Reportedly, the original version of the movie saw Kang win in his fight against Scott instead of being stopped by Hope and killed/sucked into the improbability drive. This change, which sees Kang lose a fistfight (even if his suit’s malfunctions make the situation a bit more complicated), seems like a disappointing one with nine months of hindsight.

The MCU Has Still Failed To Set Up Kang On The Big Screen So Far

An ongoing complaint of the MCU Phases 4 and 5 is that the gaps between setup and payoff for new characters and events is far too long. If Kang had lost to Ant-Man and Wasp but soon made an appearance in another movie, the defeat could more easily be seen as a temporary speed bump for the villain. However, nine months after the release of Quantumania, Kang hasn’t appeared or been mentioned in a Marvel movie, leaving his strangely anti-climactic end lingering.

Related: Every Version Of Kang In The MCU Ahead Of Avengers 5

Loki season 2 has done a much better job, already teasing the overwhelming power and effectiveness of Kang and his variants. While it’s great that this is happening, it also shows just how much Kang’s setup is missing on the big screen. The MCU’s TV shows have a much smaller audience than its cinematic movies, and the same character build-up and the impending sense of danger are sorely needed before the Avengers take on the Council of Kangs.

Why Quantumania’s Rumored Original Ending Still Would Have Been Better

With the benefit of hindsight, it seems that Quantumania‘s original ending, which would have supposedly seen Kang escape the Quantum Realm and either kill Ant-Man or leave him stranded, would have been better for the wider MCU. While Thanos was a successful villain despite only small appearances before Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel Studios made the decision to feature Kang much more prominently early in the Saga. As such, he needs to accomplish something to establish himself as a viable threat. So far, two Kang variants have appeared in the MCU – He Who Remains, who was killed, and Kang the Conquerer, who also seemingly died.

The MCU keeps saying how scary Kang is, but only Loki is showing it, which isn’t enough for the bedrock of a multi-billion dollar franchise. Furthermore, looking forward, few upcoming MCU movies seem likely to feature Kang. Short of a possible post-credits scene or reference, Kang has been absent from marketing for The Marvels. Similarly, Captain America: Brave New World, Thunderbolts, and Blade seem too grounded for the conqueror of timelines. Only Deadpool 3, which seems to be dealing heavily with the multiverse, seems like a natural fit to set up Kang in a better way than Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

Key Release Dates

The Marvels

Deadpool 3

Captain America: Brave New World

Marvel’s Thunderbolts

Blade (2025)

Marvel’s Fantastic Four

Avengers: The Kang Dynasty

Avengers: Secret Wars

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