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What to Watch Before ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’

Don't worry, you don't have a lot of homework for this one.

In a still from 'Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,' Cassie (Kathryn Newton) stands next to her father, Scott Lang. Scott is wearing his Ant-Man suit without the helmet, so his face his visible.
(Marvel Studios)

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which will kick off phase 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is fast approaching! That means that if you’re new to the MCU and you want to have some vague idea of what’s going on in the new movie, you have juuuust enough time to get caught up before watching Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

But where to start!? There are enough Marvel movies and series to keep you occupied for months! Luckily, you can whittle it down to just a few essentials and still walk into the theater prepared. Here are the three absolutely essential Marvel movies and tv shows to watch before Ant-Man 3.

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Ant-Man and the Wasp
(Marvel Studios)

The first Ant-Man movie is fine, but the sequel, Ant-Man and the Wasp, is where the story gets really good. In Ant-Man and the Wasp, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) teams up with Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) to rescue Hope’s mom Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) from a microscopic universe called the Quantum Realm.

How it sets up Quantumania: Scott and the rest of the Ant Gang will be returning to the Quantum Realm in Quantumania, and if the trailer is at all accurate, the story will reveal that Janet has a complicated history there.

Avengers: Endgame

Thanos in Marvel's Avengers: Endgame.
(Marvel Studios)

As with all Avengers movies, there are a bunch of previous movies you need to watch to fully understand Endgame, but don’t worry about all that for now. All you really need to know, going into Endgame, is that a big purple alien named Thanos collected six mystical rocks called Infinity Stones and used them to snap half of all life out of existence. Now, Scott Lang has hit upon a way to help the Avengers travel back in time to undo the damage.

How it sets up Quantumania: Thanks to the events of Infinity War, Scott loses five years of watching his daughter Cassie grow up. According to the Quantumania trailer, the core of Scott’s emotional journey will be his desire to get those five years back.

Loki Episode 6, “For All Time. Always.”

Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror in Loki

People either love Loki or hate it, but if you want to get the full Quantumania experience, you’ll want to at least watch the final episode of the series. (I mean, I would recommend watching the whole series, but it’s only the last episode that’s really essential for Quantumania.) In this episode, Loki and his alternate universe variant Sylvie discover that a guy called He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors) is the secret leader of the Time Variance Authority, an organization that prunes alternate timelines to prevent the multiverse from forming.

How it sets up Quantumania: If you haven’t heard any of the hype about Kang the Conqueror by now, then I just don’t know what to do with you. Loki episode 6 contains the origin story of both Kang and the multiverse. Plus, Jonathan Majors is amazing, and the whole deal with Kang is that there’s an infinite number of him, so don’t miss out on this chance to see Majors acting the hell out of this unforgettable, multifaceted character.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania comes out in theaters on February 17, 2023!

(featured image: Marvel Studios)

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Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and covers film, television, and books for The Mary Sue. When she's not making yarn on her spinning wheel, she consumes massive amounts of Marvel media, folk horror, science fiction, fantasy, and nature writing. You can check out more of her writing at, or find her on Twitter at @juliaglassman.