I was trying to find a proper timeline for the MCU today and came across a number of them which included Ant-Man. These same timelines do not include Spider-Man or the X-Men.

So, what's the connection? Is it explained somewhere in the movie?

Why is Ant-Man in the MCU when other well-known and popular characters are not?

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    Did you miss the cameo from one of the (less expensive to cast) Avengers?
    – user7812
    Feb 12 '16 at 20:08
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    So... clearly there's two different interpretations of this question... Are you specifically curious about MCU or about his connection to the Avengers? I don't know as much about comics, so I may be missing something...
    – Catija
    Feb 12 '16 at 20:13
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    @Richard - I must have. Looks like I'm gonna need to watch it with a cup of coffee. It was just... I don't know... I like Stark's wit in the Iron Man movies, but Ant-Man felt like a comedy loosely based on an action movie. It didn't hold my attention since I couldn't take any of it seriously. Feb 12 '16 at 20:18

Ant-Man is a Marvel Comics property. Marvel retained the rights to Ant-Man in cartoon and movie form. That is to say, they never licensed him out, even though there was interest in buying him (from Howard Stern of all people). Marvel Studios, Marvel Comic's movie arm, decided to include Ant-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That's why he's part of the MCU.

Spider-Man movie rights were licensed to Sony before Marvel ever thought of producing their own films. The X-Men were like wise licensed out to Fox. Including any Mutants, which causes problems for characters like Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver (The Twins in Age of Ultron). So Marvel Studios cannot legally use them in the MCU, without an agreement with Sony or Fox, depending on the character. Many more were licensed out, but most of those have reverted to Marvel. Thor for example, came back in 2006, from Sony, hence Marvel producing the Thor films. Right now, only X-Men (and any mutants, hence Deadpool), Spider-Man, and Fantastic Four are still licensed out.

None of the X-Men, Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, the previous Daredevil 2003 or Elektra 2005 films, Ghostrider, Blade Trilogy (A shame really) or even the upcoming Deadpool films (also a shame) are canon in the MCU. Only films produced by Marvel Studios for Marvel are canon. Notably, Daredevil, the 2015 Netflix TV series, is part of the MCU, as those rights were reverted.

Spider-Man of course, was recently lent by Sony to Marvel Studios, for inclusion in the MCU. Renting a guy their own lawnmower type deal, funny enough.

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    perfect answer, with the minor exception of 'before Marvel ever thought of producing their own films.' .. Marvel had actually been trying to get their own movies produced since the 1970s, and the late 90s strategy of licensing out characters (such as Spider-man and the Hulk) to create financial ballast and general interest in Marvel was actually a replication of the same deal (even using the same characters) with CBS television! the former being unsuccessful, of course. Feb 13 '16 at 11:25

Because he is a character owned by Marvel Studios and he has interactions with other MCU chracters.

Ant-Man is in the MCU because it was produced by Marvel Studios. Where as Spider-Man (Sony Pictures) and X-Men (Fox Studios) were not.

Within the Ant-Man movie there are references to the Avengers, and even a short fight scene with Falcon (The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron).

Additionally, in the flashback scenes we see Howard Stark (Iron-Man 2) and Hank Pym clashing over the use and appropriation of Pym Particles.

In the most recent Captain America: Civil War trailer we also see Ant-Man gas aligned himself with Captain America's team. Albeit with an upgraded outfit.

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  • Pretty sure we also see him in the lineup on Cap's side in the latest TV spot for the upcoming Civil War film: cdn.inquisitr.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/…
    – MattD
    Feb 12 '16 at 20:20
  • @MattD That is also true, although this question was relating to Ant-Man as it stands, and not asking about any future works. Feb 12 '16 at 20:21
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    Still lends itself to explaining that Ant-Man is part of the MCU proper, I think.
    – MattD
    Feb 12 '16 at 20:23
  • @MattD So be it. Feb 12 '16 at 20:26
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    You can also see the relation between the two movies in the after credits scenes of Antman
    – Quill
    Feb 12 '16 at 23:54

Ant Man is part of MCU because he's always been a part of the Avengers storyline:

From the Ant-Man (Scott Lang) Wikipedia page:

Ant-Man (Scott Lang) is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by David Michelinie and John Byrne, Scott Lang first appeared in The Avengers #181 (March 1979) and in Marvel Premiere #47 (April 1979) as the second superhero character to use the Ant-Man name in the Marvel Universe.

(Emphasis Added)

And from the Ant-Man (Hank Pym) Wikipedia page:

Biochemist Dr. Henry "Hank" Pym discovers an unusual set of subatomic particles he labels "Pym particles". Entrapping these within two separate serums, he creates a size-altering formula and a reversal formula, testing them on himself. Reduced to the size of an insect, he becomes trapped in an anthill before he eventually escapes and uses the reversal formula to restore himself to his normal size. Deciding the serums are too dangerous to exist, he destroys them.[4] Shortly afterward, he reconsiders his decision and recreates his serums. Pym's experience in the anthill inspires him to study ants, and he constructs a cybernetic helmet that allows him to communicate with and control them. Pym designs a costume made of unstable molecules to prevent bites or scratches from the ants, and reinvents himself as the superhero Ant-Man.[5] After several adventures, Pym is contacted by Dr. Vernon van Dyne asking for aid in contacting alien life. Pym refuses, but is attracted to Vernon’s socialite daughter Janet van Dyne. Vernon is subsequently killed by an alien criminal who teleports himself to Earth, and Janet asks for Pym's help in avenging Vernon's death. Pym reveals his secret identity to Janet, and uses Pym particles to graft wasp wings beneath her shoulders, which appear when Janet shrinks. Janet assumes the alias of the Wasp, and together they find and defeat Vernon's killer. The pair become founding members of the superhero team known as the Avengers.

(Emphasis Added)

  • "founding members"? I thought The Avengers was put together by Samuel L. Jackson? Yeah, my geek points are dropping fast on that one, I just can't remember his name. :o) So, I assume we'll find out how Pym partners with S.H.I.E.L.D. in an upcoming movie? This is all difficult to grasp when you don't have any comic book background. Feb 12 '16 at 20:15
  • Nick Fury was Jackson's character's name. ;) Presumably. Part of the film involves breaking into the Avenger's new warehouse, so they're clearly going to connect the two somehow.
    – Catija
    Feb 12 '16 at 20:17
  • @JohnnyBones actually, they describe Pym's history with Shield in the Ant-Man movie.
    – cde
    Feb 12 '16 at 20:56

Ant-Man is a marvel property, and therefore can be part of the MCU.

We know he's in it though because of his fight with Falcon, who appears in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Antman and Falcon fight

Further, there's the mid-credit scene where Falcon tells Captain America he knows someone who can help Bucky.

Ant-Man reacts when he finds it his friends had told falcon about him

It may seem tenuous as the connection was added after the script had been written by Edgar Wright. Here are the details.

It's safe to assume that along with the action and streamlining beats that Adam McKay and Paul Rudd had included in their draft, there's some new characters and ties to the existing Marvel Cinematic Universe. As that was one of the causes that Marvel had cited as relevant in their split with Wright

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    Please include the relevant details from your link in your answer, as the source could change or go down at any point in the future, rendering this answer somewhat useless to future viewers. Also, spoiler tags aren't really needed for this answer.
    – MattD
    Feb 12 '16 at 20:23
  • @mattd thanks for the edit. Add the OP says they hadn't seen the whole film, I didn't want to spoil it. I've added something from they link, how they works for you :-) Feb 12 '16 at 20:31
  • Ugh, not another question where someone is wanting to know something but hasn't actually seen the movie, at least not entirely, that they're asking about.
    – MattD
    Feb 12 '16 at 20:32
  • @MattD looks like they've reconsidered Feb 12 '16 at 20:44
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    You make it seem like I'm against bad power ranger episodes :)
    – cde
    Feb 13 '16 at 14:27

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