Peyton Reed (left) talks to Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly on the set of Ant-Man and the Wasp.
Photo: Disney

The end credits scenes in Ant-Man and the Wasp are deliberately meant to leave you asking questions—questions that won’t be answered until next summer’s Avengers 4 at the earliest. But the film’s director, Peyton Reed, was able to explain to io9 a few things about the scenes, including how the scenes came about, why they are what they are, and more.

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“We talked a lot about how many tags we would have and sort of what it was going to be,” Reed told io9. “And even when we hit on this idea, there was a lot of discussion about who and how.”

The “who and how” is that Scott Lang gets stuck in the Quantum Realm while Thanos’ snap kills Hank Pym and Janet and Hope Van Dyne (which we discussed it at length here).

“The decision really came about with us all talking dramatically about the characters in our movie,” Reed continued. ”We liked the idea of what we did with Scott but then it became a thing of ‘Who else is going to be in that scene?’ And not just ‘Who’s going to meet a certain fate?’ but ‘Who is going to be in the scene?’ Obviously, there’s Hank, Hope, and Janet in the scene but we were like ‘Is Bill Foster there? Is Ava Starr there? Is Luis there? How many people are going to be there?’”

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They decided to keep it relatively simple and leave the fate of most of those characters unanswered.

“The only thing that was dictated outside of our needs was the thing set up in Infinity War, this sort of 50 percent thing,” Reed said. “So you couldn’t get away with having too many people there, and where we landed just kind of felt right.”

The scene also felt right to Reed because it once again makes Scott an outsider, keeps the whole Pym/Van Dyne family together (in a way), but is still jarring for the audience—just how Reed wanted.

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Just when you thought you had your daughter back, you get stuck in the Quantum Realm.
Photo: Disney

“Our movie ends and everybody’s stories are resolved in, really, too neat of a bow,” Reed said. “Scott’s out of house arrest and he’s reunited with Cassie. X-Con is not going to go under, they got the big client. Hank has found Janet and they’re off on the beach, tying it all up in this very neat bow. Then [cut to the] end credits where we punch the audience in the gut. It felt like our movie’s very specific way of dealing with that.”

But that wasn’t everything Reed wanted the audience to feel. There’s a second credits scene, which focuses on the aftermath of Thanos’ snap, in which we see a brief glimpse of the chaos and confusion the Earth has erupted into after half of its inhabitants were wiped out of existence...along with a glimpse of a giant ant playing the drums. Then, as the final wink, a question mark comes up on screen after the phrase “Ant-Man and the Wasp will return.”

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“That came about as we landed on that second tag which is obviously the more comedic of the two tags, but still has a darkness to it,” Reed said. “The first time we just sort of mocked [the question mark] up in the Avid, it made us all laugh and it works as like ‘Will they [return]?’ But mostly it made us laugh in a fun way. So it was fairly late in the game we came up with that but, tonally, it just struck us as ‘This is our movie.’”

Ant-Man and the Wasp is now in theaters.