Warning: Ant-Man and the Wasp spoilers follow!
While Ant-Man and the Wasp follows the events of Captain America: Civil War, many fans expected it to at least address the end of Avengers: Infinity War. That film seemingly changed the Marvel Cinematic Universe forever, so ignoring it completely would have been awkward. Warning: The following contains spoilers for Ant-Man and the Wasp.
Still, nobody was quite sure how it would work in half of existence turning to dust when Thanos snapped his fingers. In the end, the moment happens during the post-credits scene, though it's unclear how long after the movie's climax this takes place. Originally, however, the handling of Infinity War was going to happen quite differently.
Speaking to GameSpot, Ant-Man and the Wasp director Peyton Reed says while he always knew he and the writers were going to have to integrate Infinity War into their story, it wasn't always in the post-credits scene. "We talked about it, you know, how we were going to introduce the ramifications of Infinity War in our movie, and along the way, we had a bunch of different ideas," he says. "Some were more bleak, and some were things happening in the background of this movie."
It's hard to imagine a scene more bleak than finding clouds of ash where Hank (Michael Douglas), Hope (Evangeline Lilly), and Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) once stood. Having to watch them actually realize what's happening, like fans did with Spider-Man in Infinity War, would have been too much.
However, it's interesting to think about how it could have fit elsewhere in the film. While a second post-credits scene shows a peek at the world in the aftermath of the actions of Thanos--with the Emergency Alert System taking over TV, while a giant ant plays drums--seeing that unfold in the middle of the movie instead of at the end might have been too much.
Ultimately, given the kind of movie Ant-Man and the Wasp is, chances are they made the right choice with how it played out on-screen. "We finally landed on this idea, you know, the version that you saw, and structurally, we all got really excited about it, to have the tone of Ant-Man or Ant-Man and the Wasp, and still be able to sort of acknowledge Infinity War in a way," Reed explains.
Now Avengers 4 just has to fix it all so fans can see more of Hank, Janet, and Hope in another movie. In the meantime, Ant-Man and the Wasp is in theaters now.