Ant-Man ends Phase 2 of the MCU by giving us a glimpse of what’s to come in Phase 3, but also an excellent look back at the MCU during a time period we’ve yet to properly explore. This is part 12 of a 20 part video series discussing when each film in the MCU takes place. When does Ant-Man actually take place?
“I think our first move should be calling the Avengers.”
Ant-Man begins in 1989, as Hank Pym derides Howard Stark, and Peggy Carter for abusing his Pym Particle technology, and he quits S.H.I.E.L.D. to enter an early retirement. By this point Janet Van Dyne had been lost in the Quantum Realm for about 2 years, and we get a flashback to that time later in the film.
Scott Lang is freed from a 3 year prison sentence on July 17th, 2015, according to this WHiH Newsfront video. “Scott Lang, who’s set to be released from federal prison on July 17th.” Several months pass between this event and the main time period of the film, considering Scott is criticized for not paying any money towards child support for Cassie, and the fact that he’s having a real problem holding down a job. Considering Ant-Man was released on October 16th, 2015, we can assume the film takes place around that time period.
We know this occurs after Avengers: Age of Ultron, as Hank makes a reference to them dropping a city out of the sky, and Scott invades the new Avengers facility in upstate New York that they just set up. Hank’s medicine expires on May 17, 2016, so the film must occur before this. Conveniently, we can nail down the climax of Ant-Man as occurring on October 9th, thanks to this iPhone, and in 2015 this lands on a Friday.
The mid-credits scene is literally a shot from Captain America: Civil War, which takes place in 2016 as we’ll discuss in part 13. .6% of the film takes place in 1987, 1.6% in 1989, 97.3% in 2015, and another .5% in 2016.