'Avengers: Endgame' Spoilers: One Detail Complicates Ant-Man's Reappearance

Ant-Man’s sudden reappearance in the Avengers: Endgame trailer might be a huge case of misdirection, and the real explanation could involve a jarring case of time travel. It all boils down to single tiny detail from the new Avengers trailer that you probably didn’t notice.

When the presumed-dead Ant-Man reappears at Avengers headquarters in the new trailer, the assumption is that it’s happening in the present (which Captain America and Black Widow seems to confirm). But if you look closely at the top right corner of the screen you can see the word “Archive,” suggesting that it’s an older recording and the trailer has been purposefully edited to mislead us.

Plenty of fans have noticed this detail and speculated that it could mean Ant-Man actually ended up in the past when he escaped from the Quantum Realm, which will definitely complicate things for the rest of the Avengers.

This footage is definitely related to some kind of "Archive," but is it old or live? And what does the "STRAT" mean?

Marvel Studios

However, redditor u/ak2sup took things a step further, speculating about the exact year that Ant-Man might have ended up in.

“My theory is that Scott entered a time vortex,” they wrote. “The video is Archived (left corner) and the year is 1983.”

The footage definitely says “Achive,” but “1983” doesn’t seem accurate.

Not only do the characters look closer to 1583 or even IS83, but that could just be the camera’s ID code. Scott also says, “We met a few years ago at the airport in Germany.” Wouldn’t he know if he was in 1983? He definitely wouldn’t mention meeting them “a few years ago.”

Even then, the footage being labeled “Archive” seems important. But does that indicate that live footage is being actively archived in a video storage database? Or is the footage being played from an old archive? Steve seems to think it’s the latter, which is where things get confusing — and interesting.

Time travel would, at the very least, explain the awkward pieces of dialogue in this scene: “Is this an old message?” Steve Rogers asks. “That’s the front door,” Natasha responds. (But we don’t actually see her speak in the same shot, so the audio could come from somewhere else and doesn’t really answer his question anyway.)

Our first instinct is to just assume all of this all happens in the present, especially because behind Scott is Luis’ Van most recently featured in the Ant-Man and the Wasp post-credits scene. So that places him in the present day and the shrunken Quantum Tunnel in the back of the van, right?

“What about the Van??” redditor u/ak2sup writes to defend his theory. “That’s a trick, the Van isn’t there in [the] actual movie.”

Now that’s an interesting theory.

Not only have the Russo Bros. outright lied about the Avengers 4 title — saying in May 2018 that it wasn’t “Endgame” — but pretty much every recent Marvel movie has dabbled in some kind of visual misdirection.

The iconic, epic team-up shot featured at the end of the first Infinity War trailer never happened in the movie. Plenty of Thor: Ragnarok scenes in the trailers showed Thor with both eyes in scenes when he’d already lost an eye. Marvel even put Yondu on the Infinity War set just so his death in Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 wouldn’t be spoiled. The list goes on.

This never happened.

Marvel Studios

So what if Scott does emerge from the Quantum Realm at some point in the past? Steve and Natasha might accidentally discover this old footage, taken from the “front door” at some point in the past, even if it’s the recent past.

But how might that help them hatch the desperate plan they mention in the trailer? We’ve got a long wait until we find out. One thing’s for certain: Scott Lang’s escape from the Quantum Realm probably won’t be so simple.

Avengers: Endgame will be released in theaters April 26 2019.

Related video: This is the best ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Theory We’ve See So Far.