There could be a very simple reason that [Ant-Man](movie:9048) is scheduled for release this year right after Avengers: Age of Ultron. Things are getting darker by the minute in the big Marvel Cinematic Universe. There will probably be an Avenger that will die, there will be in fighting among ranks leading to a whole Civil War thing, Asgard is getting a Ragnarok, it's gonna get messy. Let's lighten it up!
Untying the MCU
Enter Ant-Man, a bright ray of sunshine in the MCU. It is starting to sound more and more like the ties to the MCU will be small and probably take place at the beginning with some Hank Pym back-story and during whatever they have planned for the post-credits scene. And I think that's more than good enough.
Actually, I think it would be great if not every Marvel movie had to get tied into whatever labyrinthine plot that may be going on during any given year. Don't get me wrong, I think it is fantastic when you have characters and relationships that grow over movies and get intertwined with other stories - but not every movie should be beholden to something that happened in another movie. Just as Ant-Man shouldn't be beholden to whatever is going on with Ultron.
A Future of MCU Freedom
I've made some guesses that Ant-Man could be a one-shot for the MCU. Just as the Marvel comics frequently allow their characters to have one-issue adventures that might not strictly adhere to the larger picture, the movies should be able to have this same freedom.
How great would it be to simply have a She-Hulk, Captain Britain or Black Bolt movie get the greenlight without having to shoehorn in some business about Infinity Stones? Someone should be able to write a good Runaways movie without having to worry about messing up whatever the Avengers might have planned. Marvel should be in the business of endless possibilities, not hampered by a restrictive MCU logic.
Keeping Marvel's Options Open
I'm really hoping Ant-Man is more of a MCU one-shot and it does extremely well and leads to more things like it. I understand the logic behind making everything interconnected, it makes you feel like you should be seeing everything Marvel puts out in order to stay up to speed on things. It's brilliant. But I don't think people went to see [Guardians of the Galaxy](movie:424073) for that reason - and I don't think you would be hurting the prospect of future movies by making the MCU connection even smaller than Guardians' was.
Maybe I just really want to see that Runaways movie - or even better, Netflix show. And maybe I want to see Marvel start to dip their toe back in to R rated waters with Blade and Punisher. Really, I just hope that if someone comes up with a perfect Marvel superhero story, it isn't run through some sort of MCU meat grinder until it fits the logic of whatever they have planned for the other 10 movies. If that's why Edgar Wright had to leave Ant-Man, I can't say I blame him.