So, among all the other details of Ant-Man, there was a second stinger after the credits which even before the movie came out became the most talked-about thing about it, sending a few people to the cinema to see just that scene, not even knowing whether it would even have much to do with the rest of the movie or not. Although since Ant-Man was a smart movie, it did. But it also indicates a possibility about Phase 3 that worries me a bit, namely, the timeline.
So the end of Ant-Man had Scott hearing through the grapevine that Sam Wilson wants to get into contact with him. He finds this out right after having dinner with his daughter, ex-wife, and her fiancee, where the latter notes what he’s just done to keep Scott from having to go back to jail, which means it had to have happened very shortly after the rest of the events of the movie. Which we know took place not long after Age of Ultron, what with the snarky comment about making cities float, and also because of the Christine Everhart promo clip that talked both about the aftermath of the events of said movie and Scott’s impending release from prison. Although it’s not fully confirmed, it seems likely that the second stinger is in fact supposed to take place sometime in between Scott and Sam’s first meeting on top of Avengers HQ and the close of the movie, since the implication is that Sam is seeking Scott out because he wants him to help him and Steve and Bucky.
But within the stinger, it sounds like the events of the Civil War have already started, especially with the “if we found him a week ago” comment. Combine that with the leaked funeral document that indicates Peggy is going to die this year, and it sounds like a lot of the movie is going to take place in 2015, although we don’t know the timespan it covers. Perhaps it’s supposed to end in May of 2016, when this movie is coming out.
By which time, probably most, if not all, of the third season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will have already aired. And we’ve already been told there’s going to be a space of months chronologically between the two seasons, meaning that the TV episodes that air before Civil War comes out will depict events that are running concurrent with the events of that movie, if not happening after them. Unless the events of Civil War somehow avoid having any impact whatsoever on the characters of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which would take a lot of maneuvering and probably weaken show and movie both, that’s going to be a huge problem. And that’s not even getting into Netflix. We recently learned Daredevil’s going to have a cameo in Civil War, so no complete disconnect option there. Although so far it’s not entirely clear exactly when in the timeline anything on Netflix is taking place anyway, and when we don’t have release dates for much yet, it’s possible enough the second season of Daredevil will drop after Civil War comes out, or that the timeline will be maneuvered so that it takes place before the events of the movie, and so can safely drop before it.
We knew already Phase 3 might not keep to real time as much as Phase 2 did(not counting Agent Carter, since it takes place in the 40s anyway), especially with a year passing between the release of the two halves of Infinity War. But there’s a limit to how much they can do that when events tend to happen in the movies that impact the world around them a lot. And really, this is the Civil War we’re talking about. This is supposed be a Big Deal. How big a deal can it be if Coulson and Skye/Daisy and their Secret Warriors are running around apparently not that affected by it?
Especially since now it seems we have at least two new versions of Hydra running around, because those guys who showed up in Ant-Man don’t seem to have anything to do with Grant Ward and his new crew. Although that makes sense enough, that multiple replacements should spring up, just as they did with S.H.I.E.L.D. I kind of hope we get the rival Hydras all on TV though.