Marvel has James Gunn‘s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Taika Waititi‘s Thor: Ragnarok on tap to open this year, but eyes are already looking ahead to 2018 and beyond. And with good reason. The MCU has Ryan Coogler‘s Black Panther, Joe and Anthony Russo‘s Avengers: Infinity War, and Peyton Reed‘s Ant-Man and the Wasp all teed up for the next calendar year. All of those films have either wrapped or are currently in production, save one: Reed’s Ant-Man sequel.
But in a recent chat with Marvel Studios’ boss Kevin Feige for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2‘s press day, the planned filming start date for Ant-Man and the Wasp was revealed. It’s close to what star Michael Douglas—who returns as Hank Pym–previously reported, though it’s possible that the movie’s production will start before Douglas is called to set. Michael Peña will also be returning, as are Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly who will play the title roles when Ant-Man and the Wasp opens July 6, 2018.
Here’s what Feige had to say about the planned filming start date for the MCU’s next big production:
“Assuming everything stays on schedule, we start filming Ant-Man and the Wasp in June.”
It’s important to note that things may still shift, schedule-wise, but since this film is so close to production, you can almost certainly consider it a lock. That gives it just over a year before its theatrical rollout, so they couldn’t cut it much closer regardless.
Here’s what else we know about Ant-Man and the Wasp: It’ll have an IMAX release, as will pretty much all of Marvel’s upcoming films and Lilly’s Wasp will get to suit up in the sequel, but will miss out on Avengers: Infinity War (though she should be back in action for that film’s sequel). Reed has his own take on Lilly’s character in the new film and what she’ll bring to the narrative:
“It’s something we’re excited about. For me as a comic nerd, I always thought of Ant-Man and Wasp as a team and that’s a lot of what the second movie is really about is how they work together, what their personal and professional relationships are like. To show her finally fully formed in this movie is really exciting. We really get to introduce this character into that universe. I mean we’ve introduced the character, but we haven’t seen her with her full power set and everything, so to me she’s not a supporting character in this movie. It’s every bit as much her movie as it is Scott Lang’s.”
Ant-Man and the Wasp is set to start filming this June for a July 6, 2018 debut.