Ant-Man is getting a sequel, folks—but there’s a twist! Marvel Studios announced today that it will be dropping an Ant-Man follow-up on July 6, 2018, smack in the middle of Phase Three, but it won’t be titled Ant-Man 2. For the first time in Marvel Studios history, a sequel is being named after the property’s heroine, as the sequel is officially called Ant-Man and the Wasp. Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lily will be reprising their roles as Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne, respectively.
This is kind of great news. Many rightfully argued that Ant-Man was really Van Dyne’s story, so it’s excellent to see that she’ll be getting her due in the follow-up. The studio has no details regarding whether director Peyton Reed will be returning, but only four filmmakers in Marvel Studios history have come back to helm their follow-ups—Jon Favreau, Joss Whedon, James Gunn, and The Russo Brothers—so it wouldn’t be entirely surprising if Marvel enlisted someone else to take the helm. Come to think of it, this might be the perfect film to hire a female director to steer the ship.
There was no guarantee that Marvel would be moving forward on an Ant-Man follow-up. The movie was the studio’s third lowest-grossing film, just behind Captain America: The First Avenger and The Incredible Hulk, but if there’s one thing Marvel has, it’s patience. The picture nabbed $409.8 million worldwide during its run, and while it’s not exactly top-tier Marvel quality-wise, it’s impressive that it turned out as well as it did following the tumultuous development period and original director/co-writer Edgar Wright’s exit. The main reason Marvel was making Ant-Man in the first place was because Wright had a very specific take he was excited about, so they were essentially left with a project that may or may not have been greenlit had Wright never brought it up.
But thanks to the charisma of Rudd and some swell direction on Reed’s part, Ant-Man was a solid single or double for the MCU, and now Marvel will get a chance to craft their own Ant-Man film from scratch. I’d argue that in its altered form, the original should’ve just been completely retooled to make Van Dyne the protagonist, so here’s hoping her role in the sequel is bolstered significantly. The title is a solid indication that this will be a two-hander, so we’re off to a great start.
Rudd will next be seen in the MCU as part of the massive Captain America: Civil War ensemble, during which he’s expected to be part of the new Avengers team. Ant-Man and the Wasp’s release date makes it the next film after Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 so it will be interesting to see if A. Lang is a significant part of Infinity War and B. Van Dyne joins the crew for either Part 1 or Part 2 of the game-changing saga.
What do you think, folks? Are you eager to see a new Ant-Man movie? Who would you like to see direct? What comics storylines do you want to see tackled? Sound off in the comments below.