The success of Marvel Studios’ most recent film, Ant-Man, has proven that they really can be bullet proof. Ant-Man is not one of Marvel’s most well known characters outside of committed comic book readership, but it was still a critical and commercial victory. This has helped Marvel Studios to greenlight a sequel for a very concrete day: July 6, 2018. This puts it into the serious and far-minded schedule that Marvel allows for their Cinematic Universe.
What is most interesting about this sequel is that it will not be simply called ‘Ant-Man 2,” which has not been the style for Marvel Studios. Instead it reveals much of its content with its name: ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp.” This reveals that the Wasp will be a key character in the film, a hero that was suggested in part of the back story in the Ant-Man movie. This shows the possibility that the Wasp, who was lost in sub-space, will be returning and will join Ant-Man in confronting the rogues gallery.
Ant-Man and the Wasp will be a part of what has been called “Phase III” for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which refers to the wave of new films. This will put it after the coming Captain America: Civil War, and it bumped up the release date of Black Panther to February 16, 2018. Captain Marvel then will be pushed back to March 8, 2019 from its November 2018 original release period.
This is an exciting turn for the MCU, but also a reminder that the dates and movies on schedule are not set in stone, and a good deal of box office fever can change anyone’s priorities.