Wasp to Co-Star in ‘Ant-Man 2‘ as Marvel Pushes ‘Black Panther’ Forward, Rolls ‘Captain Marvel’ Back (Again)
When Marvel originally revealed their plans for Phase 3, conspicuously missing was a date for Ant-Man 2. There was some concern that Ant-Man may never get his sequel and would have to be content appearing in other Marvel things (like Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War), but those concerns have been allayed by Marvel who officially announced Ant-Man and the Wasp will open in theaters in 2018!
Ant-Man and the Wasp will hit theaters on July 6, 2018 (the original Black Panther release date) with Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly returning to their roles from the original. The title is notable because it’s the first time a Marvel film has been named after a female superhero. To date, Ant-Man has made $178.5M domestically and $231.3M internationally and is currently the ninth biggest movie of the year so far. Not exactly Avengers: Age of Ultron numbers, but enough to warrant a sequel.
To make room for the Ant-Man sequel, Marvel has shifted a few existing movies. Black Panther has moved forward to February 16, 2018 and Captain Marvel will now open in theaters on March 8, 2019, delayed a few months from the originally planned November 2, 2018. (Warner Bros. was rumored to be opening Ben Affleck’s solo Batman movie on Captain Marvel’s old date, which may explain that move.) Frustratingly, this is the second time Captain Marvel has been bumped, the first time by the addition of Sony and Marvel's Spider-Man co-production to the schedule.
Finally, Marvel announced three more release dates for mysterious, untitled films on May 1, 2020, July 10, 2020, and November 6, 2020.
Here is Marvel’s updated release schedule:
Captain America: Civil War - May 6, 2016
Doctor Strange - November 4, 2016
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 - May 5, 2017
Thor: Ragnarok - November 3, 2017
Black Panther - February 16, 2018
Avengers: Infinity War - Part 1 - May 4, 2018
Ant-Man and the Wasp - July 6, 2018
Captain Marvel - March 8, 2019
Avengers: Infinity War - Part 2 - May 3, 2019
Inhumans - July 12, 2019
Untitled Marvel Movie - May 1, 2020
Untitled Marvel Movie - July 10, 2020
Untitled Marvel Movie - November 6, 2020
With those last three films coming after the end of Phase 3, can we assume that those will be the start of Phase 4? We’ll guess that the May 1, 2020 date is Guardians of the Galaxy 3 and one of the additional dates could be a Doctor Strange sequel. Unclear yet what the third could be.
While Rudd and Lilly will return for Ant-Man and the Wasp, it’s unknown if director Peyton Reed will also return. Reed tweeted the news, but no confirmation on his participation just yet.