ByPoint of Geeks, writer at Creators.co
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The story of Marvel's first shrinking man continues to expand, both in front of the camera and behind. Last summer despite all odds, Marvel Studios scored a hit with Ant-Man, in spite of a PR nightmare during pre-production that should have derailed the property. On the eve of shooting, the film was left without its screenwriter and director, Edgar Wright, who unexpectedly departed the project even though he had developed the the film for over six years. Marvel quickly regrouped and hired Peyton Reed (Yes Man) to direct the movie and brought on Adam McKay (Anchorman), with help from Paul Rudd, to rewrite the script. The movie was rushed into production and released in theaters last July. Then a funny thing happened. The audiences and critics largely liked the comedic take on the adventures of Scott Lang.

Paul Rudd has quickly become a fan favorite, despite Ant-Man being one of the lesser blockbusters on Marvel's resume. The heist film has recently crossed the $400 million dollar mark at the worldwide box-office and still has not been released in China. However what may be even more telling, is the buzz Rudd is getting for his role in Captain America: Civil War. His appearance and interactions with Captain America are already the stuff of legends and it hasn't even been shown to the general public yet. Clearly Marvel has its ears to the streets and has begun to move the chess pieces for Phase 3 and beyond, with Ant-Man firmly in the long-term plans.

In addition to Rudd, a large part of the success of Ant-Man lies with the performance of the supporting cast. Michael Douglas is a living legend and his grounded performance, as Hank Pym, probably is was what made the entire film work. On the other hand, Evangeline Lilly's Hope Van Dyne and Michael Pena's Luis, were the heart and soul of the superheroic caper movie. Pena nearly stole the show as Rudd's friend and comedic foil. While most of the complaints in regards to Lilly were that she didn't get to actually be the Ant-Man in the movie, since she was the most skilled and capable candidate. It seems that once again Marvel is listening to the chatter and will be making a sequel called Ant-Man and The Wasp.

Despite a director and screenwriter not yet being announced, the approach to the sequel seems apparent. Marvel has reinvigorated comic book movies, by tactifully blending various film genres with each subsequent release. It was well publicized by Marvel head Kevin Feige that they always intended Ant-Man to be the heist movie of the MCU. Due to the nature of Ant-Man's powers, there will surely still be espionage and heist elements in the sequel as well. However, Paul Rudd has a unique history and fanbase in comedy and more specifically, romantic comedies. So Ant-Man and the Wasp conceivebly could be our first Rom-Com superhero movie. Rudd and Lilly already demonstrated that they have genuine chemistry and this would be yet another unique entry to the crowded superhero market. Check out the full press release from Marvel.

Official Press Release:

Now that Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has officially reached its conclusion with the release of Marvel’s “Ant-Man,” we have new details on what to expect in Phase 3!

Following our hero’s debut adventure in this summer’s “Ant-Man,” Scott Lang will return alongside Hope Van Dyne on July 6, 2018 with Marvel’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp.” The sequel will mark the first Marvel Studios film named after its heroine.

Additionally, Ant-Man’s second adventure will lead to a couple of other films shifting their dates, with Marvel’s “Black Panther” moving up to February 16, 2018 and Marvel’s “Captain Marvel” landing on March 8, 2019.

Finally, three untitled Marvel Studios films will premiere on May 1, 2020, July 10, 2020, and November 6, 2020.

The announcement of “Ant-Man and the Wasp” follows the success of “Ant-Man,” which has earned $178.5M domestically and $231.5M internationally for a global total of $410M. It's the #9 film of the year domestically, and opens in its final international market, China, on October 16.

“Ant-Man” followed one of this year’s biggest blockbusters, Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” which has earned $458.9M domestically and $946M internationally for a global total of $1,404.9M, making it the #2 film of the year domestically and the #6 film of all time globally.

The film has been given a release date of July 6th, 2018. Which will move the release dates of both Black Panther and Captain Marvel. However, it is interesting to see the pliability of Marvel's third phase of filmmaking and how they are willing to make changes on the fly. There will be a lot more to come on Ant-Man and the Wasp!

Source: Point of Geeks

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