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A Point of Geeks report

Despite announcing their ambitious five-year slate of movies last year, [Marvel](tag:932254) Studios has kept its fans (and investors) gripping their seats in anticipation of the next radical decision the company will make. No production in recent memory has kept everyone more on their toes than that of [Ant-Man](tag:9048). After the departure of director and writer Edgar Wright, Peyton Reed (Bring it On) came onto the project in the 11th hour and managed to craft a blockbuster out of a movie with a shaky foundation. Ant-Man has grossed over $500 million dollars worldwide since its release this past summer and that is what as known as a franchise-starter in Hollywood circles.

Marvel reformulated their original plans and shocked the geek world recently with an announcement of a new sequel, [Ant-Man and The Wasp](tag:3582427). Evangeline Lilly's character Hope Van Dyne, aka the Wasp, will take center stage with Ant-Man, making them the first superhero power couple on film. Looking at the long history of Marvel Comics and the changing trends in filmmaking, the sequel announcement makes a lot of sense. Reed explained his thoughts to Yahoo on the sequel.

“I think one of the appealing things about coming back for a sequel is to be able to build it from the ground up this time... Also, [there’s] stuff that we clearly set up in the first movie that we want to pay off and have fun with in the second movie. Since we know [the characters’] origins, we can go in some weird, unique and different territory.”

Ant-Man and the Wasp will serve as a formal introduction to the Wasp. In Marvel's 3rd phase of films, they have made a concerted effort to add more diversity to their cinematic universe, with upcoming films such as Captain Marvel and Black Panther. Many people were frustrated by the Wasp's super-powered absence from the first movie, however there was a larger plan in the works according to Reed:

“Her last line in the movie — ‘It’s about damn time’ — [is] very much about her specific character and arc in that movie, but it is absolutely about a larger thing. It’s about damn time: We’re going to have a fully realized, very very complicated hero in the next movie who happens to be a woman.”

Reed's emphasis on the how complicated he intends Van Dyne's character to be, should be noted. Particularly because Marvel has made its name from faithfully translating its characters from the page to the screen. However, not necessarily from making complicated or complex protagonists. It will be interesting to find out if this is a strong intention, or merely lip service at this early stage of the movie's development.

The most important part of his statement is that the Wasp "happens to be a woman." Part of gaining equality is not having a disclaimer for progress. This may be part of the viewing audience's divide over a show like Supergirl, where it spends a lot of time each episode bringing attention to the fact that this is a female superhero...not just a new superhero to appreciate. Reed expanded on the Wasp and her larger significance to Marvel in an interview with MTV:

"That was one of the things that was important to me in the first movie when I came on was emphasizing the Wasp more, both Hope Van Dyne and Janet Van Dyne... It’s such a no-brainer that there needs to be female heroes. It’s about keeping the stories interesting and having fresh stories to tell. I always like that about Ant-Man and Wasp because it dealt with gender politics as well as superhero stuff. In the comics, particularly in the ’60s comics, the Janet Van Dyne Wasp was clearly written by all men and was pretty one-dimensional. She’s gotten much more dimensionalized since then. That’s one of those things that I think is going to be really exciting and fresh about this movie. You do feel a certain amount of responsibility. At the end of the day it’s organic to that character and the movie.”

The fact that Van Dyne was the superior character in Ant-Man, was both a refreshing aspect and a source of frustration for fans of the movie. Van Dyne, played by Evangeline Lilly, was more physically and intellectually gifted than the protagonist and that had nothing to do with gender. It sounds as if Reed will explore the depths of her heroism and is in a unique position to make Ant-Man, the "damsel in distress" in the sequel. It's clear that he realizes not only the responsibility, but also the immense significance of the Wasp, both socially and to the Marvel cinematic universe specifically.

Concept art for the Wasp in 'Ant-Man'
Concept art for the Wasp in 'Ant-Man'

A lot is still up in the air, particularly since a writer hasn't been officially signed for the sequel. But then again, neither has Reed and he is clearly directing the movie. So there could be a lot more progress behind-the-scenes than we are imagining. Of course, we will be here to bring you the latest as it develops.

Ant-Man and the Wasp is scheduled to open on July 6, 2018.

What do you think about Reed's comments? What approach do you think that they should take towards the sequel?
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Source: Point of Geeks

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