Since Ant-Man received a very solid reception at the box office this summer, Marvel is charging ahead with a sequel. Disney just announced that Ant-Man and The Wasp will hit theaters on July 6th, 2018, with Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne returning as the headlining stars.
The decision to launch an Ant-Man sequel speaks to the film's frankly surprising success. In addition to earning fairly positive reviews, the movie managed to pull in $178.4 million at the domestic box office. All that after Edgar Wright walked away from the project early in production. Also, that the Wasp is in the title now makes that character the first female Marvel superhero to headline her own movie. However, Captain Marvel will still have the distinction of getting top billing — only now it'll be the following year.
Phase Three just got much bigger
Planting the sequel in 2018 shifts Marvel's next phase for its cinematic universe considerably, especially when the upcoming Spider-Man reboot forced several movies to jump around in the schedule. Black Panther, which was previously slated for a July 2018 release, will debut on February 16th of that year. Meanwhile, Captain Marvel is being pushed back, and is now set for March 8th, 2019.
Also, three unnamed Marvel films are now scheduled to premiere on May 1st, 2020; July 10th, 2020; and November 6th, 2020; though it's not totally clear if those dates are reserved for Avengers: Infinity War Part I and Part II and Inhumans. Here's how the "phase three" schedule looks with these changes in place:
- Captain America: Civil War: May 6th, 2016
- Doctor Strange: November 4th, 2016
- Guardians of the Galaxy 2: May 5th, 2017
- Spider-Man: July 28th, 2017
- Thor: Ragnarok: November 3rd, 2017
- Avengers: Infinity War, Part 1: May 4th, 2018
- Black Panther: February 16th, 2018
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: July 6th, 2018
- Captain Marvel: March 8th, 2019
- Avengers: Infinity War, Part 2: May 3rd, 2019
- Inhumans: July 12th, 2019
- Unnamed Film: May 1st, 2020
- Unnamed Film, July 10th, 2020
- Unnamed Film, November 6th, 2020