Marvel Studios has just announced a huge change in their Phase Three movie schedule, with the addition of one sequel to the roster and release date changes for two promising franchise starters.
The July 2018 release slot that originally belonged to Black Panther – which just snagged Joe Robert Cole to write the script – has been given to Ant-Man and the Wasp, a follow-up to Marvel’s surprisingly successful (over $400 million in worldwide box office) blockbuster Ant-Man.
Black Panther will now be coming to theaters in February of that year. F. Gary Gray, hot of the blazing summer box office success of Straight Outta Compton, is one of several directors currently being courted for the coveted job of bringing Wakanda’s king and costumed protector’s first solo feature to the silver screen. Captain Marvel, which was to be Marvel’s first female-fronted superhero movie, has also seen its release shifted to March of 2019. A director and star have yet to be signed.
For the Ant-Man sequel, Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly are both set to return as Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne, respectively, for a new adventure that will have Hope suiting up for the first time as the Wasp, Ant-Man’s longtime partner-in-crimefighting in the comics. The first post-credits scene in Ant-Man had Hope being bestowed by her father Hank (Michael Douglas) with an updated version of the Wasp suit once worn by her late mother Janet. This will be the first time a Marvel heroine has had her name in one of the studio’s movie titles.
There’s no word yet on whether Ant-Man director Peyton Reed will return for the sequel. Marvel has also reserved release dates of May 1, 2020, July 10, 2020, and November 6, 2020 for a trio of as-yet-untitled features no doubt meant to be the first in the studio’s Phase Four schedule.
Ant-Man and the Wasp will hit theaters on July 6, 2018, while Black Panther opens on February 16, 2018 and Captain Marvel premieres on March 8, 2019.