[Update: Ant-Man may begin shooting after Thor: The Dark World for a 2014 release date.]

Before Guardians of the Galaxy and the other Phase Two Marvel Studios films were confirmed during the Iron Man 3 panel at Comic-Con 2012 over the weekend, we theorized about where Ant-Man would fit into the Marvel Studios’ release schedule.

At one point, Marvel had a pair of summer dates locked in 2014 for unannounced tentpoles. One of them became Captain America: The Winter Soldier and moved to the Spring, the other became Guardians of the Galaxy and moved back to August. Now that Ant-Man is a reality – as demonstrated via test footage premiering at Comic-Con 2012, could Ant-Man take one of those two summer 2014 dates?

We knew years ago that Ant-Man wouldn’t appear in The Avengers, with Edgar Wright stating that the character would need his own introduction post-Avengers so he can join the team the second time around. Marvel has no film currently scheduled for their original key summer 2014 dates of May 16 and June 27 and Marvel Pres Kevin Feige hasn’t been shy about the possibility of having to do three films in one year based on Edgar Wright showed him. Well, that’s happened now and the response from the Comic-Con crowd and execs including Louis D’Esposito, Co- President of Marvel Studios and Executive Producer, has been very positive.

Collider had the opportunity to chat with D’Esposito about the upcoming short film Item 47 that’s shipping with the home video release of The Avengers along other big picture plans for the franchise, including of course, Ant-Man, where he reiterated words we’ve heard from studio reps before.

“That might be an opportunity where we do a third film, depending on his schedule when he finishes World’s End.  But he’s such a competent filmmaker; the script is in great shape.  The test will prove a lot of things on the visual effects front: how do we handle the shrinking, obviously, and the scale issues, because when he’s small he’s a half-inch.  So we’re gonna work that out, maybe that’s when we do a third film.”

Wright’s The World’s End finally begins shooting in October and so he could shoot Ant-Man early next year for a 2014 release date should Marvel Studios give the project the greenlight. And if they managed to cast Ant-Man before next summer, there’s a chance we’ll get to meet him earlier in Iron Man 3.

Ant-Man received an official logo treatment (above), along with test footage, but it was the only film at the Iron Man 3 panel that didn’t get a release date. At the latest, Ant-Man will release in 2015 before The Avengers 2.

Check out our list of 10 actors Marvel should consider for Ant-Man!

Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013, Thor 2 on November 8, 2013, Captain America 2 on April 4, 2014 and Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014.

Keep an eye on the Screen Rant Comic-Con 2012 page for all the convention news.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Source: Collider