Wasting no time after the worldwide box office success of The Avengers, Marvel Studios was quick to begin production on Iron Man 3 in June, and just as it enters the final stretch of principal photography, Thor: The Dark World prepares to start shooting in the UK. As for the next confirmed release by the studio, Captain America: The Winter Soldier was previously rumored to begin production as early as the end of this year, seemingly ensuring that Marvel would continuously be shooting back-to-back films without a break for the foreseeable future.

That’s not the plan according to star Chris Evans, who reveals that Captain America: The First Avenger will instead have the same amount of production time as its predecessor. Does that mean Ant-Man could start shooting at the end of the year, between the Thor and Captain America followups?

Evans is in Canada this week for the premiere of The Iceman at the Toronto International Film Festival where he revealed to Collider that production on The Winter Soldier begins March 2013, several months after the previously rumored date. What does that mean? Two things:

  1. The Winter Soldier will have approximately the same start-to-release production time as its predecessor. Recall: The First Avenger began shooting in June 2010 and hit theaters the following summer in July 2011. Captain America 2 begins shooting in March 2013 for its April 2014 release date, giving it the same 13 months of time.
  2. With Thor: The Dark World beginning to shoot this month for a fall 2013 release, it’s going to finish shooting by the end of the year, leaving a gap between its conclusion of principal photography and the beginning of Cap 2. What could fill that gap? Ant-Man.

Latino Review shared the scoop a few weeks after Edgar Wright shared Ant-Man test footage at Comic-Con that he could begin shooting the actual film in London right after Thor 2 wraps production. With confirmation from Evans about the plan for Captain America 2, the schedule lines up perfectly with not only the reports of Wright shooting Ant-Man shortly after The World’s End later this year, but with statements from Co- President of Marvel Studios and Executive Producer Louis D’Esposito and Marvel President of Production Kevin Feige who both hint that Ant-Man could release in 2014, making it the first time ever Marvel Studios has three theatrical releases in one year.

Oddly enough, with so much news about casting on the Captain America 2 frontAnt-Man is still without a release date, let alone any cast members, despite being one of many films presented during the Marvel Studios Comic-Con panel with an official movie logo. It’s also one of the longest-in-development projects for the studio which has had Wright attached for almost seven years. If Marvel Studios pulls the trigger on Wright’s script and it does begin shooting by the end of this year and into 2013, expect casting announcements in the very near future. Also look forward to appearances of the character in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Iron Man 3 – the latter of which could occur in a post-credits sequence.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier stars Chris Evans, Anthony Mackie, Samuel L. Jackson, Sebastian Stan and potentially several familiar faces from the past like Hayley Atwell. It will be directed by Anthony and Joe Russo.

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Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013, Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014 and The Avengers 2 on May 1, 2015.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Source: Collider (via UTF)