At San Diego Comic-Con this summer, Edgar Wright made a welcome appearance during the Marvel Studios Iron Man 3 presentation, and for the first time in over five years, had something to show fans for the seemingly forgotten Ant-Man. He and Marvel President of Production Kevin Feige premiered incomplete test footage of an Ant-Man action sequence to showcase the relatively obscure character and how his ability to alter his size could work in live-action in a believable and interesting way.
For the hyper-excited 6000 attendees, the brief Ant-Man tease did not disappoint. Still, while unveiling "Phase Two" of the Marvel cinematic universe with four confirmed release dates, Ant-Man was the only confirmed title not to be given a release date. After years of speculation, rumors and reports, that changes today.
Disney just distributed their updated schedule of upcoming film releases for the next three years. Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World both come in 3D next year. Captain America: The Winter Soldier maintains its 2014 spring release date, followed by Guardians of the Galaxy in August 2014. The Avengers 2 and its May 2015 release date wasn't mentioned, but at the end of the list was a very pleasant surprise for the Marvel faithful:
ANT-MAN is now dated on 11/6/15 wide (Marvel)
And there we have it. Marvel Studios will stick to its (more feasible) plan of two major theatrical releases per year and Ant-Man will release November 6, 2015, six months after The Avengers 2. Previous rumors of course, had Ant-Man possibly shooting early next year, after Thor 2 completes principal photography and just before Captain America 2 begins in the spring, for a 2014 release. Such a production schedule would allow Edgar Wright enough time to finish shooting The World's End while and give Marvel a slight gap in between other productions.
Kevin Feige and Louis D’Esposito, Co- President of Marvel Studios, both previously hinted that Ant-Man may actually come in 2014, marking the first time the studio could release three films in one year. It would depend on the reception to the Comic-Con test footage and the resources of the studio. That was our going assumption until just before The Avengers hit home video and I chatted with D’Esposito myself, who at the time, had changed his tune, revealing that they were now very unsure of their current ability to get three films done for one year. They simply didn't want to get too ambitious and spread their people too thin.
For Ant-Man fans in doubt, there couldn't be better news at this juncture. With James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy a reality, Marvel Studios is not afraid to take big budget risks after the success of The Avengers, and Ant-Man is simply another example of their faith in their creative talent and branding.
What this also means is that the Ant-Man character will almost certainly be introduced in The Avengers 2 and given his own time to shine after. We also know from Wright's early descriptions of his screenplay, that it would be more of a spy movie, indicating that Ant-Man could be a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, just one with a superpower. With Captain America 2 casting rumors making the rounds, and its focus on the mysterious organization, it's also possible they could introduce the character there. One rumor even has the introduction happening in the Iron Man 3 post-credits scene.
The burning question now is who will Edgar Wright and Marvel Studios select to play the Marvel hero who the director said "will kick you ass one inch at a time"? Be sure to check out our own list of 10 actors who Marvel should consider for Ant-Man.
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, The Avengers 2 on May 1, 2015 and Ant-Man on November 6, 2015.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.
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