Although many fans were skeptical of Ant-Man when Edgar Wright left the project because of creative differences with Marvel Studios, some felt the project was still in good hands with director Peyton Reed at the helm. Reed is not an auteur director like Edgar Wright, but he's more than a competent filmmaker and brought Ant-Man to completion.
When the superhero movie opened in August, a number of people were pleasantly surprised by Ant-Man and felt it was a solid addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Phase II. Reed and stars Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly will aim to offer similar levels of fun action and heart in the upcoming sequel, titled Ant-Man and the Wasp.
One of the most surprising things about Ant-Man was during the movie's climax when the superhero shrunk so much that he appeared in the strange and the bizarre mircoverse known as the Quantum Realm. It was definitely weird and unexpected, but the psychedelic imagery prepared Reed for what's in store for the sequel. Reed revealed to Newsarama:
“The goal is to keep what we really liked for the characters in the first one, but to make it a much weirder movie.”
It's going to be interesting to see just how weird a Marvel movie can be and where exactly it will take the MCU in Phase Three. The upcoming Doctor Strange will be the first Marvel Studio film to delve fully into the mystical side of the MCU, so there will be a precedent for Ant-Man and the Wasp to examine even "weirder" realms of the MCU, thereafter. Reed told Newsarama that he took inspiration for the Quantum Realm from sources ranging from Jack Kirby's comic art to films like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Altered States; apparently, the influence of those psychedelic sources will be even more apparent in the Ant-Man sequel.
Reed also talked briefly what fans will expect to see from Ant-Man and the Wasp, in terms of character development. While Hope van Dyne (Lilly) trained Scott Lang (Rudd) to be Ant-Man, we really didn't see her in the middle of the action, even though she was smarter and stronger than Lang. Happily, the Wasp suit was revealed during the Ant-Man post-credits sequence, and the director also hints that Hope and Scott will have more of a proper partnership in the followup:
“Part of [the] thing that we’re going to explore, as shown in the comics, is how [the Ant-Man and Wasp] are such a great duo and partnership. Part of that, in any partnership, is how they relate to each other as people. Where will their personal relationship be at that point, and what will be their fighting style together?”
Captain America: The Winter Soldier featured a great duo and partnership with Steve Rogers and Black Widow, so hopefully Hope and Scott can make for a similarly engaging duo in the Ant-Man sequel. The pair did have genuine chemistry during their training scenes in the first installment, so watching Ant-Man work with the Wasp in a high pressure situation could be a treat for fans.
Ant-Man will be available on home video December 8th, 2015. Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man – July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.