Yesterday, Marvel made a stunning announcement that we will be getting a sequel to Ant-Man with Ant-Man and the Wasp. However, with the surprising announcement came word that Black Panther would move up a few months, while Captain Marvel would get pushed back a few months – yet again.
The announcement brought mixed feelings to fans depending on which properties they care about. Here, we will look at why this news happened, what it means, along with a whole bunch of added speculation.
Captain America: Civil War
While initially this announcement wouldn’t seem to have much to do with Captain America: Civil War, it does show us a few things. Firstly and unsurprisingly, Scott Lang will survive the Civil War that is coming. Secondly, the announcement of a sequel for him I think means that Marvel is very happy with Ant-Man’s scenes in the upcoming movie. His inclusion in the blockbuster that this movie will be should help generate even more revenue for a franchise that made over $409 million prior to Ant-Man becoming a household name among MCU fans.
They also moved up Black Panther’s solo film which I think means, just like Ant-Man, they are happy with his role in the movie. It also probably means that it’s very unlikely we see Carol Danvers show up almost three years before her own movie.
This is probably the film that is the least affected by the recent schedule change. With it beginning production next month, there isn’t much time for Director Scott Derrickson to make any changes. It is still possible that Strange could visit the Quantum Realm and meet someone like Janet Van Dyne perhaps, but I’m not convinced that will happen. We may be talking more about the Doctor Strange franchise later on though, so stay tuned.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Much like Doctor Strange, this announcement will likely have little to no effect on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Since the entire movie will take place on the cosmic side of the universe, we won’t be seeing a lot of crossover with these characters. James Gunn has been very adamant that Peter Quill will be the only earthling to appear in the movie. He has knocked the idea of Nova appearing because of this, and while it may be unaffected by today’s news immediately, the franchise could come into play later on.
It’s hard to really get a grasp on how tied in to the MCU the stand-alone film for Spider-Man will be and because of that, it’s unlikely an Ant-Man sequel will change that. We’ve speculated before that Hulk could appear in the reboot but we should have a clearer picture after Captain America: Civil War. Since this hasn’t been shuffled, it will be more interesting to see what happens after this movie.
Thor: Ragnarok will be the movie in Phase 3 that really starts to bring the events that will unfold in Avengers: Infinity War to the focus. Asgard could crumble, lots of people will die, and it has all the makings to be the best installment in the Thor franchise. There’s an outside chance that Captain Marvel could be in it to set up the future, but that seems rather unlikely.
Black Panther is the first film here that is truly changed by today’s announcement. Instead of being sandwiched between the Infinity War films, it will now be the direct lead in to the biggest event in MCU history. Obviously, this means we get to see Black Panther’s solo film sooner than was last reported and that’s one of the best bits of news to come out of this latest announcement. It is also the first MCU movie led by an African-American that now just so happens to come out during Black History Month. Clever move on Marvel’s end.
Avengers: Infinity War Part 1
The “end” of Phase 3 starts here. This will be a big setup film for Part 2 the following year. This film will likely feature Thanos gathering the Infinity Stones, having all of our heroes realize something is about to happen and meet up, and hopefully, this is where we’ll see the introduction of Carol Danvers. I think Danvers is a lock to appear here, assuming Marvel doesn’t introduce her in an earlier film.
Ant-Man and the Wasp
The film that caused this reshuffling is here finally. The team-up film will bring together the smallest heroes we have join forces and probably set out to explore more of the Quantum Realm to find Hope’s mother, Janet Van Dyne. At this point, Ant-Man will be established in the world and will most likely be a close ally to the Avengers after his appearance in Captain America: Civil War. While The Wasp is still a relatively new character to the MCU, having only appeared in Ant-Man at this point. Based on what they do in the Ant-Man sequel, they’ll likely set up both of them joining the Avengers full time by the end of the movie.
The first female led Marvel movie will finally arrive here (at least for now, assuming there isn’t another schedule shift). There have been plenty of casting rumors but so far, there hasn’t been any real evidence where the casting process stands. My dream, as far fetched as it may be, is that Marvel pushed it back to get Jennifer Lawrence. By then she will be done with The Hunger Games and X-Men franchises, and will still be only 29 by the time her solo movie debuts. Yes, this is probably not gonna happen, but let me have my dream. Other rumored candidates will be over 35 by that point, and Captain Marvel is someone that will probably be a major player moving forward.
Avengers: Infinity War Part 2
The “end” of Phase 3 ends here as Thanos takes on the culmination of all the heroes we know to date. That means the original Avengers, the “new” Avengers, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Spider-Man, Wasp, Captain Marvel, more than likely some Guardians and Inhumans, and who knows who else. Point is, this is gonna be massive and there is no way this ends well for everybody. I really hope Thanos doesn’t die and just retreats until he can attack again. Still, people will die, it’s just hard to know who at this point in time.
Contracts and actors willingness to extend them will be a factor here no doubt, and since I’m unfortunately not in the Marvel offices, there is no way to tell who will still be around. I’m guessing Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, and Mark Ruffalo will still be part of the universe moving forward with Iron Man and Hawkeye either dying or simply retiring.
This is the real end of Phase 3, or at least that’s what we’ve been led to believe. The Inhumans have already started to be introduced in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., even though their own film is still 4 years away. They could be a factor in Infinity War where they will be introduced – perhaps as the saving grace – but if that isn’t the case, then the origin of the royal family will be great to see brought to the big screen.
The real speculation starts here with the three new 2020 release dates. There is also the mystery of Captain Marvel‘s previous release date of November 2018. I’m guessing that the November slot will be still be used just not by Marvel. I think Sony will take it and it be some sort of film in the Spider-Man universe. This could be Spider-Woman, Spider-Gwen, Venom, or who knows, perhaps it’s the Sinister Six film Drew Goddard still wants to do.
The following year, there is a big gap between Inhumans and the first unannounced title. If this is the kick off to Phase 4, a sequel to the Spider-Man reboot would be a great choice, although I’m not sure Sony would want to stick their prime franchise in November. As long as the first and my speculated spin-off the prior year do well, kicking off Phase 4 could help bring in even more viewers.
Now, back to Marvel’s own movies. The two years before 2020, Marvel will have movies in February and then March. If they follow this new pattern, we could expect another unannounced title before May 2020. Based on how Fox’s Deadpool does next year, this could be the way for a Blade reboot to happen or maybe a possible Thunderbolts movie could fit in this hypothetical time slot as well.
May 2020 will be some big property. I think Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 would be the most logical choice here. Vol. 2 hits in May 2017, so 3 years later would be more than enough time for James Gunn to make another film. This is where I think Nova will be introduced or a Planet Hulk story could take some sort of shape.
July 2020 depends on some other factors. If my proposed February/March movie happens then Marvel will not need to introduce another new property to follow its pattern. If that does happen, another Sony/Spider-Man film will probably fall here, in the peak of the summer season. It would be too soon for a third Spider-Man film but a Spider-Gwen movie would probably destroy in this time slot. However, I think there is an outside chance that this slot will go to the new property of… a Marvel made Fantastic Four movie. 2015 has taught me to expect Marvel to make bold decisions and getting the rights back to Fantastic Four would do just that.
November 2020 will probably be another sequel such as Black Panther 2 or Doctor Strange 2. I tend to think it’ll be the latter. Putting a psychological and mystical movie in November with Benedict Cumberbatch seems like a good bet to bring in plenty of money and break up Oscar season.
There you have it, those are my thoughts on how Ant-Man and the Wasp will effect Phase 3 and beyond. Like my take? Hate it? Tell us your thoughts below!