'Ant-Man': The sequel's release date and how the first won over audiences

Marvel recently announced a release date for a second 'Ant-Man' movie. The first came out this summer and stars Paul Rudd as an ex-convict who trains to become Ant-Man.

Zade Rosenthal/Disney/Marvel/AP
'Ant-Man' stars Paul Rudd.

A sequel to the 2015 superhero movie “Ant-Man” will arrive soon – and the film has an interesting title.

The Marvel sequel, titled “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” will be released in theaters in 2018. The first movie, which came out this summer, stars Paul Rudd as Scott Lang, who is convinced by scientist Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) to help steal technology from his old company. 

The Wasp of the title is presumably Hope van Dyne, who is portrayed by Evangeline Lilly in the first movie and is Hank’s daughter. Hank’s wife and Hope’s mother, Janet, went by the Wasp when she was still alive. At the end of “Ant-Man,” Hank discusses the possibility of Hope getting a suit. It seems that Hope may now be taking on the Wasp name.

“Ant-Man” did well at the box office this past summer, though it is still one of the lesser-grossing Marvel entries, coming in far below such top grossers as 2012’s “The Avengers” and a Marvel movie that also came out this summer, “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

Many found the first “Ant-Man” movie to be far from a standard-fare comic book movie adaptation. For one, protagonist Scott Lang is an ex-convict who becomes involved in Hank’s affairs because he breaks into Hank’s house – a far cry from the deeds of Superman. In addition, the movie has many humorous lines (no surprise since it stars Rudd of the “Anchorman” movies) and revolves around Hank’s plan. “It's a heist movie,” director Peyton Reed said of the film. 

Marvel is on top of the world right now, with various superhero movies, such as the “Avengers” series, “Captain America” movies, and “Iron Man” movies becoming box office champions. However, there is of course the danger of Marvel and superhero fatigue, especially with rival studio Warner Bros. planning such films as the 2016 movie “Batman v Superman.” 

But Marvel’s solution seems to be making comic book movies within certain genres. Reed himself said “Ant-Man” was a heist movie, and when “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” co-directors Anthony and Joe Russo came aboard the 2014 film, they were “told… that [Marvel] wanted to do a ’70s thriller,” Russo said. In addition, Robert Redford, star of such ‘70s thrillers as “All the President’s Men” and “Three Days of the Condor,” stars in “Winter.”

Continuing the “Ant-Man” series, the first movie of which is very different in tone and plot from such entries as, for example, the first "Captain America” film, seems like a sign that Marvel is continuing this plan of having different genres represented in their comic book films.

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