Disney just announced a slew of new release dates, and on the slate for 2018 is a sequel to Ant-Man titled Ant-Man and the Wasp. Evangeline Lilly plays Hope Van Dyne, who, at the end of Ant-Man, we saw get her own super-suit, setting her up to become the Wasp. This will make her the first heroine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to feature in the title of a film, TEN F*CKING YEARS after Iron Man kicked off the MCU. Evangeline Lilly is not one of my favorites, but she was really good as Hope, and the only thing Ant-Man left me wanting more of was Hope and her cool-looking Wasp suit, so I’m into a sequel that’s just as much about Hope as it is Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang.
This does, however, mean that Captain Marvel gets kicked from her original 2018 release date. Just like they did when they added New New Spider-Man to the MCU, Marvel shook up their slate and pushed some stuff around. Black Panther moves up from July 6, 2018 to February 16, 2018 (aligning with Black History Month, no doubt deliberately), and Ant-Man and the Wasp takes over that July 6 weekend. Captain Marvel, meanwhile, moves from November 2, 2018 to March 8, 2019. (There are also three untitled Marvel projects in 2020. Speculate away.) So we have to wait a little longer for Carol Danvers, one of the baddest bitches in comic books. But before anyone gets upset…
There was a rumor a while back that Warner Brothers was considering slating one of Ben Affleck’s solo Batman movies in November 2018, f*cking with Marvel’s release of Captain Marvel. Warners has proven to be spiteful in these matters, so that kind of assholery wouldn’t surprise me at all, but here’s the thing—these movies can’t fail. And Batman, the biggest superhero in the world, can take out just about anyone on the block. A Batman movie opening a week or two before Captain Marvel would be terrible for business, and Captain Marvel CANNOT FAIL. Black Panther CANNOT FAIL. Wonder Woman CANNOT FAIL.
Ant-Man did okay at the box office—really well by anyone else’s standards, but merely “okay” by Marvel’s—and it’s getting a sequel. But the last time female superheroes failed at the box office, they got relegated to a deep dark hole we’re only just climbing out of, ten-plus years later. There’s no margin for error here—every one of the non-white guy superhero movies HAS to do well right out of the gate or I guarantee you there will be studio executives saying, “People don’t want to see female/black/minority superheroes,” and trying to cancel other projects featuring women and people of color in the title. We can’t f*ck around with this, it has to be done right the first time. So moving Captain Marvel, if it means staying the f*ck out of Batman’s backyard, is totally fine with me.