Film Discussion

2018 Preview: Ant-Man and the Wasp

Baz Greenland looks at the OTHER Marvel sequel that will hit cinemas worldwide next year...

As the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) reaches its 10th anniversary next year, all attention will be on the mega blockbuster that is Avengers: Infinity War, a film that will finally bring Thanos to Earth. But that’s not the only film entry next year. Along with Black Panther we have the sequel to one of the surprise hits of Phase 2 in Ant-Man and the Wasp.

Given that anticipation for the third Avengers is a given, the sequel to Ant-Man is one of my most anticipated movies for 2018. Despite facing numerous behind the scenes issues, Director Peyton Reed delivered the MCU its first heist movie in 2015, that was funny, wholly entertaining and refreshingly simple after the drama of Captain America: The Winter Solider and Avengers: Age Of Ultron. Paul Rudd was a charming, funny leading man in Scott Lang and was supported by some great supporting cast members, particularly Michael Douglas’s Hank Pym and Evangeline Lilly (in possibly her best role) as his daughter Hope.

Given its success, Marvel quickly added a sequel to the Phase 3 roster and not only that, they’ve added Lilly’s Hope van Dyne as the Wasp; her name in the sequel’s title alongside Rudd’s Ant-Man makes her the first female character to headline a MCU movie. Though technically, she’s sharing those duties with Rudd; it won’t be until 2019’s Captain Marvel with Brie Larson that the MCU finally gets its act together and has a female solo lead.

Here’s the synopsis to give you a hint of where the sequel will go next…

From the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes a new chapter featuring heroes with the astonishing ability to shrink: “Ant-Man and The Wasp.” In the aftermath of “Captain America: Civil War,” Scott Lang (Rudd) grapples with the consequences of his choices as both a Super Hero and a father. As he struggles to rebalance his home life with his responsibilities as Ant-Man, he’s confronted by Hope van Dyne (Lilly) and Dr. Hank Pym (Douglas) with an urgent new mission. Scott must once again put on the suit and learn to fight alongside The Wasp as the team works together to uncover secrets from their past.

There’s a lot to be excited for in Ant-Man and the Wasp. It will provide some much needed levity after the (presumably tragic) events of Avengers: Infinity War, with Rudd’s comic timing and charisma demonstrating that he can play an understated leading hero. Most importantly, Lilly’s Wasp will finally make it into the MCU, something fans have long been waiting for.

But there’s also plenty of class; not only will Michael Douglass be returning, the cast is adding Michelle Pfeiffer as his missing wife and original Wasp Janet, who was lost in the Quantum Realm prior to the events of the first movie. Laurence Fishburne will also be joining the team as Marvel hero Goliath.

What’s really exciting about this movie is that we really don’t know what to expect. The impact of Lang’s actions in Captain America: Civil War will certainly feature, with the hero apparently under arrest at the start of the movie. It has also been confirmed that it won’t be another heist movie either; in the same way that Ant-Man brought a new genre to the MCU, the sequel will apparently look to do the same.

The good thing is that all the original cast and crew are involved (minus Edgar Wright of course), with some great additions to the sequel. The hope is that this will be more Captain America: The Winter Solider and less Thor: The Dark World when it comes to the sequel stakes. Hopefully the MCU has learned from its mistakes and we can get another great, fun and simpler addition to the ever expanding cinematic universe.

Ant-Man and the Wasp will make its UK cinematic debut on the 29th June 2018 and the US on the 6th July 2018.

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