Although the news of Man of Steel 2 (aka Batman vs Superman) being delayed was disappointing to many, there was one group that seems happy to see it go. Following the shift of the DC Comics/Warner Bros. Superman film from July 17, 2015 to May 2016, Marvel Studios has jumped in and taken that date for director Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man, the studio confirms.
It’s been a busy month for Ant-Man. After months of pre-production, Marvel announced both the casting of Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas, who will play current Ant-Man Scott Lang and former Ant-Man Hank Pym, respectively. The casting news not only gave us a glimpse at who the faces of that franchise will be, it also helped to fill in some of the details regarding the plot. There is still a lot we don’t know, but the casting alone confirms that the story will feature two characters that both have been Ant-Man.
Originally scheduled for July 31, 2015, Ant-Man will now debut two weeks earlier. Marvel didn’t give a specific reason, but those involved should be happy to know they will no longer have to compete directly in the shadow of DC’s highly visible superhero project. It will, however, now go head-to-head with Warner Bros.’ Peter Pan retelling, Pan, directed by Joe Wright ( Hanna, Atonement), and starring Hugh Jackman and Garrett Hedlund. Pan moved up to the July 17 spot following Man of Steel 2‘s release date change.
Regardless of the changed calendar, 2015 is shaping up to be a big one for Marvel Studios specifically, and Marvel characters on film in general. Along with Ant-Man, Avengers: Age of Ultron is scheduled for May 1, 2015, and the Fantastic Four reboot is set for June 19, 2015. Although the Fantastic Four film will be released by Fox, its presence on the calendar means there will be a new film based on Marvel properties coming to theaters for three months in a row.
Ant-Man kicks off Marvel’s Phase Three, although it isn’t known yet which films and characters will fill out the rest. A Doctor Strange film has been mentioned – often – but so far there hasn’t been any official word. Marvel has already staked out two more dates in the future though. It will release films on July 8, 2016, and May 5, 2017 (and possibly other dates), but which films will appear on those dates hasn’t been announced, and may not have even been decided yet.