Ant-Man and the Wasp are two of the most important and iconic Marvel superheroes. Being founding members of the Avengers in Marvel comics, the two heroes finally got their long-awaited big screen debut in 2015's Ant-Man, but as the film focused on Scott Lang's redemption arc, Evangeline Lilly's Hope van Dyne was only given an end-credits scene that teased an eventual Wasp suit-up.
Ant-Man and the Wasp finally delivered on that promise, putting Scott Lang and Hope van Dyne side-by-side on an adventure that was largely tied to Hope's own emotional story arc. The two tiny superheroes became an unbreakable duo, who fought next to each other in Avengers: Endgame's epic finale, and now the director of Ant-Man 3 is providing an update about how the Wasp will fit into the third film.
In an interview with Yahoo Entertainment, Ant-Man and the Wasp director Peyton Reed provided a few updates about the status of Ant-Man 3, and the future of the relationship between Evangeline Lilly's Wasp and Paul Rudd's Ant-Man.
Yahoo Entertainment correspondent Kevin Polowy spoke about the gender balance brought to the Ant-Man franchise by giving Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly equal billing and screen time in Ant-Man and the Wasp. Polowy asked Peyton Reed if the same can be expected for the third film, to which Reed responded:
They're a partnership, and she's a very very important part of that... And that was a very gratifying thing, I guess technically we were the first Marvel movie with a female hero in the title of the movie. Finding that balance in that movie, that’s very important to me because that’s very much a men’s playing field, historically. But that’s really, really changing now in a great way.
The Ant-Man director was then asked about whether or not the creative team has "cracked the story" of the third film, to which Reed said, "We have. Yes. Nothing is official yet, but we're quietly working. We're working through the pandemic."
The article then reveals that while a release date still has yet to be confirmed, "...the plan is to shoot the pic at the end of 2020 or top of 2021 for a likely release in 2022."
WHAT THIS MEANS
It looks like the Wasp is here to stay. While Ant-Man and the Wasp promoted Evangeline Lilly's character to a lead, there were still some worries that the third film may go back to focusing on Ant-Man, but that is clearly not the case.
There have not been many story updates on the direction that the third film may take. A few months ago, it was confirmed that Rick and Morty writer Jeff Loveness would be tacking the script for Ant-Man 3, which provides an idea for the over-the-top sci-fi tone that the film could be embodying.
Hope van Dyne is Scott Lang's connection to a technologically advanced, scientific world that he knows nothing about. The decision to bring her back in the same capacity also means that the threats Ant-Man and the Wasp may face could be similar to the first two films: someone who tried to take revenge on the Pym family.
With plans to begin filming already underway, fans should soon be getting a clearer idea of what Ant-Man 3 will bring to the MCU. The film lies within an MCU slate of unconventional stories provided by other movies like Eternals and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, so there is no doubt that the Ant-Man threequel will be rapidly increasing the size of its stakes and story choices.
There are currently 5 MCU movies set to release in 2022, including Thor: Love and Thunder, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Black Panther 2, and Captain Marvel 2. The final 2022 film is untitled and slated to release on October 7. If all goes to plan - and assuming no more release delays - it seems probable that Ant-Man 3 will sneak into that October 7 slot.