After a VERY long wait, UK audiences finally have the chance to see Ant-Man and the Wasp, with the superhero adventure coming to cinemas in this country almost a month after it first opened around the world.
Since its release, the film has attracted critical acclaim and reportedly performed better financially than the original Ant-Man, and given Marvel Studios’ domination of the multiplexes many fans might assume that another film in the franchise is assured.
However, according to lead actor Paul Rudd that’s not the case, with the Ant-Man star (who plays thief-turned-miniaturised hero Scott Lang in the movies) revealing to RadioTimes.com that there might never be a follow up to Ant-Man and the Wasp.
“I don’t know what the plan is, and I haven’t really asked, because I don’t want to put too much thought into it in case… well, what if there isn’t?” Rudd told us in an exclusive video interview.
“There are a couple of ideas [for a sequel], but I’d hate to go into any specifics. Even though that is what you want! Because it might not happen.”
Rumours have been circling for some time that the solo Ant-Man movies may not have another outing, as the first film is one of Marvel’s lowest-performing titles (though still fairly successful in real terms) while other characters like Black Panther and Spider-Man continue to blow away the box office.
However, the increased performance of sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp (even without certain foreign markets thanks to its staggered delay) had led some to assume the future of the franchise was secure. As it turns out, that’s not the case – though that doesn’t mean Rudd and Ant-Man and the Wasp director Peyton Reed are giving up on it.
“Peyton and I have had conversations and things,” Rudd told RadioTimes.com.
“Let’s worry about this one right now. But wheels are always turning. Even on the first one we were kind of thinking a little bit about what we might do in THIS one.”
Meanwhile, Rudd’s castmates Evangeline Lilly and Michael Douglas (who play the titular Wasp/Hope van Dyne and the original Ant-Man Hank Pym, respectively) say they both have plenty of ideas for the franchise, which they seem confident may still have a future.
“I thought the same thing when we came up with the first film – ‘Ok well what’s next, and what would I do if I was writing this script? What would I do next?’” Lilly (who also confirmed the Wasp’s presence in Avengers 4) told us.
“In the first film, Hope resolves her relationship with her father. In the second film, it’s all about trying to resolve her relationship and to find closure in her relationship with her mother. By the end of the second film, there is a version of closure. I won’t say what, but there’s a version.
“And so now, I feel like, emotionally and spiritually she’s a free agent. And I’m so curious about what that looks like for her. She has dedicated her whole life to trying to prove that she’s worthy to her father, trying to deal with the loss of her mother, and also trying to take on the mantle that they once wore of this Ant-Man and the Wasp superheroism.
“And now she’s done all of that. So what does that mean for her? I mean does she have friends? Does she have a love life? Does she stick with her career? Does she become an Avenger? Where does she go on from there?
“And I’m interested, of course, because I look at it from the Hope perspective, in who is Hope?” she concluded.
“Who is Hope without all of her angst?”
For his part, Douglas said he was keen to get more involved in the action, and hoped that a plot point from the first Ant-Man film – which explained he could no longer use his trademark shrinking suit due to health problems – could be written out in future instalments.
“Hopefully they’ll develop some super juice that’ll allow me to get small again,” he told RadioTimes.com.
“And join them in some of the action, the action sequences. I’m really happy with the way their whole family thing is going.
“I’m not happy about Scott getting together with Hope,” he added. “Does not have my approval whatsoever. She can do a lot better.”
So if there does turn out to be a sequel to Ant-Man and the Wasp, it sounds like there are plenty of ideas floating around for what could happen.
And if there isn’t, well, there’s always a silver lining – plenty more time for the characters to pop into various team-up movies and show off their shrinking (and growing) skills to a larger audience.
Ant-Man and the Wasp is (finally) in UK cinemas now