New Marvel superhero movie Ant-Man and the Wasp has finally been released in the US, with fans now able to discover what happened to Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly’s diminutive heroes during Avengers: Infinity War and watch as they take on new villain Ghost.
However, UK fans eagerly checking for local cinema screenings will be disappointed, because in an unusual (and widely-reported) move the film isn’t out in this country for quite a while.
Other countries with delayed releases include India, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Hungary, though in most of these cases they only have to wait until between the 16th and 23rd of July.
While there’s been no official word, many believe that the change is due to the timings of the FIFA World Cup, which will be dominating many people’s viewing until the final on 15th July. The thinking goes that the World Cup might not deter American cinemagoers after their country failed to qualify, but might distract the more football-centric UK as fans stay home to watch matches instead of heading to the multiplexes of an evening or weekend.
Frankly, a few weeks ago, we might have doubted Disney’s apparent belief that the Cup would still be entrancing UK viewers in their millions by mid-July, but considering England’s surprise success since then maybe they knew something we didn’t…
Why do we have to wait SO long to see Ant-Man and the Wasp?
Of course, you may have noticed that the World Cup explanation doesn’t ENTIRELY hold water given that the tournament ends in mid-July, failing to explain the extra two weeks of delay before Ant-Man and the Wasp’s release.
However, there’s actually an explanation for this too. It seems likely that the reason it’s such a long delay is down to ANOTHER Disney film being delayed – Incredibles 2, the long-awaited sequel to the 2004 animated classic which was released in mid-June in America but was held back until 13th July in the UK.
To put it simply, it seems like Incredibles 2 (which is probably a bigger film for Disney than an Ant-Man sequel) was pushed to avoid the World Cup, and then Ant-Man was pushed even further to give the Parr family a couple of weeks at the UK multiplexes without superhero competition. It also stops Disney having to compete with itself, which would be an awkward prospect.
Overall it means a LOT of delayed gratification for UK superhero fans this summer. And Infinity War isn’t even out on DVD to distract us yet!
Honestly, we’re not sure. It’s probably worth avoiding social media a bit or muting key words from the film if you’re on Twitter, but it’s still possible you might stumble on something that ruins key plot points in the four weeks between the US and UK release.
I had to do what I had to do… this is what happens when Antman and the wasp gets released a month later in the UK pic.twitter.com/pl50pSG0mt
Perhaps a better way to think about it is that unlike Avengers: Infinity War there probably won’t be too many earth-shattering developments to try to see fresh, given the (often literally) smaller scale of the movie.
What about the post-credits scenes?
Well, this could be the killer. It seems likely that Ant-Man and the Wasp’s post-credits scenes WILL have a bit of a connection to the next Avengers sequel, and this could be the spoiler that fans struggle to avoid.
Still, it may also be that this is a story detail US audiences are more careful about spreading over social media, meaning that it’s not IMPOSSIBLE that careful UK fans will get to enjoy the shocks in cinemas this August.
Then again, as we’ve written elsewhere a month is a long time in popular culture, and by that point after Avengers: Infinity War even the film’s tragic ending was being openly discussed, parodied and joked about on social media, so we could be in for a tough few weeks.
Do any countries have to wait even longer than the UK?
Yep – it could be worse. Poland has the same August release date as the UK, but Italy and Portugal have to hold off until the 14th/15th August and Japan has a long lonely wait until their own 31st August Ant-Man and the Wasp release.
So think of those poor souls when you finally get to see Scott Lang and Hope van Dyne’s new adventures this August. There but for the grace of God (or at least Disney) go we.
Ant-Man and the Wasp is in US cinemas now, and will be released in UK cinemas on the 3rd of August
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news