When talking about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the most important elements of success are not always related to box office dollars. In the case of something like Ant-Man, it proved that risks can be taken and that those risks can pay off. Not only was Ant-Man a pretty silly concept to try and get mainstream audiences on board with, but the decision to focus on Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) as opposed to Hank Pym, was also somewhat risky for die hard fans. Ultimately, it worked out pretty well. Even though the first Ant-Man focused on Scott Lang, Michael Douglas did appear in the movie as Hank Pym and the good news is, he is going to be back for the sequel, Ant-Man and the Wasp.
Pre-production will be getting underway on Ant-Man 2 shortly and we will likely be getting some more details on the movie here and there as things ramp up. Case in point, Michael Douglas recently posted on his Facebook page and confirmed that he is returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Hank Pym in Ant-Man and the Wasp. Here is what he had to say.
"Getting ready to play Dr. Pym again in Ant-Man 2 shooting in July. Need to start growing the goatee now. #antman #marvel"
That should come as a welcome bit of news for Marvel fans, as Hank Pym is an enormously important part of Marvel history. As the original Ant-Man, he was a founding member of The Avengers in the comics and is one of the most intelligent figures in the Marvel Universe. Having his presence in the MCU helps to root the history of superheroes in that world more firmly, much in the same way that Captain America: The First Avenger did. Not only that, but having an actor on the level of Michael Douglas in a movie is never, ever a bad thing.
Expectations were tempered for Ant-Man when it was released last year, given the semi-troubled production, but the movie was very well-liked by fans and critics. Fortunately for Marvel, that also translated to a pretty decent box office take of $519 million worldwide. That is certainly on the lower end of things for the MCU, but that is still a solid hit that most any studio would be more than happy to have under their belt. Also, sequels very often outgross their predecessors, so Ant-Man and the Wasp is likely to do better than that $519 million number next year.
Outside of the confirmation that Michael Douglas will be returning, his post also mentions that he will be shooting Ant-Man and the Wasp in July. That gels with another recent report that said the movie will begin filming this June. We also know that Peyton Reed is returning to direct Ant-Man 2, after taking over for Edgar Wright on the first movie once he left. Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly and Michael Pena are all also confirmed to return for the sequel. Ant-Man and the Wasp is scheduled to hit theaters on July 6, 2018, which will put it just a couple of months after Avengers: Infinity War, which hits theaters in May 2018. How exactly that will work out in terms of the overall MCU timeline remains to be seen, but we will probably be learning more details about that in the near future.