In a dramatic show of confidence, Disney and Marvel Studios have moved up the release date for “Ant-Man” to the summer of 2015.
Originally set to release Nov. 6, the movie will now come out July 31.
This puts “Ant-Man” in almost direct competition with Warner Bros. and DC’s untitled sequel to “Man of Steel,” the much-hyped Batman/Superman flick that will star Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill. That film is set for release July 17.
With this announcement, “Ant-Man” joins Marvel’s other major 2015 film as a summer release: Joss Whedon’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” which opens May 1.
This decision to move “Ant-Man” up by a few months marks a return to the scheduling of Marvel’s Phase One films, which were all released in either May or July. This year, “Thor: The Dark World” breaks the mold by coming out in October. Furthermore, in 2014 “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” are set for April and August, respectively.
It’s possible that “Ant-Man” was bumped up because of Disney’s plans for “Star Wars: Episode VII.” It’s rumored that the film will be forsaking the traditional May release for “Star Wars” in favor of December to avoid impacting the box office for “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”
However, this — along with casting and the film’s subtitle, which is speculated to be “A New Dawn” — has yet to be confirmed by Disney, LucasFilm or director J.J. Abrams.
“Ant-Man” has been in development with director and co-writer Edgar Wright (“Shaun of the Dead,” “Hot Fuzz,” “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World,” “The World’s End”) and co-writer Joe Cornish (“The Adventures of Tintin,” “Attack the Block”) since 2006, before the Marvel Cinematic Universe was kicked off in 2008 with the release of “Iron Man.”
At Comic-Con International in 2012, Marvel officially confirmed that “Ant-Man” would be released in 2015 after the then-untitled “Avengers” sequel, kicking off its Phase Three slate of films. Test footage of the film, which has since leaked online, was also shown during the panel.
“Ant-Man” is in pre-production, with casting expected to begin relatively soon.