The Marvel movie universe is expanding rapidly these days, thanks to the success of its Phase One set of films, wrapped up in a bow made of hundred-dollar bills by the success of The Avengers. Phase Two is about to debut on our screens this year with Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World, but the company’s Kevin Feige is already looking ahead to Phase Three, talking up Ant-Man and Dr Strange.
Size-shifting hero Ant-Man, of course, has been confirmed since last year’s Comic-Con, when Edgar Wright arrived on stage during the Marvel panel to announce it and show some test footage, and it’s set for a November 6, 2015 release date.
“Ant-Man is definitely part of Phase Three," Feige tells MTV. “Like Iron Man 3, it's certainly set in the Marvel Universe, but it's also through the lens of Edgar Wright — which is the only reason we're making the movie.
“I've known Edgar since our first lunch together at Comic-Con in 2004," he continued. "He asked me what Marvel was doing with Ant-Man — we weren't even a studio then; what a difference eight years makes! It's very much an Ant-Man origin movie from the perspective of Edgar Wright and his co-writer Joe Cornish. It will of course be firmly planted in the MCU, but a different corner than we've seen before."
According to Feige, the next two Phases will dig deeper into the characters we know and also shine a light on some new corners of the universe. "So much of the stories we're telling is about the core Avengers characters we've now met, and they'll be evolving in big, surprising ways, in Cap's next movie and Thor's next movie and of course in Iron Man 3, as we get them all into the next Avengers film," says Feige. "Beyond that… Ant-Man is the only one officially announced, but you probably don't have to look too far to guess at the next list of characters we're toying with and beginning to develop.”
Which, of course, was a natural opening to ask about Doctor Strange, which has been in development. “Doctor Strange, which I've been talking about for years, is definitely one of them," he confirms. "He's a great, original character, and he checks the box off this criteria that I have: he's totally different from anything else we have, just like Guardians Of The Galaxy. He's totally different from anything we've done before, as is Ant-Man, which keeps us excited."
Exciting stuff. Iron Man 3 lands here on April 26, with Thor: The Dark World following on October 30.