Why Marvel Shouldn’t Cancel ‘Ant-Man 3’

Marvel and especially Disney rarely bypass a chance to make a sequel. The most successful movie of all time at the worldwide box office is one of their sequels: Avengers: Endgame

However, if the movie in question isn’t a mega-high grosser, it may not get a sequel. It looks like that’s what’s happening to Ant-Man 3. If that sequel does get canceled or shoved off to Disney +, that will be unfortunate because Marvel has done some of its most inventive work in that series.

What’s the status of ‘Ant-Man 3’?

Paul Rudd attends the premiere of Disney And Marvel's "Ant-Man And The Wasp."
Paul Rudd | Christopher Polk/Getty Images

To be clear, Disney has not officially announced that the movie was canceled. That said, it doesn’t appear to be in the works either.

Cosmic Book News reports that the threequel is going by the boards because Marvel President Kevin Feige has his hands full trying to bring the former Fox properties X-Men and Fantastic Four into the MCU. Either that or Feige wants to pursue new genres with Shang-Chi: Lord of the Ten Rings and Blade

If you ask Paul Rudd, who plays Ant-Man, or director Peyton Reed, they don’t seem to know either. As reported by Digital Spy, Reed said “we are all hopeful,” adding: “I think we are all interested in doing it.”

That story could potentially involve the villain known as Egghead, who is Ant-Man’s chief nemesis in the comic books. His given name is Elihas Starr, who was the father of Ghost in Ant-Man and the Wasp. If Ant-Man 3 gets made at all, it may go to Disney’s streaming service, which rolls out next month. 

How did the other ‘Ant-Man’ movies do?

Ant-Man had a difficult journey to the screen. When Marvel Studios announced the movie, a lot of people said something like “That silly character is going to get a movie? Not even Marvel can make that work.”

And they did indeed get off to a rocky start when acclaimed director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) left the project, reportedly chafing at adhering to Marvel’s style. When Reed was announced as his replacement, the reaction was: “The guy who made the first Bring It On?” 

But when the movie finally came out in 2015, many people greeted it as a fresh and funny surprise. It made $180 million, but that was better than many people expected. And it was obviously good enough to hatch a sequel, Ant-Man and the Wasp, which did even better, making $216 million. The character also played key roles in Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Endgame

So why would Ant Man 3 not be made for theaters? Because even as well as the movies did, they’re still low on the MCU totem pole, with Wasp being number 18 and Ant-Man 21 out of 23. The thinking seems to be that Ant-Man appeals mostly to kids and families, and those audiences will presumably be all over Disney+. 

Why Disney should keep ‘Ant-Man’ in theaters

If Disney does push the third Ant-Man to theaters, that would be a shame – and a mistake. For this author, the original Ant-Man was one of the best MCU movies, not far off from Black Panther or Endgame. Part of what made it fun was that the stakes were refreshingly low-key. The movies are less about saving the world and about Scott trying to win the love of his daughter. 

This isn’t just about my personal preference. Ant-Man had some of the MCU’s most innovative effects, and those won’t be nearly as much fun on the small screen. It would also be a pity if Evangeline Lily only got to appear as Wasp in one Ant-Man movie.

Marvel Studios made impressive strides forward with Captain Marvel and by bringing back Natalie Portman for Thor: Love and Thunder. If Wasp only gets a new adventure on Disney+, that will feel like a step backward. 

Perhaps fans ought to heed Rudd, who said: “You need to make a call to the top brass and start a campaign to make it happen.”