First 'Ant-Man and the Wasp' Trailer Shrinks Marvel's Formula

Antman And Thewasp

The trailer for Peyton Reed’s sequel is light on plot and heavy on the antics.

With Black Panther premiering to raves yesterday, Marvel’s marketing machine is free to move on to the next two films on their docket: Namely, Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and the WaspThe trailer for that latter film dropped this morning, and it looks about how you’d expect a sequel to 2015’s Ant-Man to look. It’s got Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, and a lot of charming shrinking gags (including one that does its best to one-up the original’s Thomas the Tank Engine cameo).

The original Ant-Man had its share of studio drama, losing original director Edgar Wright just before production began. The sequel, however, has gone smoothly enough that this trailer is essentially the first we’re hearing of it. As Marvel trailers go, it’s certainly serviceable, with more inventive action than this mega-franchise’s other films have been known for. Director Peyton Reed gets a bad rap simply for taking the thankless job of replacing Wright, but his work on the first film was legitimately excellent, guiding a tortured production towards an eminently watchable final product. On top of that, Reed’s filmography outside of Marvel is full of kinetic, charming pieces of work: Down With Love is a legitimate modern rom-com classic.

On top of all that, if Marvel is going to sustain their success, they’re going to need movies like this one. You can only go so far with corporate branding exercises like Infinity War; at a certain point, throwing every character you own onscreen will just be the norm. Smaller (no pun intended) stories like Spider-Man: Homecoming and Ant-Man dole out their team-ups in lower doses. After the overcrowded bloat of an Avengers sequel there’s something incredibly charming about seeing a trailer for a movie with only two main characters. Thor: Ragnarok got results from teaming up Thor and the Hulk. The Spider-Man sequel will reportedly costar one of Marvel’s other superheroes, as part of their deal with Sony. There’s only so much room in Infinity War for the characters we like to bounce off of one another. In a post-Infinity War world, small-scale romps that team up diverse characters comic book-style could reap incredible results.

Ant-Man and the Wasp is scheduled for July 6, 2018. Here’s the synopsis:

From the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes Ant-Man and The Wasp, a new chapter featuring heroes with the astonishing ability to shrink. In the aftermath of Captain America: Civil War, Scott Lang grapples with the consequences of his choices as both a super hero and a father. As he struggles to rebalance his life with his responsibilities as Ant-Man, he’s confronted by Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym with an urgent new mission. Scott must once again put on the suit and learn to fight alongside the Wasp as the team works together to uncover secrets from the past.

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