Deciding that their pint-sized hero would make for better summer fare (or losing confidence that he would be a prestige contender for Oscar season…), Marvel has shifted Ant-Man’s release date from November 2015 to the end of that July according to Deadline Hollywood.
It’s not just a gamble because the character isn’t well known; it’s a move that bets heavily on audiences not being exhausted by superheroes by that point in the blockbuster season. There’s The Fantastic Four in early March, The Avengers: Age of Ultron in May and Batman vs Superman in July. There’s also Assassin’s Creed, a new Terminator, a second Independence Day and a fifth Pirates of the Caribbean to add to a bloat that could threaten to make Ant-Man just another tentpole to add to the pile.
It’s awesome news for fans at any rate. We’ve been waiting for this thing since the first wave of Marvel flicks, so shaving off a few months is certainly welcome, and the promise that the scheduling change is a confidence move is even more exciting. In Edgar Wright we trust.
But even with the Marvel logo and the Avengers bump, it feels a bit like Pacific Rim Redux. You’ve got a beloved film fandom director tackling a decidedly niche geek figure at the tail end of an explosion-filled few months of eye fatigue. There’s danger there not only for the studio, but for all of us who need a break from spandex once in a while.