The superhero movie factory that is Marvel Studio’s MCU just simply can’t stop chugging. No sooner had “Spider-Man: Homecoming” burst into cinemas for a very successful opening weekend, than they begin hyping up a future entry in the vaunted Marvel Cinematic Universe. And it’s not even “Thor: Ragnarok” which will premiere this November, but a film that isn’t due until the middle of 2018. This is the anticipated sequel to the 2015 MCU installment “Ant-Man” directed by Peyton Reed and starring Paul Rudd. In a move to both hype up the movie’s production as well as remind fans that Marvel is a part of the Disney umbrella, a promo banner for the upcoming D23 Expo is depicting the new secondary lead for “Ant-Man and the Wasp.”

Marvel in Disney

The news was shared online on June 11 by actor Stephen Stanton, who is part of the program for the official Walt Disney Company fan club event, the D23 Expo.

The exposition is being held, naturally, in Anaheim. Featured on the banner snapped by Stanton is an artist depiction of the Marvel Cinematic Universe character Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), dressed up as her costumed alter ego the Wasp. From a supporting cast Lilly becomes an equal partner to Paul Rudd’s role in “Ant-Man and the Wasp.”

As anyone who has seen “Ant-Man” in 2015 knows, Janet is the estranged daughter of Dr. Hank Pym, creator of the matter-size-changing Pym particles which power his invention the Ant-Man suit to shrink (or grow).

In the backstory, Pym’s wife also had her own winged Pym-particle costume and was codenamed Wasp, though she was supposedly killed in an undercover operation. At the end of that film Pym gives Hope a new version of his wife and her mother’s suit, making her the new Wasp. But it will not be until “Ant-Man and the Wasp” that she will be seen in action.

Hints of the future

Peyton Reed, who is returning to direct “Ant-Man and the Wasp” after being at the helm of the original MCU film, has been teasing some surprises in store for the sequel. One of his hints had been some new upgrades and gear for Paul Rudd’s main character Scott Lang/Ant-Man. The appearance of one of the characters in something initially far removed from Marvel like the D23 Expo, as shown in the Wasp banner, may be a teasing hint that perhaps some footage from the film may be previewed to the Disney fan club members in attendance.

Ant-Man and the Wasp” stars Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, David Dastmalchian, newcomers Randall Park and Hannah John-Kamen, and Michael Douglas. Its estimated premiere date will be on July 6, 2018.

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