FILM-ANTMAN

Evangeline Lilly and Paul Rudd star in “Ant-Man and The Wasp.” 

Ant-Man wants you to know he’s still around.

Marvel Studios released the first trailer to “Ant-Man and The Wasp,” an unlikely sequel to an even more unlikely multi-movie superhero franchise.

The timing of the trailer release might at first seem confusing, as it arrives on the heels of Marvel Studios’ Hollywood world premiere of “Black Panther,” which has gotten very positive buzz on social media.

So why release an “Ant-Man and The Wasp” trailer directly after the panther hype? It’s a smart move.

Marvel Studios has two major events coming soon. “Black Panther”(out Feb. 16) isn’t just the next Marvel solo hero movie filling the gaps to get us to the next “Avengers” film, it’s a once-in-a-generation movie event that is being touted for its social consciousness and for having Marvel Studios’ first black lead (and majority black cast). “Avengers: Infinity War” follows in June and can already stake claim to being the most anticipated “Avengers” movie of the three in the series because of the arrival of major Marvel bad guy Thanos (Josh Brolin), an event 10 years in the making.

Those two movies are creating all kinds of online chatter, so much so it can be easy forget that hey, there is an Ant-Man sequel coming this year, isn’t there? So Marvel Studios giving us a quick reminder with this trailer release is logical, letting us know there’s more coming this year post-”Black Panther” and “Infinity War,” before those movies engulf your Facebook and Twitter feeds.

“Ant-Man and The Wasp,” which returns all major players (Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly and Michael Douglas), isn’t going to be the mega movie moment that “Black Panther” and “Infinity War” are expected to be, but it is still a major accomplishment. Ant-Man isn’t a big-name, recognizable hero outside of hardcore comic book fans like Captain America or the Hulk, so that the movie did well enough to merit a sequel shows the trust fans have in Marvel Studios.

So don’t expect “Ant-Man and The Wasp” to be too huge (well, they’ll get huge—and small—in the movie). But be ready for a nice break from the intense superhero drama of Marvel Studios’ next two offerings when you sit down for some laughs with Rudd and Co. on July 6, when the movie hits theaters.

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