Internet petitions are a dime a dozen, but this signature-gathering attempt to bring the United Kingdom’s Ant-Man and the Wasp premiere more in line with the international release date is understandable. The sequel Ant-Man movie is slated to release in the UK on Aug. 2, a full month after the film’s July 6 debut date in the United States. For ardent Marvel fans, the delay amounts to a full month of carefully dodging critical plot details online.
The petition was created by Adam Khan, who singles out an odd reason for the delay: football. The World Cup is slated to run this year from June 14 until July 15, with the Ant-Man 2 international debut date landing squarely in the final weeks of the tournament’s run. The delay makes the UK’s release the third-latest, topped only by Italy (Aug. 14) and Japan (Aug. 31).
Disney is no stranger to staggering release dates. Avengers: Infinity War’s premiere was pushed back by a week in Russia and two weeks in China, which allowed the film to enjoy an uncontested three weeks at the global box office. Incredibles 2 has also been delayed by a month in the UK, opening on July 13 instead of June 15.
The likelihood of a petition changing the minds behind international movie premiere scheduling at Disney is a slim one, but the studio has made more surprising moves in recent memory. One such radical shift in scheduling came in the form of Avengers: Infinity War’s worldwide release date. The film was originally slated to premiere on May 4, but an eleventh hour change resulted in the film premiering a week earlier on April 27.
Ant-Man and the Wasp sees Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) team up to take down the mysterious Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), a new villain whose phase-shifting abilities are the result of technology stolen from Hank Pym’s (Michael Douglas) reserve.
Debuting in the United States on July 6, Ant-Man and the Wasp is directed by Peyton Reed and stars Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man, Evangeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne/Wasp, Michael Peña as Luis, Walton Goggins as Sonny Burch, Bobby Cannavale as Paxton, Judy Greer as Maggie, Tip "T.I." Harris as Dave, David Dastmalchian as Kurt, Hannah John-Kamen as Ghost and Michael Douglas as Hank Pym.