Marvel Studios may have rocketed to success with conventional superheroes like Iron Man and Captain America, but the studio’s onscreen heroes are about to get a lot weirder with 2015’s “Ant-Man.” While no leading man has been announced yet, Variety reports that Paul Rudd and Joseph-Gordon Levitt have emerged as frontrunners to play the shrinking superhero.
Superhero movies tend to cast beefy strongmen in their lead roles (see Chris Hemsworth in “Thor”), but “Ant-Man” seems to be taking the opposite approach by considering Rudd and Gordon-Levitt. After all, what could be more different from Thor’s biceps than Paul Rudd’s grinning face?
Considering that “Ant-Man” director Edgar Wright is well-known for his action comedies “Shaun of the Dead” and “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World,” it makes a little more sense that Wright might want to go in a different direction. Still, nothing has been confirmed either way, so "Ant-Man" might still end up as the standard superhero after all.
In the original Marvel comics, a few characters have taken on the "Ant-Man" mantle. Scientist Hank Pym was the first to wear the Ant-Man costume after he discovered the mysterious “Pym particles” that would allow him to shrink and grow at will. After Pym switched codenames to the somewhat-less-ridiculous Yellowjacket, an upstart thief by the name of Scott Lang stole his Ant-Man suit and took over as Marvel’s resident resident shrinking Avenger.
Rumor has it that early versions of the “Ant-Man” script, co-written by Wright and “Attack the Block” director Joe Cornish, had both Hank Pym and Scott Lang becoming Ant-Man, potentially allowing for both Paul Rudd and Joseph Gordon-Levitt to fight crime.
Recently, Marvel Studios has been mining the weirder side of the Marvel Comics world for its feature-length films. Next year marks the release of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” starring “Parks and Recreation” lead Chris Pratt as a spacefaring warrior accompanied by a talking raccoon wielding a machine gun, and a sentient tree-being who is only capable of saying “I am Groot.” Now that an Ant-Man film is on the table as well, it might not be long before we hear an announcement for an NFL SuperPro movie.
“Ant-Man” has been given a tentative July 31, 2015, release date.