And I would be totally fine with that. Wouldn’t you? Variety is exclusively reporting that Rudd, along with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is a finalist for Ant-Man, which will follow The Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015. But this is a Marvel movie, and worse, it’s directed by fanboy favorite Edgar Wright—a filmmaker who hasn’t tapped commercial success in the US yet but who is crazy talented and a magnet for casting rumors thanks to the number and quality of actors who want to work with him—so this a superstorm of superhero bullsh*t. Let’s break it down.
First, JGL is unlikely. In a French interview on Tuesday he shot down the rumor, and while he could be gaming in order to preserve secrecy, he seems pretty blunt in his comments, maybe even a little impatient. This isn’t the first time his name has come up in connection with Marvel, and he seemed pretty annoyed by it back then, too. So while I’m sure he’s topping lists on Marvel’s side, I’m not convinced that’s a two-way street.
But Rudd…that might be something. Ant-Man has a convoluted comic book history, being the alter-ego of several different people, but he’s most frequently associated with Hank Pym, a scientist type along the lines of Bruce Banner. So consider Bruce Banner as played by Mark Ruffalo and Paul Rudd fits, right? That is, of course, assuming that Wright is using Hank Pym in his movie, and not one of the other characters who has been Ant-Man.
I cannot stress this enough—there is little actual information out there about Wright’s Ant-Man. He has way more free rein than any director has gotten from the studio to date, including Joss Whedon, and he is keeping his sh*t very, very tight. All we actually know about Ant-Man is that Wright is directing it, it will come out in July 2015, and he does know Paul Rudd. We don’t know that Hank Pym is actually the guy, and it is worth noting that Pym is traditionally the creator of Ultron, the evil robot that will feature in The Avengers 2, but Whedon is creating a new backstory for the character, one that does not include Hank Pym. That may or may not have anything to do with Wright’s movie—again, we don’t know.
And Variety’s piece is full of hedging. They emphasize several times that there’s a possibility for another, as-yet unnamed actor to emerge as the frontrunner, which means they aren’t all that solid on their own lead and are leaving wiggle room in case they have to backtrack. I would love to see Paul Rudd suit up with Marvel, but until there is actual confirmation from someone directly involved in the production, it’s all academic.