Paul Rudd and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are the frontrunners to land the title role in Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man” movie, which is being directed by Edgar Wright, who co-wrote the script with “Attack the Block” director Joe Cornish. According to a Variety report on Oct. 14, 2013, Rudd and Gordon-Levitt are “expected to meet with Marvel execs and Wright one more time before a decision is made and that there’s also a possibility of another actor entering the mix.”
Based on comments that fans are making on the Internet, more people seem to prefer Rudd over Gordon-Levitt in the Ant-Man role. As of Oct. 16, 2013, an “Ant-Man” poll on Empire magazine’s website, asking which actor should be cast as Ant-Man, has Rudd leading with 41 percent of the votes, compared to Gordon-Levitt, who has 34 percent of the votes.
Gordon-Levitt, who is 32, is no stranger to superhero movies. He played a cop named Blake who assists Batman in 2012’s “The Dark Knight Rises.” (There’s a twist at the end of that movie that involves the Blake character.) Gordon-Levitt has been starring in a variety of movies in recent years, from serious dramas to action thrillers to comedies, including “Inception,” “Lincoln,” “(500) Days of Summer” and “Looper.”
Rudd, who is 44, is mostly known for doing comedy films such as “Anchorman,” “Knocked Up” and “Role Models.” He has never been in a superhero movie and is rarely in action films or dramas, so if he lands the role, it will be a real departure for him. However, with Wright directing the “Ant-Man” movie, it could be an indication that the movie will have many comedic elements.
Wright is best known for his collaborations with actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in the comedy films 2004’s “Shaun of the Dead,” 2007’s “Hot Fuzz” and 2013’s “The World’s End.” Wright also directed the 2010 comedy film “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.”
Marvel Studios has scheduled “Ant-Man” to be released on July 31, 2015. The plot of the movie is being kept confidential for now, and other principal cast members have not been announced yet. Ant-Man is the superhero whose original alter ego was scientist Hank Pym. However, in recent years, Ant-Man’s alter ego in the comics has been Scott Lang.
Rudd has not yet commented on this report that he’s in the running to play Ant-Man.
Meanwhile, Gordon-Levitt, who has been in Europe to promote his movie “Don Jon,” is being asked about “Ant-Man” in interviews. He has neither confirmed nor denied that his in talks to play Ant-Man. In an interview with Total Film on Oct. 16, 2013, Gordon-Levitt laughed when asked to comment on the report: “These Internet rumors … It’s just a rumor,” he replied.
And in another interview with the French version of The Huffington Post, Gordon-Levitt said, “”There is always a lot of rumors around these projects and so far it is still only discussions. I am always very transparent when it comes to my role and my career. I’m usually the first to speak and communicate with my fans if something happens. If you hear nothing from me, they are just rumors.”
As a “wild card” choice for the Ant-Man role, fans have been naming Nathan Fillion as someone who would be one of their top choices. However, it is very unlikely that Fillion would be able to take the role due to his work commitments to his TV series “Castle,” which would no doubt have scheduling conflicts with the “Ant-Man” movie. Furthermore, Fillion himself has said he is not interested in the role. At the 2012 Hero Complex Film Fest, Fillion commented: “Did you ever just love Ant-Man? Not me.”
There is also speculation that Ant-Man might be in an upcoming “Avengers” movie, so it is unlikely that an actor who is under contract for a TV series can make a commitment to star in a Marvel movie franchise that may involve multiple films.
Here is a sampling of comments from websites whose audiences are passionate fans of superhero movies:
“I think the only person I could that that might be better is Owen Wilson. I’d be thrilled if they picked Rudd though. JGL is a good dude but not just not right for that part.”
“I like the Paul Rudd idea, though there will be a lot of awkward silent moments. Every movie he is in, I feel the awkwardness as if I am right there with him. It makes for the comedy though.”
“These are both good picks, but I can see Rudd in his shoes, more so than Levitt.”
“I think casting JGL would be weird since he was already in the last Batman flick.”
“Paul Rudd all the way!”
“Wow, that is surprising as hell. I was not at all interested in Ant Man, but these two guys bring so much to the table that he might actually be an interesting and lovable/admirable hero now!”
“Both actors are superb, but Rudd is the comedic genius you gotta have if you want Anty to stand out. Imagine him in dialogue with the other Avengers! It’s a no-brainer. The chemistry will be off the charts.”
“JGL is cool but i would prefer Rudd for this role.”
“Rudd is perfect in my opinion. I love JGL, but he’s got a lot going on, I’d rather see Rudd get it; the man is a severely underrated actor. He’s got phenomenal Shakespeare experience, for crying out loud (and no, I don’t mean that awful Romeo + Juliet with DiCaprio).”
“Rudd gets my vote if its between those two. Like Jgl but he is in too many films, give someone else a shot. What about the guy from new girl who was in safety not guaranteed?”
“Rudd seems too old at this point. Once an actor stars in a film about being 40, superhero roles feel unfitting.”
“Aaron Eckhart (Two-Face, Battle Los Angeles, Olympus Has Fallen) needs to be Ant-Man. He has the look and the acting ability to be him.”
“I wouldn’t have picked either of those guys but if I to choose between the two I’d pick Rudd. Also, I really hope we’re getting Pym and not those other lesser Ant-Men.”
“JGL is a really big rising star right now and to put him in the shoes of one of the lesser Avengers would be a waste. I’d personally rather see JGL in a more prominent Marvel role…maybe the next Tony Stark after RDJ retires. Who knows…either ways, it’s still better than one of the more minor Avengers.”
“I like both but JGL would very young around all the other avengers. .Rudd doesnt look like a super hero..maybe im to use to him being a comic and just making jokes.”
“I like both actors. Wouldn’t mind if either got cast. Leaning towards Paul Rudd though. It just seems to fit him more.”
“Never considered Paul Rudd, he could work. I first thought Nathan Fillion but maybe he is a bit old for the part now. Here’s one out of left field how about Michael Cera or possibly Jesse Eisenburg??”
“Someone relatively new, perhaps? I think there are fewer stars these days and there’s a bit of saturation going on. I’d say no to JGL just because he was in Batman. Chris Evans only got away with doing Cap because F4 was dog-egg and he does Stever Rogers so very well. But, Chris Hemworth was not that well known before Thor and he fits it like a glove, so I think audiences would be happy to see someone new, as long as they’re really good. How many people knew about Tom Hiddleston before Loki? And how much do we all love him now?”
“Please not joseph gordon-levitt. Paul Rudd would be great, but please, please no jgl. He’s got to be the most overrated actor right now. He’s incapable of playing anything besides bland and stupid.
“In MY version of the movie…50% of film is Rudd as Pym in the 1960s, intercut with 50% JGL as Scott Lang in present day AND an aged Rudd as elderly (and permanently shrunk) Pym. Oh, and Simon Pegg as the villain for both heroes (regardless of who said villain is).”
“Antman………….can this really be a good movie, one of these marvel flicks is gonna crash and burn. Keep the budget tight and lean..Rudd or Levitt, it could work.”
“I like both actors – JGL more so but Rudd is more than competent for this kind of comic book fare! I suppose I’d prefer to see Rudd in the role of Ant-Man purely because I want Levitt to play Dr Strange when Marvel eventually get around to doing it. Nathan Fillion of course is every geeks first choice (myself included) but unfortunately that just aint gonna happen!!”
“Paul Rudd is has the right amount of charm to pull this off. It is not about being a comedy actor. It is about getting the right tone and I really think Rudd can get that right. I also think Hank Azaria could be a fun choice.
“I think both could work. Joseph Gordon Levitt seems the most obvious choice because he’s got proven form outside of comedy. Paul Rudd is more of a gamble, but you’ve got to trust Edgar Wright and Marvel here because they’ve proven they can handle big casting decisions. A lot of the dismissal of Paul Rudd seems to be because we’re struggling to see beyond the kind of roles he’s played before. Just because he’s previously focused more on comedy roles doesn’t mean that’s all he can do.”
“Ugh! ANYONE but Paul Rudd! WTF? Paul Rudd is a TERRIBLE choice. Are you people serious? Might as well pick Steve Carrell then. Or Seth Rogen. Joseph Gordon Levitt’s connection with DC would make him a strange casting, so how about someone else? Wouldn’t mind Nathan Fillion, or an unknown maybe?”
“I went for Rudd as I’d like Pym to be a bit older, closer to Stark or Banner’s age… also because I’d love to see him work with Wright. Personally, though, this is the role I’m still rooting for Nathan Fillion to play.”
“I don’t know the character at all so I couldn’t really say who should play him, but I’m intrigued by the prospect of Paul Rudd as a superhero.”
“Is it just me…or do you look at that list and instead of thinking how well they would suit the role, you’re just imagining what chemistry they’d bring/have with the other Avengers?”
“Paul Rudd would be awful…unless Ant-Man is going to be a comedy.”
PAUL RUDD FOR THE WIN! Never thought about the Rudd for Ant-Man but it would be cool to have a Marvel hero SLAPPA DA BASSS MON!!!!”
“Paul Rudd is quite an inspired shout actually.”
“No disrespect to Antman but Gordon-Levitt deserves better. Rudd would be acceptable.. but can Rudd carry a movie that isnt played as a straight out comedy? I always pictured Zim as an older person.. maybe Fillian can pull it off.”
“Joseph Gordon Levitt over Paul Rudd. But Nathan Fillion over both!”
“Lets try someone else… How about Nathan Fillion ? I seem to remember his name popping up a few times over the last couple of years.”
“Paul Rudd, definitely!”