While there’s still a chance another actor nabs the role, Variety is reporting that the race to portray Dr. Henry Pym in Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man is effectively between Paul Rudd (I Love You, Man) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Don Jon). Apparently both men will meet with both Wright and Marvel execs one more time before the part is offered to (and at that point, presumably already accepted by) one of them.
Both Rudd and Gordon-Levitt have a history of working in comic roles, something sure to be key not only to the quazi-absurdist nature of a hero capable of shrinking to a miniscule size, but also to the particular humor Wright seems likely to bring to the film. (Wright’s past work includes Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and most recently The Word’s End.) Not that Ant-Man is likely to be an out-and-out comedy, and although Rudd’s had his share of dramatic supporting roles, we’ll throw the edge to Gordon-Levitt here based on roles in films like Looper and Inception. That said, at more than ten years the elder of the youthful JGL, Rudd might be better able to play a respected scientist. And after watching him break down a little in films like Role Models and I Love You, Man, we’d actually love to see what he’d do with Pym’s gradual descent into psychosis (though how much of this makes it into the film remains to be seen.
In either case, as we’ve theorized before, the role may come with a requirement for multiple film appearances, a-la-Samuel L. Jackson’s repeated cameos as Nick Fury and Mark Ruffalo’s reputed contractual appearances to come (as Bruce Banner/The Hulk) in several of Marvel’s Phase 2 and Phase 3 films.
Ant-Man is currently set for a July 31, 2015 release, and is expected to begin principle photography early next year.