So much for all those "rumors," hunh?
The Wrap announced that actor Paul Rudd has landed the lead role in Edgar Wright's upcoming film Ant-Man, based on the Marvel Comics character. Rudd has long been rumored as a frontrunner for the role along with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who announced earlier this week that he will co-produce The Sandman for Warner Bros.
But just one week ago, Rudd attempted to downplay speculation that he was up for the role. "Oh, that's all rumors, man," he told Absolute Radio while on the red carpet for his latest film Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. "There's nothing I know, sorry." Meanwhile, rumors persist that Rashida Jones will be playing Janet Van Dyne in the movie.
Debuting in Tales to Astonish #27 in the 1962 story "The Man in the Ant Hill" by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby, Dr. Henry "Hank" Pym is a scientist who developed a substance called Pym Particles that allows the user to change their size. Developing a helmet that allows him to control ants, Pym became one the founding members of The Avengers along with Janet Van Dyne, his crimefighting partner The Wasp. Pym later took on other identities including Giant-Man, Goliath, Yellowjacket and The Wasp, while a former thief named Scott Lang assumed the mantle of Ant-Man.
The movie will be the first film in "Phase Three" of Marvel's Cinematic Universe, beginning just two months after Joss Whedon's The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Wright will direct from a screenplay written by himself and Joe Cornish and is scheduled to begin principal photography in mid-2014.
The project has been in the works since 2006, when Marvel hired Wright to direct the movie as part of the original group of independently produced films. However, the movie ended up in a number of holding patterns, until test footage of Ant-Man changing size and beating up two men in an elevator lobby was shown at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con. Marvel agreed to delay production even further so that Wright could finish The World's End, the last film in the "Cornetto Trilogy" of comedy films starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.
Ant-Man is currently scheduled for release on July 31, 2015.