paul rudd ant-manCindy Ord/Getty Images for Buffalo David Bitton

UPDATE: Marvel has confirmed the casting of Paul Rudd as the titular hero in Edgar Wright's "Ant-Man." According to their press release, "the casting of Rudd represents the actor that Marvel had long ago identified as its first choice to play Ant-Man, continuing the studio's desire to cast actors that bring several dimensions to its onscreen heroes."

In true Marvel style, the plot for "Ant-Man" is being kept under lock and key. But rest assured, as filming begins, more details about the production will inevitably slip out.

EARLIER (3:00 p.m. ET): The mystery over who will play Ant-Man in Edgar Wright's upcoming superhero flick has been solved: TheWrap reports that Paul Rudd is in negotiations to portray the titular hero.

While Marvel and Rudd's reps had no comment on the casting, TheWrap reported -- and Variety also confirmed -- that the actor was currently hammering out a deal to play Hank Pym, the scientist who can shrink himself down to an ant's size and communicate with insects. Variety notes that the casting is akin to Marvel's selection of Robert Downey Jr. to play Iron Man, who at the time was more of comic actor than an action leading man. And we all know how that worked out.

Rudd had been competing with Jospeh Gordon-Levitt for the part, though with the latter actor's recent commitment to adapting Neil Gaiman's "Sandman" series, he would have been too busy to take the role. TheWrap also reports that "Rudd has appeared noticeably slimmer [recently], and sources [say] that's because he's training for the physical role of Ant-Man."

Rudd's comedic sensibilities could come in handy if a potential "Ant-Man" plot scenario pans out. According to Variety, Wright has hinted in the past that the film could follow a later-era comic plot that has a thief named Scott Lang steal Ant-Man's technology and assume his identity. So could Rudd be playing Lang instead of Pym? It seems we'll have to wait for Marvel to first confirm his casting before we find out more about the plot.

Either way, we're excited. Rudd's an extremely likeable leading man and Wright's movies are always entertaining. This collaboration should be excellent.

"Ant-Man" is slated to open on July 31, 2015.

[via TheWrap, Variety, h/t The A.V. Club]
CATEGORIES Movies