Writer and director Edgar Wright is currently in Los Angeles working on pre-production for Ant-Man - the first Phase 3 film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe after The Avengers: Age of Ultron releases in May 2015. Ant-Man's first official release date had it coming in fall 2015 but Disney and Marvel pushed it forward to share the summer with The Avengers sequel and build off of its buzz.
The earlier release date also means that Ant-Man will begin shooting early next year, likely overlapping production of Age of Ultron and casting announcements are coming before the year's end, according to Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige.
A month ago, reports indicated that Edgar Wright and Marvel were in talks with Paul Rudd and Joseph Gordon-Levitt for the film, and while there was debate as to the age differences and acting styles of the two for the character of Henry "Hank" Pym - one of the original Avengers in Marvel Comics - we immediately speculated that they both could be in talks to play different characters.
There are three characters in the books who've taken the mantle of Ant-Man, and since the Marvel Cinematic Universe is introducing Ant-Man far later in the films compared to the comics, there are going to be differences in the character stories and events surrounding them. One major example is the fact that the villainous artificial intelligence known as Ultron - who is created by Ant-Man (Hank Pym) in the comics - is getting a new origin story so he can be introduced in The Avengers 2, before the Ant-Man movie is made. Ultron is not even in the Ant-Man script.
A leaked casting call sheet acquired by Bludhaven Banter just may provide a hint of what direction Wright is taking his superpowered heist movie when it comes to its titular character(s). The source, while obscure, is the same source who first discovered that Dave Bautista was up for the role of Drax the Destroyer in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy and that ended up coming true. Among a list of casting sheets for an upcoming episode of ABC's Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. was one sheet specifically looking to fill roles for an "untitled" Marvel Studios feature film which is likely Ant-Man considering the timing, casting requirements and as CBBS discovered, who's involved with the casting process.
[Young Girl] Submit ages 6-9, intelligent, appealing
[Male] 30s, Asian, Huge, tough and intimidating, comedic ability
[Male] 30s, Caucasian, over 6′, dangerous and rough, comedic
[Male] 50s, Italian-American, scary and unusual features, deadpan humour
[Male] 30s - 40s, Russian, wiry and smart, deadpan humour
[Male] 20s or 30s, under 5'8", edgy and funny
We already know Pym is going to have a role in the film from what Edgar Wright previously said about his script. We don't know however, how big his role will be. Since Wright also describes his film as a heist movie, we figured an interesting way to introduce a younger Ant-Man at this point in the franchise would be to include Scott Lang - a character who in the books was a thief who served time in prison. Being a good-hearted man, Lang - who's also an electronics expert - worked for Tony Stark (Iron Man) in the comics before one day his daughter Cassandra "Cassie" Lang got very sick. Lang used his thieving skills to steal the Ant-Man suit from Hank Pym and rescue a doctor who could save his daughter's life.
Lang, a reformed man, was then going to turn himself in for his crimes, but Pym instead let him keep the suit, knowing he had hero potential. Lang has since helped Iron Man and The Avengers on numerous occasions. If "Young Girl," as described in the casting sheet, is Cassie then Scott Lang is our Ant-Man and potential future Avenger. That could be the role Joseph Gordon-Levitt was/is in talks for with Paul Rudd potentially playing the somewhat older scientist Hank Pym. Another rumor points to Rashida Jones playing his wife, Janet van Dyne, who of course is Wasp in the comics - a character originally intended to appear in The Avengers.
Is the introduction of Scott Lang a smart direction to take the Ant-Man film and would he make a good addition to the roster of heroes in The Avengers 3?
Thor: The Dark World is currently in theaters, Captain America: The Winter Soldier releases on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014, The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 31, 2015, and unannounced films for May 6 2016, July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie news!
Hank Pym Ant-Man art from Mighty Avengers #5