Marvel owns the first weekend of April, 2014, with Captain America: The Winter Soldier storming the box office with an estimated $90-$93 million take. With The Avengers: Age of Ultron filming around the world as competing studios prepare to release their own various Marvel movies, the brand's current dominance is indisputable.
As we look ahead to 2015, one of the most intriguing releases of that year is Marvel's Ant-Man, which will begin shooting in Georgia this May. Directed by Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) from a script by Wright and Attack the Block director Joe Cornish, Ant-Man has already turned heads with some offbeat casting choices - Michael Douglas as Hank Pym, Paul Rudd as Scott Lang, with Patrick Wilson, Evangeline Lilly and possibly Corey Stoll.
Now we have a report from Deadline that a new addition to the Ant-Man roster could be the first overt connection of that film to the overall Marvel Cinematic Universe. Matt Gerald, who played White Power Dave in the Marvel One-Shot All Hail The King, is joining Ant-Man as a villain.
Just which villain we don't yet know ("one of the bad guys" is all we're told), but as CBM points out, Gerald was previously seen opposite Sir Ben Kingsley, who reprised his role as washed-up actor Trevor Slattery, revealed to be the faux Mandarin in Iron Man 3. Gerald played a Seagate Prison inmate called White Power Dave who challenges Slattery in All Hail The King, the short film included on the Blu-ray and DVD release of Thor: The Dark World.
Watch the clip below for a look at Gerald as Dave:
There is no confirmation that Matt Gerald is reprising his role as White Power Dave for Ant-Man, but we assume this is the case. It would present a nice opportunity to establish one more link between Wright's film and the rest of the MCU, not to mention a chance to further establish the Seagate-Luke Cage connection.
If Gerald is not reprising his All Hail The King role, then the question is just what kind of Ant-Man villain he'll be playing. Gerald has a long history of playing police, henchmen and military types in films like Avatar, G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Red Dawn - will he be taking a lead villain role this time? Perhaps in the possible 1960s-set timeline?
Marvel has so far been pretty consistent with their cross-over casts - logic suggests that Matt Gerald will likely play White Power Dave again, but the character was enough of a one-shot (ahem) to justify casting Gerald as a different villain. Stay tuned for more details as they emerge.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is currently in theaters, Guardians of the Galaxy will be released on August 1, 2014, The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 17, 2015, Captain America 3 on May 6 2016, and unannounced films for July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.