With The First Avenger: Captain America and Thor debuting next summer, paving the way for The Avengers to shatter the box office in 2012, what will Marvel Studios do next? This is a question we've pondered for quite some time and while nothing is official, we keep hearing hints of the next superhero films Marvel will push to the next stage of development.
Of all those planned Marvel properties to get the feature film adaptation treatment, there are a few we know are coming. These include Iron Man 3, a S.H.I.E.L.D. movie (according to Samuel L. Jackson) and the long-awaited Ant-Man solo film.
Edgar Wright has been attached to direct Ant-Man for a long time but we have yet to hear who will play the title character. With Ant-Man likely set to be introduced in The Avengers before getting his own movie, Joss Whedon and Edgar Wright need to pick their star quite a while before they actually get to utilize him in his own solo movie.
When Joss Whedon was picked up to direct The Avengers, immediate speculation and fanboy hope was that it meant there'd be a role for fan-favorite Nathan Fillion somewhere in the cards. According to a "source" of Marvelous News, he's set to play Ant-Man.
This all began when actor Kevin Pennington (90210) tweeted last week about signing a 3-picture deal with Marvel Studios last week. His (now removed) tweets were as follows:
"Marvelous meeting earlier... could be something big"
"It's a three picture deal so hopefully that guarantees i'll be in more than one movie in my lifetime.... haha :)"
"Good news friends.. I signed my first film contract today and it's going to be big. :-)"
After some questions, he revealed a tiny detail about his character.
"big movie deal does not involve a mask covering my face... take that as you will. gnight :-)"
We've seen these types of tweets before from some of the hopefuls in the running for Captain America but in this case, it was later confirmed from his talent agency, Solace Management, who tweeted that they're excited about his role.
"Please don't believe what you read on the internet, esp. from 'inside sources.' Half of it is false. Very excited for Kevin Pennington though!"
Marvelous News' report also explains that Pennington is playing a member of S.H.I.E.L.D. who's apparently a popular character. He's said to begin filming within the next two months - that means he's in The First Avenger: Captain America - and will appear at Comic-Con this summer. He's also supposed to have a role in The Avengers.
Who would he play? Rumor has it that it could be "Dum Dum" Dugan, Wendell Vaughn, Henry Pym or better yet, Hawkeye. Hawkeye of course, was a character long-rumored to be played by Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker). Henry Pym on the other hand, is the lead character in Ant-Man and that rumor was quickly shot down by Marvelous News who claims to have an inside source revealing that it's not Pym because Fillion is playing him instead! And we've not come full circle.
"Nathan Fillion is pretty much locked to be Henry Pym, and should be announced before any other new additions to the cast (think around Comic Con)"
The obvious red flag here is that it's an "inside source" of Marvelous News and if recent history means anything, 98% of these reports are completely fabricated. It also almost seems too good to be true from a fanboy perspective and the reality of it is, there's nothing concrete on this. Most of these reports are riding on fanboy speculation, as is always the case, and that's likely to lead to disappointment.
The Playlist asked Edgar Wright directly about this and he replied with "Not as far as I know!" which we also know from experience could mean nothing. It's all about timing and marketing.
Either way, the bombs will drop come July at San Diego International Comic-Con and we can expect to hear some major announcements regarding Marvel Studios' upcoming feature films post-Avengers as well as some major casting announcements.
Personally, I want to see Edward Norton make a surprise appearance, confirming that he's in The Avengers as well as the casting of key characters including Ant-Man and Hawkeye.
Any guesses on who's playing who?
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for more Marvel movie news as it drops.
Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.