Update: It's official: Marvel has now confirmed that Paul Rudd will star in Edgar Wright's Ant-Man. In a press release, the studio said Rudd had always been their first choice to fill the diminutive red suit.
"When Edgar came to us with the idea of Paul Rudd we felt a huge sense of relief," said producer and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige. "We knew early on that we had found the right guy. He not only agreed to to do it but became as enthusiastic as any actor we've ever met with about doing the work. We couldn't be more excited for our audiences to see what he's going to do to bring Ant-Man to life."
A month or so ago we asked you, the Empire reader, who should play Ant-Man in the Marvel movie currently being plotted by Edgar Wright. You came back with a resounding ‘Paul Rudd’, possibly while blowing trumpets and banging pots together for emphasis, and it seems Team Marvel was listening. The Wrap cites unnamed sources reporting that Rudd is close to signing on the dotted line and has even started shedding about a hundred pounds for the role (after all, he has to get down to ant size). That Unnamed Sources guy, eh? Boy, he knows some stuff.
Rudd has been circumspect on Ant-Man to date, managing to negotiate the Anchorman 2 junket without spilling a single bean on the topic, presumably by using his Sex Panther musk as a distraction. His rumoured rival for the part, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, has, of course, got his hands full with a comicbook project of his own in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman.
While we take a moment to consider the idea of Rudd and the equally loveable Mark Ruffalo sharing the Marvel universe, it’s worth looking back to 2008 when Edgar Wright first shared his vision for Ant-Man with Empire. “It’s more of a full-on action adventure sci-fi film but with a comedic element”, he explained at that early stage, “in the same spirit of a lot of escapist fare like that. It’s certainly not a superhero spoof or pastiche and it certainly isn’t a sort of Honey I Shrunk The Kids endeavour at all.”
Marvel’s confidence in Wright, co-screenwriter Joe Cornish and (probably) Rudd is great enough for it to have pushed Ant-Man into the cinematic boiler room that is summer 2015 - July 31, to be exact. Head here to see where it all fits into Marvel’s multiphase plan for global domination.