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Paul Rudd, Joseph Gordon-Levitt are reportedly contenders for Marvel's 'Ant-Man'

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Andy Kropa/Invision/AP

(Read caption) Paul Rudd is reportedly a candidate for the role of Ant-Man in Marvel's new film.

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Marvel fans sit less than a month away from the release of Thor: The Dark World, the second chapter after Iron Man 3 of Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The next two releases from Marvel Studios are both in post-production with Captain America: The Winter Soldier wrapping in June and Guardians of the Galaxy finishing up shooting late last week, and all of these lay the groundwork for Joss Whedon to return to the director’s chair early next year to begin principal photography on The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Thanks to a recent (and curious) release date change, Marvel Studios will also be shooting the first Phase 3 film, Ant-Man, around the same time for a summer 2015 release as well, just two months after The Avengers sequel hits theaters, and director Edgar Wright revealed that he’s back on Los Angeles to begin production.

According to Variety, Marvel may already be far along in the casting process for the lead in their next solo character film and that Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Paul Rudd are the top two candidates for the Ant-Man part, with potentially a third unnamed actor.

This is the first time we’ve hard of funnyman Paul Rudd being namedropped in association with a Marvel movie, so his casting would be as outlandish and comedy-focused as the film itself may prove to be. That being said, Gordon-Levitt may be more of the long-term franchise guy (he’s 12 years younger) and his name repeatedly showed up in association with Guardians of the Galaxy when director James Gunn and the studio were searching hard for the actor to play Star-Lord, a role that also went to a proven comedy talent.

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