Casting Friday: Ant-Man News, Hunham out of Shades, Larson in Gambler

Each Friday, I will summarize the important casting news or rumors from the preceding week, giving you a preview of who’ll be playing who in the future!

JGL & Rudd as Ant-Man

Variety reported this week that the hotly anticipated Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 3 film Ant-Man is close to being cast: the role now evidently comes down to either Joseph Gordon-Levitt or Paul Rudd.

According to the Variety article that broke the story, the two actors are set to meet with Marvel execs before a final decision is made.

The two actors are 12 years apart in age. Levitt already has experience in comic adaptations, appearing in last year’s Dark Knight Rises, as well as next year’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.  The film would, however, be a departure for Paul Rudd, whose career has so far been marked mostly by comedy.

The film is set to be the first of the Phase 3 films, to follow Avengers 2: Age of Ultron on July 31st, 2015. Edgar Wright is directing the film, co-written with Joe Cornish, whose directorial debut Attack the Block made waves in 2011.

Rashida Jones as the Wasp

This is not the last of the Ant-Man news to surface this week, however: according to Superhero Movie News, casting is underway for the titular hero’s wife and super hero Janet van Dyne, a.k.a. the Wasp. According to the site’s source, she will not appear in her superhero identity, but will play the love interest.

Currently, the rumor is that Rashida Jones, best known for her role in Parks & Recreation. Her co-star Chriss Pratt is already appearing in Guardians of the Galaxy as Peter Quill, Star Lord.

She is reportedly being chosen due to her chemistry with Paul Rudd, who may play Hank Pym, Ant-Man himself. The two appeared together in Our Idiot Brother and I Love You Man.

While the Wasp will reportedly not perform any superheroics herself in the film, she reportedly is planned to do so in later films (likely Avengers 3).

The Wasp has already been seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the recently released initial animatics for the first Avengers, a still from which can be seen below:

Hunham Out of Shades

Charlie Hunham is evidently no longer interested in becoming the universe’s most desirable male, as he has left the lead  in Fifty Shades of Grey which was all but certain guarantee of that.

While there is no hard fact on the reason for this move, the rumor is that he was refused “extensive creative input”, which he was seeking in the form of script approval. Other speculation involves him not being popular with the franchise’s fans (a petition to remove him from the project received over 88 thousand signatures as of now). The official reason is that his television commitment to Sons of Anarchy  was simply too demanding, but logic dictates that he would have been aware of those well before initially agreeing to star in the picture.

Brie Larson in Gambler

Brie Larson (Scott Pilgrim vs the World, 21 Jump Street) is set to appear alongside Mark Wahlberg in the upcoming The Gambler, a remake of the 1974 James Caan original.

The remake is currently rumored to be directed by Rupert Wyatt, who previously did the fantastically engaging Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

Casting Friday: Furious Russell, Lex Cranston, Fifty Shades of Hunnam, more

Each Friday, I will summarize the important casting news or rumors from the preceding week, giving you a preview of who’ll be playing who in the future!

Furious Russell

According to Variety, Kurt Russell (Death Proof, Escape From New York) is joining the cast of Fast and Furious 7. The role had reportedly been previously offered to Denzel Washington.

The sequel is being directed James Wan (SawInsidiousThe Conjuring).

The film’s cast has also recently been supplemented Tony Jaa. “Having a chance to work with Vin Diesel and The Rock already makes me a winner,” said the martial artist about the opportunity. Good for you, Tony!

Kurt Russell has been noticeably absent from the big screens since 2007’s Death Proof, which was also a car-centric movie. Is cars what it takes to bring the actor out nowadays?

Lex Cranston

Despite tweets from Latino Review, which sent a flurry of speculation across the internet throughout August, Bryan Cranston is NOT going to be playing Lex Luthor in the upcoming Batman vs. Superman film.

The star of Breaking Bad inflamed some of the rumors himself by saying “I like Lex Luthor. I think he’s misunderstood. He’s a lovable, sweet man.”

When asked by the Boston Globe about the rumored six picture deal, the actor responded with ““Six? This is all news to me. I think that maybe my name is bandied about because I’m known to be bald. ‘What bald guy can we get?’ The reality is they can take any actor and shave his head or put a bald cap on him.” Presumably, this means he’s not doing it.

Fifty Shades of Hunnam

Pacific Rim and Sons of Anarchy star Charles Hunnam has been cast for the adaptation of the wildly popular Fifty Shades of Grey book. Hunnam will take on the role of Christian Grey, while his costar Dakota Johnson plays Anastasia Steele (don’t you love it when you can discern the level of writing by the lead character’s names?).

Having not read the book, I have very little to say about these news, except that they’ve happened and that there are a lot of people on the internet that seem to really be either upset or happy about this. Fanboys, amirite?

 

Star Cumberbatch

The rumor, evidently starting at Screen Crush, was that Cumberbatch was poised to join the cast of the upcoming Star Wars sequel, in a villainous role. According to Badass Digest, he was meant to play a Sith. The rumours appeared to have validity due to Cumberbatch having very recently worked with J. J. Abrams on Star Trek Into Darkness – considering the director is now moving across to the other “star” franchise, it seemed reasonable he’d poach one of the actors, as well. The actor had also recently left the cast of Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak, which, speculation went, may have been to make room for a Star Wars role.

Cumberbatch’s representatives have, however, denied the rumor entirely: “There is no truth to the rumor Benedict has been cast in Star Wars. I think the rumors are circling because J.J. and Benedict have just recently had a wonderful time working together on Star Trek.” At the same time, however, the actor said he would not say no to that opportunity if it came along.