The rumour mill is spinning, and the latest news comes from who else but Marvel? It seems as if the short-list as to who will be playing the title character in Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man has become public knowledge. After the well-received test footage, fans have been dying to know who will be joining the Avengers for phrase 3, and it looks as if it’s down to two men.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Paul Rudd are the two lucky men, and the news has been met with much more positivity than say, ‘Batfleck’. I am also pleased to hear the news, and with many sources reporting the same story, although nothing is official, I think we can be pretty confident in saying, JGL or Rudd will be lining up alongside the Avengers pretty soon.
A rare moment sees fans faced with a nice and simple 50/50 decision as to who their preferred actor is. So I thought I’d take a look at the pros and cons for the two men in the running.
There is a 12 year age gap between the two men, with Rudd being the elder. But with what we hear from various reports it seems as if a script is under-way and the screenplay has been established, so the decision to go with a 32 year old (JGL) or a 44 year old (Rudd) doesn't look like it will make a difference to the narrative, so age isn't a pro nor is it a con when deciding between the two.
One negative for JGL however is the fact that he appeared in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, playing John Blake, who we later learnt was Nolan’s very own twist on Robin. And of course Robin is a D.C character, so fans may be a little concerned about JGL appearing in a Marvel film, and presumably, several Marvel films. For me personally it isn't a problem, character crossovers get complicated, but when it’s an actor, it shouldn't matter. And with Ben Affleck winning the role of Batman for ‘Batman vs Superman’, the dreams of some fans for JGL to carry on the franchise are no more, so his past life in the D.C Universe is over, meaning he is free to move into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
For JGL though, I mostly have positives. He’s a well proven actor, winning the Utah Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor in 50/50, and he was nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Actor in 500 Days of Summer. He’s appeared in several blockbusters like The Dark Knight Rises, Inception and Looper, has a successful history in Superhero films and is just all in all, a cool guy. I mean, the Avengers are pretty bad-ass but Robert Downey Jr carries the team too often, if JGL was cast, he would match Downey’s personality and screen presence, and make the film more enjoyable for the audience.
However for personality and screen presence, is Paul Rudd the greater of the two? He’s a comedy actor and would provide the laughs which are needed to accompany the world ending scenario. He is also the right age to play a believable Doctor, and I could see him accompanying Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner on screen in a very good way. Rudd has been around for quite some time now, and has delivered time and time again by making audiences laugh, and he deserves a chance in a blockbuster, and they don’t come much bigger than Superhero films right now.
However, the magnitude of the film could also prove to be Rudd’s downfall. While I could see him fitting in well alongside the other Avengers, I'm not sure as to whether he has what it takes to carry an entire film on his own. Does he have what it takes to pull of what Downey does? Or would he perhaps get eaten up by his huge surroundings? A bit like Chris Evans in Captain America: The First Avenger, I felt he didn't quite have what it took to lead a solo superhero film. That being said I wasn't too confident in Chris Hemsworth but for me he plays Thor brilliantly on his own as well as when he teams up with his heroic buddies.
So, Marvel have taken risks on actors who have delivered, and those who haven’t, and for me, while I believe both actors would be a success if chosen, JGL is the reliable safe option, with Rudd being the risk.