With San Diego Comic-Con quickly approaching -- and with Marvel Studios once again holding that coveted late-Saturday spot in Hall H -- we're expecting the superhero powerhouse to make some big announcements that will help shape its Phase Two and Phase Three plans. Though nothing has been announced yet, we expect Marvel will showcase footage from Phase Two (specifically Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and more art or test footage from Guardians of the Galaxy). After that comes Phase Three, where we'll most likely learn who will be playing Ant-Man in Edgar Wright's film (in theaters November 6, 2015), as well as the identity of the two other Marvel movies arriving in May and July of 2016. Knowing the folks at Marvel, we can also see them revealing title art for The Avengers 2, due out May 1, 2015, as well as those mysterious unannounced Phase Three movies.
Since we can't speculate on casting for those unknown Phase Three movies, that leaves us with Ant-Man -- a project that's been in development for years, and one that showed off test footage at last year's Comic-Con (watch a re-creation of that footage here). With a release date, a script and Edgar Wright ready to take the reigns, it's about time we learn who will be playing Henry Pym, a scientist who discovers a chemical substance that allows him to shrink in size.
In recent months we've heard a ton of names in the mix, but recently one is beginning to stand out above the rest: Armie Hammer. Originally cast as Batman in the failed Justice League movie, Hammer broke out in David Fincher's The Social Network and has been steadily tackling bigger and bigger films, culminating with a huge July Fourth weekend slot opposite Johnny Depp in The Lone Ranger. Hammer was also seen visiting the set of Captain America: The Winter Soldier (he claims he was visiting a friend). Add to that a preexisting relationship with Disney and it would make complete sense if he was brought into the Marvel mix as Ant-Man.
Hammer also has a great heroic quality about him, even in the films where he's not playing a hero. The looks, the deep voice, the talent -- the guy has it all, and Disney would be wise to snatch him up before Warner Bros. and DC get their hands on him to possibly become their new Batman (or the Flash, or Aquaman). He's also a recognizable star that will help sell a superhero who isn't as well known as Captain America or Thor, and we could totally see him making an appearance as Henry Pym in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and/or The Avengers 2 as a way to tease his solo film in November 2015.
Armie Hammer makes sense, not just from a fan perspective, but from a business perspective too. The Lone Ranger will help further sell him as an action star, and Disney can use his new summer blockbuster presence as a way to introduce him as Marvel's newest superhero next month in front of thousands of fans at San Diego Comic-Con.
Personally, I'd like to see that happen. Would you?