People really really seem to want Joseph Gordon-Levitt to be a superhero. Variety's Justin Kroll reported yesterday that Gordon-Levitt is in the running alongside Paul Rudd for the lead in their upcoming super-hero flick Ant-Man, which is set to be directed by Edgar Wright. Both men are fairly telling choices for the film, implying that Wright and Marvel are looking for a comedy-adept, sensitive type to play the scientist Henry Pym. They clearly aren't looking for a buff, superhero type, but someone who might have the wry sense of humor Wright had on display in his films like Shaun of the Dead, The World's End, and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.
Of course, this may well be much ado about nothing, particularly the Joseph Gordon-Levitt talk. Why? It seems that Gordon-Levitt has been in the running for a steady stream of superhero projects over the past several years, and despite his as a proto-Robin figure in The Dark Knight Rises, he never seems to make the final cut for the big parts.
This was the doozy of all Joseph Gordon-Levitt rumors. Gordon-Levitt appeared in The Dark Knight Rises as John Blake, whose name was ultimately revealed to be Robin, though before the film came out it was also speculated that Gordon-Levitt might play the Riddler or others. The end of that film seemed to set up that Gordon-Levitt's character was the inheritor to the Batman legacy, making it only logical that JGL would be next in line for the part. So up until news broke that Ben Affleck had been cast in the Batman vs. Superman film, it seemed that Gordon-Levitt might take up the mantle of the caped crusader. But long before we even knew what path the franchise was taking, HitFix's Drew McWeeny reported in November 2012 that "according to sources, Joseph Gordon-Levitt absolutely will be appearing in 'Justice League' as the new Batman." Of course, Warner Bros. and DC decided to wait on Justice League, and in the meantime imagined their new Batman as a "tired and weary" type. Alas, no Batman for JGL.
Back in January, Deadline's Mike Fleming Jr. reported that Gordon-Levitt had entered the mix of names to play the lead in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy. It wasn't a sure thing—Fleming said he "not sure if Gordon-Levitt has been offered the role and nobody would comment"—but it put Gordon-Levitt in the running alongside the likes of Joel Edgerton, Lee Pace, and Eddie Redmayne. About a month later, Fleming revealed that Marvel went in a completely different direction, casting Parks and Recreation star Chris Pratt in the role.
A Doctor Strange movie has merely been thrown out as an idea by Marvel executives, but that hasn't stopped Gordon-Levitt's name from being connected with the role of the sorcerer. Latino Review reported back in July that the rumor around Marvel was that the studio wanted Gordon-Levitt for the role. Since no one has been cast here, we guess this is still up in the air. That is of course unless he gets...
And now we come to Ant-Man, another role Gordon-Levitt is the running for, but may not actually get. Of course, Gordon-Levitt may not even want to carry a franchise, what with his burgeoning directing career after Don Jon. Perhaps he just hasn't found the right one yet.