December 20, 2013 / 3:35 AM / in 4 years

Actor Paul Rudd to star as 'Ant-Man,' Marvel action hero

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Disney-owned Marvel Studios said on Thursday it has cast “Anchorman 2” and “This is 40” actor Paul Rudd to play the lead role in “Ant-Man,” the next hero in its stable of comic book characters to go to the big screen.

Actor Paul Rudd poses at the UK Premiere of the film Anchorman 2 in Leicester Square, London, December 11, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

Marvel said the choice of Rudd, 44, reflected the studio’s desire “to cast actors that bring several dimensions to its onscreen heroes.”

Rudd is a staple in the comic films from director Judd Apatow, such as “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” and is currently in theaters in news anchor send-up “Anchorman 2: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.”

The studio said in a statement that the plot is being kept under wraps. But in Marvel Comics, Ant-Man is a scientist who invents a substance that allows him to shrink his size and communicate with insects.

The film, to be directed by Edgar Wright, is scheduled for release in mid-2015.

Walt Disney Co. bought Marvel in 2009 for $4.3 billion. The studio is behind some of the most successful films of recent years, including the “Iron Man,” “Avengers” and “Thor” franchises.

Reporting By Mary Milliken; Editing by Mohammad Zargham

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