John Slattery as Howard Stark

Marvel Studios/Paramount Pictures

For months, the mystery of who would take the reigns from Edgar Wright and direct Ant-Man dominated all coverage of the Marvel flick. But ever since the baton was passed to Peyton Reed, focus has been able to switch back to the good ol’ casting frenzy.

Today, Marvel sent out a press release announcing that production has officially started in San Francisco on the much-anticipated film. That in itself is exciting enough news, with Reed also tweeting “LET’S. GET. small.” early this morning. He’s a man with a plan, and it’s on a teensy tiny scale. Good things come in small packages, haven’t you heard? But the press release contained something even more amazing: a barrage of cast members to round out the film’s core ensemble.

The new additions are Bobby Cannavale (Boardwalk Empire), Judy Greer (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), Michael Pena (End of Watch), Abby Ryder Fortson (Togetherness), David Dastmalchian (Prisoners), Gregg Turkington (The Comedy), Wood Harris (The Wire), rapper T.I. (Identity Thief) and John Slattery (Mad Men).

None of their roles have been revealed thus far, but Slattery has played a significant role in the Marvel universe already, as Howard Stark, father of Tony Stark and co-founder of S.H.I.E.L.D. The actor portrayed Stark in Iron Man 2, and it’s possible that he could step into the character’s shoes again to interact with Pym. At this point, it seems like almost everyone has had a hand in founding or maintaining S.H.I.E.L.D. Why not him?

For the rest of the cast, it’s a little cloudier on where or what place they have in the story. It’s definitely a widely talented and varied bunch, but the most standout and compelling is Turkington — aka Neil Hamburger. While Turkington does use his real name and persona for films like The Comedy and for his spectacular Adult Swim film criticism show with Tim Heidecker, On Cinema, his standup career as his “anti-comedian” alter-ego is something to behold. It’ll be interesting to see what he brings to the film — and if any Hamburger leaks through.

The addition of a young girl to the cast is also a point of interest. Depending on the lineage of the plot, Lang does have a daughter at some point; her chronic illness causes Lang to steal Pym’s Ant-Man equipment and Pym Particles. If the plot goes in this direction, Fortson would be playing Cassandra Lang.

We’ve of course known for some time that Paul Rudd is playing Scott Lang, a man with a peculiar power to shrink in size but increase in strength, while Michael Douglas is playing his hero and mentor, the brilliant scientist Hank Pym. Last month at Comic-Con, Evangeline Lilly and Corey Stoll were confirmed to the cast as well, she playing Pym’s daughter, Hope Van Dyne, and he in the role of the villain, Yellowjacket.

Ant-Man hits theaters July 17, 2015.


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