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'Ant-Man' casting news, 'Doctor Strange' not an origin story?

'Ant-Man' / Marvel Entertainment
'Ant-Man' / Marvel Entertainment
Marvel Entertainment

Hot off the success of "Guardians of the Galaxy," Marvel Studios announcements and rumors swirled today about two upcoming Marvel films, "Ant-Man" and "Doctor Strange."

Director Peyton Reed took to Twitter today to announce filming/production has started on "Ant-Man" in San Francisco. The Hollywood Reporter also reports several new casting announcements for the sci-fi comic book flick. Rapper T.I., Bobby Cannavale ("Boardwalk Empire"), Judy Greer ("Arrested Development") and John Slattery ("Mad Men") will join lead stars Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly in the upcoming action-comedy.

Although Marvel did not reveal which characters these new actors will play, Slattery previously appeared in "Iron Man 2" (another Marvel Studios film) playing the middle-aged father of Tony Stark (aka, "Iron Man" played by Robert Downey Jr).

On the recent "Meet the Movie Press" podcast episode, Badass Digest's Devin Faraci reports that Marvel's rumored upcoming "Doctor Strange" film will not be an origin story. Faraci says Marvel's new strategy is "no more origin stories." In the comics, arrogant neurosurgeon Stephen Strange becomes the Sorcerer Supreme - a master of the magical and mystical arts. According to Faraci, Strange will already be a full-fledged sorcerer at the start of the film. Especially attentive Marvel fans caught Stephen Strange being name dropped in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," so his character definitely exists within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Marvel has not announced who will play the Sorcerer Supreme, however, actors Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy and Joaquin Phoenix have been rumored for the title role. Filming is expected to being in spring 2015 with a release date of summer 2016.

Looking ahead into the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe: "Avengers: Age of Ultron" opens May 1, 2015, which will close out the so-called "Phase 2" of Marvel films. "Phase 3" kicks off July 17, 2015 with the release of "Ant-Man," followed by "Captain America 3" and "Doctor Strange" in July 2016 and "Guardians of the Galaxy 2" in 2017.

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