Paul Rudd will return as Scott Lang aka Hank Pym in Captain America: Civil War next week, and will reprise his role again in Ant-Man And The Wasp. It’ll be safe to assume that he will maintain that comedic charm he had when we first saw him don the incredible shrinking suit – and wait until you see what he does in Civil War. But the actor has proven himself to be much more than an improviser, and a great one at that. A new report says that Rudd will play a more serious role in The Catcher Is A Spy, a film about a major league baseball player who became a spy for the OSS, a predecessor agency of the CIA.
More on the story below.
Deadline says Ben Lewin (The Sessions) will direct. It’s written by Saving Private Ryan scribe Robert Rodat, who is adapting the script from the 1995 book by Nicholas Dawidoff of the same name. Based on the true story of Moe Berg, the subject of the book, was an enigmatic person who graduated from Princeton University and Columbia Law School, spoke nine languages, and regularly read newspapers. He was also a whiz on a radio quiz show in which he answered questions about the derivation of words and names from Greek and Latin, historical events in Europe and the Far East, and ongoing international conferences.
Before he spied for the U.S. government, Berg was a catcher for the Brooklyn Robins (now the Los Angeles Dodgers), then hopped from team to team, often skipping spring training to go to Harvard and Columbia University. And the times he did report to spring training, he performed oddball jobs at lumber yards, which helped him be in excellent physical shape. He was sent on occasional baseball seminars in Japan before the attacks on Pearl Harbor.
During the war he performed a variety of physically demanding missions, from parachuting into occupied Yugoslavia, to kidnapping Italian rocket and missile specialists out of Italy and bringing them to the U.S. One particular mission had him flying to Italy, where he interviewed various physicists concerning the German nuclear program.
But after winning the war, and doing a few consulting gigs in the early years of the CIA, Berg spent the rest of his life a jobless drifter, living off the charity of those close to him.
What’s so interesting about this is that the film took this long to get made, since the story itself is so unbelievable. Warner Bros had actually developed the material as a George Clooney starring vehicle. As you can see that didn’t really pan out, but it must be nice to know that someone like Rudd can get a role that was initially made for Clooney. And that’s another thing, this is an unusually strange turn for Rudd who has appeared mostly in comedies. So it should be interesting to see what he can do in a serious role.
No release date has been set for The Catcher Is A Spy. In addition to Captain America: Civil War, Rudd’s upcoming roles include The Fundamentals of Caring, Sausage Party, and Ideal Home.