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Will Bill Murray Be Joining The MCU?

Over the years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been home to some of the biggest names in Hollywood, with A-Listers playing both leading and supporting roles, and some simply making cameos. The MCU has seen appearances by Robert Redford, Tommy Lee Jones, Glenn Close, Sylvester Stallone, Sam Rockwell, Matt Damon, Angela Bassett, Brad Pitt, John C. Reilly — and now, Bill Murray?

That's what some believe, following a recent casting update for "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania," which fans believe may signal Murray's arrival in the MCU. The internet has been keeping a very watchful eye on the casting choices for the third installment in the Ant-Man series, due out in 2023. The film already stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Douglas, and Jonathan Majors. Director Peyton Reed is once again at the helm, and if the Murray reports are true, then the legendary "SNL" alum and "Ghostbusters" star should fit in perfectly with Reed's comedic tone. 

What's the evidence? Well, Marvel fans have discovered several breadcrumbs online that lead them to the Murray casting assumption, including one left by Reed himself.  

Murray's photo double has reportedly been cast in Ant-Man 3

The biggest telltale sign of Murray's involvement with "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" is the reported casting of actor John Townsend, who is listed on Mandy.com as a photo double for Murray, as first noticed by the outlet The Cosmic Circus. The project that Townsend (and presumably Murray) were cast on is called "Dust Bunny" — the same reported production name for "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania," per Production Weekly. 

So, naturally, people are now assuming that Murray will be playing a role of some sort. It's just unclear what role. The other potential smoking gun is a Feb. 2021 tweet from director Peyton Reed, in which he shared an autographed headshot of Murray and described how he was a fan. Movie insiders believe that the post means much more now that Townsend has reportedly been cast. "A Pre-SNL Bill Murray played The Human Torch in the Fantastic Four Radio Show back in 1975," Reed tweeted at the time. "I was a fan. Years later, at the GROUNDHOG DAY junket, he signed this for me."

Marvel's "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" is currently set to hit theaters in February 2023. Filming has already begun, but details surrounding the plot remain a mystery. The film is expected to tie into the events of "Loki" — with the return of Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror, a deadly variant of the Disney+ show's He Who Remains — and set up big things for the future of the MCU.