Michael Douglas To Play Hank Pym
When Marlon Brando and Gene Hackman agreed to be in Superman the Movie, it was a big deal but also seen as "what are they thinking?" Now it's not only ho-hum when a well respected film actor takes a comic book role, but pretty much a "well, it took him long enough." Because if you want to be known to today's generation of filmgoers, you pretty much need to have your face on an action figure, and if you're really lucky, on bedsheets.
Probably not what Michael Douglas was thinking; his face has been on enough bedsheets. Regardless, Marvel broke to Variety today that the Oscar-winning actor and recent Golden Globe winner has agreed to play the role of Hank Pym in the upcoming Edgar Wright film Ant-Man, in support of previously announced star Paul Rudd,
also confirming what most had suspected -- Rudd will be playing the second Ant-Man (in comics), Scott Lang.
In the article, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige offered,
|...With Hank Pym’s rich history in the Marvel Universe, we knew we needed an actor capable of bringing the weight and stature to the role that the character deserves... We felt incredibly relieved when Michael Douglas agreed to step into the part with the charm and fortitude he brings to every character he inhabits, and couldn’t be more excited to see what he will do to bring Hank Pym to life.
Originally, the Variety article also credited Pym as the villain, but since taken that reference down. That could have been a misinterpretation by an editor of Pym's awkward status in comics as a somewhat unstable character -- always well-meaning, but often egotistical with emotional issues. And yes, in the comics he created Ultron, but since this film will be released after the second Avengers movie, Age of Ultron, it's a safe bet that the cinematic Ultron will be the result of Tony Stark's genius gone wrong, not Pym's.
What remains certain is that Pym will have created the Pym Particles; Scott Lang will steal them (hopefully for a good reason). Will Douglas get a chance to put on a superhero suit? As unlikely as it seems, wouldn't it be fun to see it for just a moment? After all, he did just win the Golden Globe for playing Liberace, and his costumes there were almost as fun...
In terms of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it just doesn't fit for Pym to have had a quiet career as Ant-Man off to the side, long before Iron Man takes the stage. But who knows?
We'll have to wait for the next big announcement...
UPDATE: Edgar Wright has reminded fans that he actually did reveal his plot back in 2006 when he first began work on this -- eight years ago. At that time he told Superherohype that it would flash back to a '60s era Hank Pym fighting crime and then come up to today with Scott Lang taking on the suit. And Michael Douglas has also stated that he's been dying to be in a Marvel movie -- largely for the reason anybody might expect. He has a thirteen year old son and he wants to be cool. I TOTALLY RESPECT THAT.
Wright's reminder does bring up the question if this film will or even needs to fit in with the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And... who will play YOUNG Michael Douglas?