The comic-book world – and most of the film industry – might have been a little bit shocked by the news that Marvel was adding Michael Douglas to its upcoming project Ant-Man, directed by Edgar Wright. Not because Douglas can’t act. Quite the contrary. But at 69 years of age, the man’s just not the first, second or fifteenth person you’d think of when casting a major superhero movie, even in a supporting role.
And yet, in a new interview with Reuters, Douglas explains that it’s something he has been chasing for a long, long time. The actor says:
"I've been dying to do a Marvel picture for so long. The script is really fun, the director is really good. Dylan (the actor's 13-year-old son) will love it. He'll have a picture he can see."
What, Douglas hasn’t shown his kid Basic Instinct? Pfft. Prude.
As Eric explained in his insightful column, the casting of Douglas as an older Hank Pym makes complete sense, and even opens the door for additional casting of a younger version of the hero (perhaps in an another era). We already know that Douglas will join Paul Rudd in Wright’s movie, and that Rudd – it has been confirmed – will appear as Scott Lang, a man who assumes the Ant-Man mantle after Pym has retired.
Stepping back, the casting of Douglas isn’t strange in the least. Marvel has staked a reputation of bringing the right actor in for the right part, no matter a person’s age. Robert Redford is joining Captain America: The Winter Soldier as a superior at S.H.I.E.L.D. There’s a new rumor saying that Johnny Depp is being considered for Doctor Strange. Depp’s franchise days should be behind him, but Marvel’s unafraid to roll the dice. So far, it has worked for them in the past. Why wouldn’t it continue?
Adding a new era of Ant-Man also expands and solidifies the number of stories Marvel can tell… and when. Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) is kicking WWII ass in One-Shots. Why can’t we get a young Hank Pym fighting crime as Ant-Man in the 1950s and ‘60s?
It also makes sense to have someone like Douglas in your stable. The man, in his prime, had a GREAT nose for humorous action, on display in such memorable movies as Romancing the Stone and its meager sequel, The Jewel of the Nile. Marvel President Kevin Feige has said that Douglas will bring "charm and fortitude" to the role of Pym. Can you imagine if he comes across looking anything like this?