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So that’s why Michael Douglas sported that heroic goatee at the Golden Globes Sunday evening. News just broke that Douglas has been cast as Hank Pym in Edgar Wright’s soon-to-shoot Ant-Man movie, dropping a vital piece of Marvel’s puzzle into place as the movie rolls through pre-production.
Marvel confirmed the news Monday afternoon, stating that the two-time Oscar winner will play Pym alongside Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang – clearing up confusion expressed by Marvel fans as to which version of the long-time hero they would see on screen. On the casting of Douglas, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige said:
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."
Wright chimed in on Twitter, posting a link to an old article by Ed Douglas (way to go, Ed!):
In that interview, Wright said that the idea he originally had on an Ant-Man movie would be to show two versions of the timeless Marvel hero. Well, I’ll let him explain. He told SuperHero Hype back in 2006:
The idea that we have for the adaptation is to actually involve both [men in the suit], is to have a film that basically is about Henry Pym and Scott Lang, so you actually do a prologue where you see Pym as Ant-Man in action in the 60's, in sort of ‘Tales to Astonish’ mode basically, and then the contemporary, sort of flash-forward, is Scott Lang's story, and how he comes to acquire the suit, how he crosses paths with Henry Pym, and then, in an interesting sort of Machiavellian way, teams up with him. So it's like an interesting thing, like the ‘Marvel Premiere’ one that I read which is Scott Lang's origin, it's very brief like a lot of those origin comics are, and in a way, the details that are skipped through in the panels and the kind of thing we'd spend half an hour on."
This idea still sounds like it can work, with Douglas playing an older version of Pym, who is able to team up with Rudd’s hero once he steals the Ant-Man suit. For those who’ve never picked up a comic book, Pym was the scientist who invented the technology that allowed him to shrink to the size of an insect. He was an early member of The Avengers, and also used his powers to assume the identities of Giant-Man and Goliath.
Lang, on the flip side, was a successor to Pym who was a reformed thief and electronics expert who – in an act of desperation – broke into Pym’s home and stole his Ant-Man suit and shrinking-gas canisters. He eventually reformed his ways, becoming a crime fighter instead.
It sounds like this is the direction in which Wright is heading, and casting Douglas is a fantastic step in yet another bold direction for Marvel. Ant-Man is on pace for a July 31, 2015 release date.