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Douglas Explains ‘Ant-Man’ Choice, While Wright ‘Spills’ on Pym & Lang (in 2006)

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Although virtually everyone was surprised by Monday’s announcement that Michael Douglas will play Hank Pym in Ant-Man, the two-time Oscar winner revealed he’s been itching for a Marvel role.

“I’ve been dying to do a Marvel picture for so long,” the 69-year-old actor told Reuters, just a after winning a Golden Globe for his performance of Liberace in HBO’s Behind the Candelabra. “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.” Regarding the element of surprise in the announcement, he added, “Sometimes — like (when) they didn’t see you for Liberace — you’ve got to shake them up a little bit and have some fun.”

The casting of Douglas as Pym also erased any doubt about which version of Ant-Man that Paul Rudd will be playing (Scott Lang, an electronics expert turned thief who stole Pym’s suit and shrinking-gas canisters to save his ailing daughter). Director and co-writer Edgar Wright seemed to hint at the film’s plot earlier this month, but as he pointed out Monday on Twitter, he actually “spill[ed] the beans” about the Pym/Lang set-up way back in 2006, when Ant-Man was being eyed for Marvel’s first wave of films.

“… The idea that we have for the adaptation is to actually involve both,” he explained to SuperHeroHype at the time. “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.”

That, naturally, leads to speculation there will be a third actor playing Ant-Man — not the role of Eric O’Grady, but rather that of young Hank Pym.

Marvel’s Ant-Man opens July 31, 2015.


  • Brian White

    I never had any desire for an Ant-Man movie but Marvel has impressed me before. I must admit I like this reference to Pym in the past. It seems they need a past and present Pym to cast as well.

  • David Fullam

    Can so see him as a wife slapper.

  • MichaelSacal

    So, does that make Ant Man the only active hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the 1960’s?

  • syvyn11

    wonder if Catherine Zeta Jones thinks that?

  • J.Severed Hand-erson

    The idea of the “legacy hero” is such an important idea in superhero comics. I’m glad to see it finally explored in the movies.

  • Mike McTighe

    Makes you wonder if Armie Hammer will be young Hank. He was rumored for the role, and looks enough like Douglas.

  • Aneesh Raikundalia

    The question is how this fits into continuity…will Ant-Man be a former SHIELD agent from the Cold War? Do we get an older experienced Wasp? or one that is actually paired with Scott?

  • dnwilliams

    It’s funny, I’m fully expecting Guardians of the Galaxy to put Green Lantern to shame, and now Marvel’s doing a legacy hero movie when DC is DROWNING in legacy heroes…

  • dnwilliams

    I don’t remember that rumour, but I think he’s far too…huge. Physically speaking, the dude is a man-mountain. Alan Tudyk was (is?) a fan-favourite for Pym, I could kinda sorta see them going there still. Dunno. “Young Michal Douglas” is a toughie, poor casting director.

  • Caio Ribeiro

    Yes, as we saw Peter Parker hitting on a pregnant Mary Jane in the movies. You know, this happened in the clone saga.

    Or Stark as an alcoholic.

  • Simon Is

    I knew it would be Lang which is ok, but casting a 70-year-old as Pym sucks…he’s my favourite character at Marvel despite what the editors have done to him (or rather, chosen to highlight), and casting an old guy in the role means no Pym in the modern Marvel movie U for long.

  • mel

    cast his son. looks just like him.

  • Ozymandas

    Keep in mind that Marvel has been patterning their movieverse after their Ultimate universe. In the early Ultimates books, Hank Pym went from Ant-Man to Giant-Man pretty quickly. But there wasn’t just one Giant-Man, there was a whole team of them. So my prediction is that we may be seeing more than the three commonly known Ant-Men in the movie, and it wouldn’t surprise me if one or more “giants up” at the finale.

  • Mike McTighe

    I was gonna say his son, but I didn’t know if he was/is an actor. Armie could be too big, yeah, he’s quite large, but that can be made to look differently on screen.

  • LillardFan420

    Cast his father, he’s 97 but he can play 27.

  • Convoy

    I always figured that there was more out there. When Nick Fury was in the end credits scene in Iron Man, he gave the impression that Tony Stark just opened a door to a world that he knew nothing about. In 1967, Michael Douglas would have been 23, and Samuel L. Jackson would have been 19. I can see how a young Nick Fury, in the military and maybe in the Vietnam War, could possibly come across a young Henry Pym who could also be a protege of Howard Stark.

  • Matthew Peters
  • Kevin

    Hello?!? Did you not see Iron Man 2? That was drawin in part from the Demon in a Bottle storyline with Starks over drinking and losing it at his party til Rhodey had to put a boot in his ass.

  • StaticShox480

    That makes perfect sense to me. This would give Marvel a chance to show off a lot of their old forgotten heroes as well as show Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) and SHIELD in its early days. But who would play a young Nick Fury???

  • StaticShox480

    That could actually work since he has acting experience. He would just have to get into shape for the role..

  • Black Convoy

    Chadwick Boseman?

  • Garlador

    Then again, DC has, oddly enough, turned away from their legacy heroes. Bring back Hal, bring back Bruce, bring back Barry, bring back Barbara… usually at the expense of characters that had been thriving for a new generation of readers. Oh well.

  • Garlador

    Pretty sure Peter smacks MJ in Spider-man 3….

  • Garlador

    Like that stopped X-men First Class… Time travel fixes all problems. ;)

  • Garlador

    Okay… so here’s the BIG/SMALL question…

    What does this mean for The Wasp?

  • Thedude3445

    I’d say Michael B Jordan except he’s probably Johnny Storm so that throws that off.

  • Renaldo

    McConaughey looks the role of a young Douglas. Book it.

  • penguintruth

    If Michael Douglas slapped somebody, his bony hand would shatter. He’s ancient.

  • RingSpyder

    probably some covert ops spy stuff. Not a lot of talk about any other heroes other than Cap out there in the marvel cinematic universe yet.

  • Robbie Brooks

    In Thor, Dr. Erik Selvig tells Jane, after their equipment is taken by SHIELD, that he has a contact who he can get in touch with for help. I read when the movie came out that the source was indeed Hank Pym. So it makes sense for him to be an older man.

  • MichaelSacal

    I’m thinking they might take that part out and not have him be a superhero in the 60’s or 70’s or whenever.

  • Matthew Peters

    Unfortunately, after learning about his son, I found out that he’s not a nice guy and ended up in jail.

  • Mike McTighe

    Armie visited the Cap 2 set (actually my friend worked on Cap 2 and confirmed he was there — but he’s a PA so he doesn’t know for what) and there was some rumbling on the net he was/is playing Hank Pym and doing a cameo. Now I don’t know if Cap 2 even has a flashback for him to cameo in, so that could be complete BS, but at least that was the rumor at the time. It sounds like Wright wants to do a somewhat sizable Pym flashback (no pun intended) so I think Armie could be the kind of level star they’d want for that type of cameo. But who knows? I’m just throwing it out there because he does sort of look Michael Douglas-like. But they again, a lot of people could pull off his look. From the sounds of it there’d have to be a young Hank. Maybe they’ll do with Douglas what they did with Xavier in X3.

  • dnwilliams

    That’s interesting. I can’t really picture it myself, but I guess it’s one of those things you might just buy into when you’re engrossed in the story, like JGL as a young Bruce Willis in Looper. Always thought Armie Hammer would’ve made a great Captain America.

  • Mike McTighe

    Yeah, hell they could cast me. < That's my headshot, and I'm probably a lot cheaper than Hammer or Douglas! HA!

  • StaticShox480

    Actually I see Boseman as a better choice for Black Panther.

  • StaticShox480

    Don’t remind me….

  • Thedude3445

    I think it’s a great choice, and until the first trailer is released there’s no actual way to say anyway, except by his acting ability.

  • StaticShox480

    I agree that Jordan is a great actor. I just don’t like this new trend of changing the races of characters for the sake of diversity. I’d rather him try to bulk up and play Luke Cage before Johnny Storm lol