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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.