Well this was certainly unexpected. Less than 24 hours after taking home the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture for his performance as Liberace in Steven Soderbergh’s HBO bio-pic Behind the Candelabra, Michael Douglas has been announced to play the role of Hank Pym in Marvel Studio’s 2015 feature Ant-Man.
Edgar Wright will direct the film from a script he co-wrote with Attack the Block writer/director Joe Cornish.
“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,” Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige said in an official statement. “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.”
Douglas’ addition to the Ant-Man cast, which had to this point only featured star Paul Rudd, is surprising news indeed. The Oscar-winning star of Romancing the Stone, Wall Street, Basic Instinct, and Traffic had not even been rumored for any role in a Marvel movie. This finally puts to rest any speculation that Rudd was playing Hank Pym in the film. Wright had been hinting for some time that his story will focus instead on the second Ant-Man Scott Lang, an electronics wizard who turned to crime in order to help his gravely ill daughter Cassie and stole Pym’s technology to achieve those ends. Marvel even confirms this at the end of their official press release.
Marvel has never had trouble attracting A-list talent to the casts of their superhero movies. Not even Robert Redford could resist signing up for a supporting role in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. At the age of 69, Douglas’ acting career is still going strong in spite of a battle with throat cancer that threatened his life several years ago. He possibly signed a multi-film contract with Marvel Studios that could have him appearing in some of their future projects in greater or reduced capacities, in addition to Wright’s film. Then again, he could just be down for Ant-Man and leave it at then. There are hints that Pym might even serve as the film’s villain. Nevertheless, this is fantastic casting and it will be fun to see how yet another Hollywood veteran adapts to life inside the Marvel Movie Universe.
You can read the full list of the Golden Globe winners here.