After Marvel’s Phase Two, which started with Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World and will continue with Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy, concludes with Joss Whedon‘s The Avengers 2, the next comic book movie from Marvel universe is Edgar Wright‘s long gestated Ant-Man, a tale about a scientist who creates a suit that allows him to shrink down and communicate with, and subsequently control, ants. Silly though it may seem, with these ant-like powers, Ant-man fights crime on a big scale. Funnyman Paul Rudd was cast as Ant-Man last month and many assumed that Rudd would play the original version of the superhero, Hank Pym. Those assumptions were incorrect.
As it turns out, Rudd was actually cast as the second generation Ant-Man, a Marvel mainstay by the name of Scott Lang. According to Marvel lore, Lang is a thief who steals the original Ant-Man’s technology from Pym, unintentionally burdening himself with the power and responsibility of a super. Today brought news that while Rudd would not play the original version of the character, Michael Douglas would. Obviously, this timeline will see Douglas stepping in as a more veteran version of Pym. This shift makes sense considering Rudd fits the description of a jovial thief more so than he does a serious scientist like the Hank Pym of the comics.
In the comic series, Pym plays an important and essential role in creation of The Avengers. While he was obviously omitted from the creation mythology in the Marvel Movie Universe, Pym will now get to at least have some place in the MMU Marvel films have created. Also notable, Pym was responsible for the creation of Ultron, the bio-mechanical villain from which the second Avengers movie takes its name. Whether or not Douglas will play any role in The Avengers 2 is unknown but somewhat unlikely.
By casting the venerable, well regarded, and, not to mention expensive, Douglas as Pym alongside Rudd as Lang, Marvel has proved that they are willing to continue to shell out for top-shelf talent that comes with name-brand recognition. But even more interesting than Douglas or Rudd is director Edgar Wright‘s involvement, who will likely bring his high-art blend of comedy and action, a common ingredient to the Marvel world. As far as expectations, juxtaposing the snarky Rudd with the gravitas of Douglas could create a potentially excellent repartee and sets this one up to be one of the most interesting combinations out of Marvel’s gates.