Monday, January 13, 2014

Michael Douglas is *Also* ANT-MAN

When Marvel announced that Paul Rudd was the lead in Edgar Wright's "ANT-MAN" without giving the character a proper name, people just kind of assumed he was playing a version of Scott Lang, the second Ant-Man, and not Hank Pym, the originator of the role. Now that appears to be official, as newly-minted Golden Globes winner Michael Douglas has been cast as Pym.

This was sort-of expected anyway: Pym is a difficult character, in that he's been kept prominent through connections to other more important figures but writers have consistently struggled to find anything to do with him (outside of having him change power-sets and secret-identities like pants) since the Marvel Universe isn't really hurting for super-scientists and Bruce Banner, Tony Stark and Mr. Fantastic are all kind of more popular. Eventually an overzealous artist overdrew a scene of Pym lashing out at his wife ("The Wasp," who has the same shrinky-powers but also has wings and is a lady) and "wife-beater" became a running fandom gag and his defining characteristic for decades now.

Wright has described the film as a "heist movie." In the comics, Lang was a reformed burglar who "borrowed" Pym's Ant-Man gear to pull a job to save his sick kid; Pym let's him keep the gear and the name provided he only continue to use it for good - which, once balance, actually qualifies as sensible decisionmaking on Pym's part. Variety briefly "mis-reported" that Douglas was actually playing the villain in the film, but I wouldn't be surprised if Pym was the antagonist for the movie, or became one (he will likely not, it's already been stressed elsewhere, be the creator of Ultron for "AVENGERS 2.")