Academy Award winning actor Michael Douglas has joined the cast of Marvel and director Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man as the original Ant-Man Hank Pym, according to Marvel. Paul Rudd, who has already been confirmed for the film, will play the second character in the comics to go by the name Ant-Man, Scott Lang.
The announcement should help to clarify some of the older, contradictory reports regarding the story of the film. Some early news posts claimed that Rudd would appear as Pym/Ant-Man, while others claimed the character of Pym would appear in more of a supporting, possibly mentor-like role to Rudd’s Lang. Although Marvel isn’t ready to discuss the story of the film just yet, the latter report seems more likely, with Douglas’ character overseeing Rudd as Ant-Man.
In the comics, Scott Lang first appeared in 1979, long after Hank Pym had been established as Ant-Man. Despite being an electronics genius, Lang was forced into a life of crime to support his family. After his daughter Cassie faced a life-threatening illness, Lang returned to crime and broke into Pym’s house, where he stole both the Ant-Man costume and the gas that allows a person to shrink down. Lang then went to the labs where the only person who could save his daughter worked, and discovered she was being held hostage. Lang’s heroic side kicked in and he thwarted the crime.
Afterwards, Lang returned the suit to Pym and was prepared to go to jail, but instead Pym allowed him to keep it and carry the Ant-Man mantle. Since then, Lang has appeared as Ant-Man in several comics as a member of multiple teams, and even reached the pinnacle of superherodom when he died and came back to life.
The casting confirmation comes less than 24 hours after the 69-year old Douglas walked away with the Golden Globe for “Best Actor – Miniseries or a Movie,” for his portrayal of Liberace in the HBO movie Behind the Candelabra.
“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 Kevin Feige said. “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.”
Ant-Man hits theaters on July 31, 2015.