Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man was tops at the domestic box office last weekend and — with a worldwide gross of roughly $120 million in less than a week — the film is a certified hit. That said, long before Marvel Studios was a blockbuster-boasting worldwide phenomenon, the rights to the comic almost fell into very different (and far more dubious) hands.
Once upon a time, Shock Jock Howard Stern had his magnifying glass on the diminutive superhero. While interviewing Ant-Man himself (Paul Rudd) for his radio show, Stern dropped the following bombshell:
“I was a huge Ant-Man [fan]. In fact, I was telling Robin earlier in the morning, about 15 years ago I had a meeting with Marvel. I tried to buy the rights to Ant-Man because I said that’s a cool franchise. I really tried, and I met with some of their dudes.”
Oh the oddity that might have been.
The last time we saw Stern associated with a super hero, he was donning assless chaps as Fartman during the MTV Video Music Awards in 1992. Is this the man you want adapting a potential blockbuster franchise?
Not to hate on Howard here, he’s great at what he does, but this would have been way, way …. way, way, way outside of his comfort zone.
Oddly enough, however, Stern also had a near miss with a much more well-known superhero franchise. HitFix reports that the America’s Got Talent host was once approached by Warner Bros. about the possibility of his playing the villain Scarecrow in a Batman film, a film that was scrapped soon afterwards — likely for the better.
You can stick this story at the top of the “Hollywood disasters averted” list, just above the Tim Burton/Nic Cage Superman movie that somehow almost happened.
Meanwhile, the Ant-Man that actually happened continues to impress critics and audiences alike. Along with Paul Rudd, the film stars Michael Douglas, and Evangeline Lilly, and is in theaters nationwide now.