Michael Douglas is Playing Hank Pym in Marvel’s ‘Ant-Man’

Published 1 year ago by , Updated January 14th, 2014 at 11:09 am,

Michael Douglas in Wall Street 2 Michael Douglas is Playing Hank Pym in Marvels Ant Man

[Update: Michael Douglas talks about joining the Marvel family.]

When we interviewed Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige last year, he promised us that by the end of 2013, we’d finally get some casting confirmations from the studio regarding a few key unannounced characters, one of them being the lead of their first Phase 3 film - Ant-Man. After weeks of rumors and reports – and seemingly an epic workout regiment – putting Paul Rudd on the radar, Marvel made it official. Rudd is Marvel’s and director Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man.

When Rudd’s name first starting making headlines however, he wasn’t the only star apparently in consideration. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was also associated with the project and we theorized that Wright might be looking at multiple actors not for the same lead role, but different ones since in Marvel Comics there are three different men who have assumed the role of Ant-Man. Well, wouldn’t you know it, Marvel just cast another Ant-Man.

Moments ago, Marvel made it official that multiple Academy Award winner Michael Douglas (Wall Street) will play genius scientist and one-time Avenger Hank Pym in Ant-Man, coming summer 2015. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige on the casting:

“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. 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.”

More than any other Marvel Studios production to introduce a new solo character, Ant-Man is seemingly relying on established and bankable talent – not too much of a surprise considering the risk and obscurity associated with the Ant-Man character. This is a film that only exists because of Edgar Wright, says Feige to us on numerous occasions, but they’re doing everything they can to put it in the eyes of potential moviegoers.

Ant Man Movie Costume Helmet Michael Douglas is Playing Hank Pym in Marvels Ant Man

Douglas joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe is intriguing, especially considering his age, but the more interesting discussion to be had is what his casting means for the franchise as whole. Douglas is Hank Pym, the first Ant-Man who in the comics, created the technology behind the ability to shrink and become giant. But the news also comes with confirmation that Paul Rudd is playing Scott Lang. This makes sense considering Edgar Wright’s recent Ant-Man hints and teases.

Variety posted an exclusive describing Douglas’ character as a villain, but according to that writer’s Twitter, that was before Marvel made the official announcement that he’s playing Pym. That part was cut from their article without an update. While we wouldn’t put it past Marvel Studios to do something like that and have Pym be a villain (see: Iron Man 3′s Mandarin) for the sake of a twist, we’ll stick with the official news and assume Hank Pym is Hank Pym, just a much older version of him.

Since the Ant-Man movie is telling a new origin story for the character, we can assume that Michael Douglas is a scientist – perhaps for S.H.I.E.L.D. or another familiar Marvel organization (A.I.M.) – who discovers a chemical or invents technology that allows its user to change in size, small (Ant-Man) or large (Giant Man). Since Edgar Wright has described his script as a “high-tech spy heist film,” Scott Lang may steal it from him for personal reasons (in the comics, he steals it to save his daughter by using it to perform another heist). That story is full of heart and charm since he’s a criminal but for the right reasons. Lang isn’t evil and Pym sees that, eventually giving him the Ant-Man suit and tech. Lang later becomes an Avenger so we expect that to occur come The Avengers 3.

Our question now becomes whether or not Pym’s helmet creation can actually control ants in the cinematic universe. And what does this mean for Pym’s wife in the comics, Janet van Dyne? Let us know your thoughts and theories!


More: Ant-Man Embraces Edgar Wright’s Style


Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 31, 2015, and unannounced films for May 6 2016, July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie news!

Source: Marvel

Follow Rob Keyes on Twitter @rob_keyes
TAGS: Ant-man
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  1. lol. Looks and people complained when Ben Affleck was cast as Batman.

    • LOL EXACTLY!!!!

  2. Outta the blue!!!!

  3. I dont get it… Rudd or Douglas?

    • Both. Douglas is Hank Pym. Rudd is Scott Lang.

      • Is that officially confirmed? What if they´re both Pym? Rudd in flashback, Douglas in present scenes.

        • It’s in the official release from Marvel that Rudd is Lang.

    • Henry Pym – Biophysicist and Security Operations Center Expert. After an Epiphany he created Pym Particles alowing him to alter his size…Birthing the Ant-Man. Girlfriend and partner Janet Van Dyne who became the Wasp. ALSO AVENGERS RECRUITS…Later adapting to other names Pym was AKA Giant-Man, Goliath, YellowJacket, and paying tribute to the fallen Van Dyne The Wasp.
      Scott Lange – Grabbing at straws at the stake of his daughters death from a rare heart condition, Scott Lange is a known thief who steals Pym’s Ant-man suit to save his daughter. After the settling of dust Pym embraced Lange with open arms, extending the Ant-man alter ego to him. Cassie, Lange’s daughter later becomes Stature.
      Eric O’Grady – 3rd person to take up the Ant-Man guise. Being a baseline (grunt) worker for S.H.I.E.L.D. who “stumble’s upon” Ant-Mans suit mainly using its powers for self gain, with the ideals it would pick up ladies before being destroyed by the Secret Avengers…

      SO obviously you can see there is room for this story to grow, and grow… However I must say I think Douglas is fine choice, as is Rudd. However if they do cast O’ Grady then it will be a wildcard. However I think if they did do O’Grady we would see that build up on Agents of SHIELD…that would only make sense right?

      • Ah, I see what Wright meant by heist movie ;)

        • I know I was saying the same thing.

      • Where are you quoting that from? Hank Pym is a biochemist, not biophysicist. Never worked for SHIELD in his life, and he and Jan are not Avengers recruits, they freakin’ founded the team.

        • Goliath (Pym) calls himself a biochemist right in one of the old comics, where he helps Cap, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and Hawkeye battle Dragon Man and Diablo. I forget the exact issue, but it was one of the early Avengers comics bck when they along with Wasp were essentially the team (with an occaisional Black Widow cameo).

        • are you seriously telling me you think they never worked for shield then youre wrong.. Because they did. and he was not a Biochemist that would make absolutely no sense to his research and studies. and if you want further proof, a simple Wikia search will find your answers. They did work for shield, and yes they are the founders of Avengers but still recruits as well…. MEANING THEY WORKED ON THE TEAM WITH THE AVENGERS…. SO YEAH, I am right, your just someone who is wrong when it comes to comic book stuff.

          • Wow… you’re for real, right?

            Alright. The girl who is obviously wrong about comic books is going to explain herself.

            Hank Pym IS a biochemist, probably one of the best in the world. He invented Pym Particles, which at first were contained in a gazeous form that interacted with somebody’s physiology to make them shrink. Later, he perfected the formula to be used in capsules that he and the Wasp swallowed. After a time, he had used the particles so often that they had become fused in his organism, so that he didn’t have to take capsules or gazes to shrink and grow, they had become part of his physiology. See, chemical counpound. Biochemist’s invention. Logical. But anyway, this is all cannon stuff.

            He was Ant-Man along the Wasp when he intercepted a message from Rick Jones and his teen brigade, asking for help because the Hulk (who was sort of Rick’s friend) had gone on a rampage. But it was actually Loki who was causing the problem. Thor got the message too, so did Iron Man, and together, they found the Hulk and then defeated Loki. Then they decided to form a team (Pym and Jan’s idea btw) and called themselves the Avengers (Jan’s idea). They FOUNDED it, so they can’t be recruits. The first recruit was Captain America, in issue #4, then Hawkeye in #16 I think, then QS and SW an issue later. SHIELD and the Avengers sometimes cooperated, but they were not always on the best of terms.

            I’m talking 616-universe here, of course. You know, the ‘mainstream’ universe in which most comic books take place. I’m not saying my knowledge of comic books is extensive… but I know my facts. And I know them because I’ve read the comics.

  4. Tears :( Not the kind of news I wanted.

  5. Yes! Pym won’t be Ant-Man! Thank god.

  6. I’m so for this. Will be a type of mentorship. I can see them playing off of each other really well.

    • I’m on the same boat as you. I like the news, very unexpected and surprising.

  7. What a weird choice. Does that mean we won’t get a Wasp sometime down the line?

  8. I think they should’ve cast someone who wasn’t already preshrunk!

  9. What will happen to Wasp?

    • Micheal Douglas will slap that old lady silly. Lol

      • +1

    • Catherine Zeta Jones as WASP?

      • How about Wasp played by Rachel Welch? She is old and still hot! (Uh, just kidding, she would not be a good Wasp).

        • Who cares who plays her, we want to know how her character fits into the MCU in the light of this news. Will she still be Hank’s wife or will she remain young? Is this gonna be a legacy thing?

  10. Oh… purely from an objective point of view (I am not aware with the source material so have no allegiance to it), this is a hell of a coup. One of the most consistent, premier actors out in my opinion.

    Just hope the script gives him a bit to work with as he is always at his best when not hamming a studio demographic script. His entire career has been defined by work that have had a bit of balls to them.

  11. what… is Janet going to be played by Meryll Streep? I will definitely see the film but it seems as if marvel is moving farther and farther away from its comic book counter part. Not like any characters follow the characters in their earliest forms, because of the appeal towards younger audiences. However I love Hank Pym and I find this to be rather sad, nor do I want Pym to be Scott’s mentor it is not how their relationship works. Here is hoping Lang still steals the equipment.

    • I… actually wouldn’t oppose to Meryl Streep. If Marvel is really going to go with that angle, why not go with the best in the business?

    • Tinker Bell for Wasp! Comes with wings already attached, looks hotsie in a one-piece, and after all, it is Disney property!!

  12. Some how this feels like it came down from Disney. Since Douglas will be Pym, that means we won’t see the substance-abusing, wife-beating Pym. I don’t mind Douglas, I like as an actor, but this screws with the history. Maybe they can get Judy Dench to play Jan Pym?!?

    Even in the Ultimate universe they had an young Hank Pym. This is starting to suck.

    • Doesn’t screw with the canon any more than they already have by transferring Pym’s major contribution to the Marvel universe to IM and then erasing the Avengers Pym altogether.

      (or all the other crap they did in IM3 or Thor2)

    • Lol you sound funny saying that but you got a point there though I mean they already ruined the origins of Ultron not being created by Hank Pym and then we’re having an Ant-Man film that’s not focused on Pym being the main protagonist but they skip strait up to the second Ant-Man (Scott Lang) to take up the mantle from an old and retired hero Hank Pym the original Ant-Man I don’t really see where they are going with this though and it looks like we won’t be seeing Giant Man and Wasp in any Avengers movies neither. I’m still going to see this movie don’t get me wrong but it’s just I’m not ready to see Scott Lang yet I want to see the original I want to see Hank Pym I’m use to him being Ant-Man not Scott Lang

  13. Douglas as Hank Pym. Rudd as Scott Lang. Chalk it up as another win for Marvel.

  14. I just don’t know. This kinda confirms the To Steal An Ant-Man storyline, but wow.


  16. Was hoping for a Hank Pym centered movie. I was lookig forward to Hank/Jane relationship in film. Honestly I pray Phase 3 starts with a connected movie not a standalone. Btw if Hank is this aged why did Hawkeye run out of arrows in the middle of NY?

  17. Guess this means we won’t get Yellow Jacket in the future, then… pity…

  18. I just lost alot of interest in this movie. Michael Douglas is a great actor but I’m not liking that we get an old Hank Pym. We better see Pym’s origins. I also think Paul Rudd is great but he should be Hank Pym not Scott Lang. IMO f**k the Scott Lang character! I wanted to see Pym with the other Avengers in Avengers 3. What’s gonna happen with Wasp/Janet Van Dyne now? Oh well, I’ll stop whining. I’ll still watch this of course because I like the MCU.

    • While you are catching your breath from whining, I will take over…I agree with you. We can spell each other on the whine-vine!

    • Exactly and we’re probably not even going to see Ant-Man in the Avengers movies neither since Scott Lang’s Ant-Man might focus on him and his solo films and by the way last time ScreenRant said that Paul Rudd was confirmed as the Hank Pym Ant-Man and now all of a sudden out of the blue when Micheal Douglas was mentioned to be in the MCU and then he was placed in the Ant-Man film and now he’s some how casted as Hank Pym which debunks what they said last time about Paul Rudd he went form being cast as Hank Pym to Scott Lang

  19. This is an A-List casting, for sure. And a big move to put Ant-Man on a higher level and gain more interest from general audience, especially adult audience.

    Now I just wonder…. what will happen with Wasp on the Avengers franchise?

    • You mean an a- list casting

  20. One of the things I’ve always liked about Marvel films is that, with the exception of Samuel L. Jackson, they stayed away from familiar faces. In fact one of their great strengths is that they built this massive multi-billion dollar film universe on the backs of actors that most people aren’t even familiar with. Now, in quick succession, Redford, Paxton and Douglas. Paxton maybe, the other two do not compute in a comic book movie. Both are pushing 80 years of age and this screams of trying to stay relevant. Feige seems to go more and more Hollywood with each successful film that gets released. I’ve been a Marvel fan since 1966 and when I think of Marvel movies Robert Redford & Michael Douglas do not embody anything Marvel Comics stands for. I’m sorry to all my fellow Marvel buds if I’m coming off political cuz I dont want to but the casting on the past few films seems, to me anyway, as Feige being a power player and kissing the rings of a number of actors with a long history of standing up for the things Marvel Heroes oppose.
    If I’ve offended anyone I apologize. It’s just the way I see it.

    • Right…nobody had ever heard of Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Gwenth Paltrow, or even Mark Ruffalo before the Marvel Universe started…*sarcasm

      • HA! Exactly! Not like Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman are Oscar Award winners with extensive filmographies. Or Mickey Rourke, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Jeff Bridges… Or Glen Close… Benicio Del Toro…

    • Let us not forget those other nobody’s the human torch Chris Evans and that loser Ed norton. Along with Jon favreau, Sam Rockwell, Gary shandling, Guy pierce, liv tyler, william hurt, tim roth, hugo weaving, tommy lee jones. You know it would be easier to just go to imdb and copy and paste the cast overview from everyone of the marvel movies.

    • Really not even Redford? I mean I always thought if they had the ability in the 60s or 70s Redford would have been some great casting for Cap. I think I’m the only one excited about this I don’t care of Michael Douglas is Hank Pym….I mean even for the comic fans (I am one myself) when did Ant-Man or Giant-Man ever have a solo series? Who is Ant-Man’s greatest villain? (I bet someone will say Ultron) That’s right people this is the Ant-Man we’re talking about at least the main characters name isn’t Hank Lang usually I don’t care when people rant but really guys lol? It’s Mike Douglas this guy got herpes from oral sex he’s the man lol

  21. So no wasp in this universe then unless scott lang has a wife now

    • Most likely yeah. Prob in the plans.. They have Widow and soon to be Scarlet Witch. In keeping with the cosmic side of things I’d bet money on Ms Marvel at some point. Janet, though cool, kinda becomes overkill.

  22. Awful.

    So this means a no originalstory for Hank Pym.
    And further more no Wasp ( I pressume).
    Blaah. This tends to suck already.

  23. Gal Gadot is a terrible Wonder Woman.

    • And the award for the most random comment goes to… (drum roll)…


    • WTH??? :)

    • I know you’re joking, but why the constant need to mention DC? Bad Trolling.

    • Kofi, I see what you did there.
      Thank you.

    • Nailed it.

      I wonder if it’s special chemical particles or just tech (the suit) and I wonder if he develops the ant control stuff.

      • Pym could have discovered the particle and developed the tech in the 60s/70s so we could see the “origin story” play out in short flashbacks, remember wright talking about the first ant-man comics and how he loved it in an interview.

        Totally agree on the fact that all story avenues for Pym have been taken away or given to others (stark – Ultron) so it’s only logical for him to be a normal scientist… Whether he’s on good or bad terms with Shield is another question.

        I’m thinking the creation of the suit caused a rift with Pym and shield as he’s into peace and non-violence and Shield.. Well not so much. Explains how Lang could steal it (doubt he could ever get it if it was under lock-and-key at Shield).

      • I bet they will have Pym talking to Ants but Lang won’t. Pym can be a full blown old school 60s style hero ala the Minute Men in Watchmen, talking to ants etc and Lang can be the more modern iteration, less talking to bugs more size changing hijinks.

        • Makes perfect sense to me.

    • (***Queue the slow clap***)

      Well said sir.

      • Thanks…

        Though…I’d miss Janet. She’s a cool character.

    • I wonder if there is still time to get Wolverine to help fix some of this insanity when he goes back in time…

      • “When does batman join the avengers? Can’t wait for that.”

        – said by every members of the general audience that’s never read a comic.

    • @Anim, Perfectly put! Couldn’t agree more!

      • Oh yeah, “the fans” deserve better. Do you mean fans of the current Pym comic, Avengers A.I.? Coz’ sales dropped 70% on that last month. I’m sure the big-wigs at Marvel think “Oh yeah….. Let’s cater to the 20,000 people who read the Hank Pym comic, rather than make a much more exciting movie with a more interesting character as the protagonist.” “The fans.” Yeesh.

        • I am probably the biggest fan on here if you are referring to the early comics that I read in the 60s and 70s. Started to lose interest after that as storylines, art, etc. got (IMO)worse and characters got kind of rewritten and mixed up. Since The Avengers originated back then, and that is what made them famous enough to get movies in the first place, I think we need to go back to that era to build our movie characters. I do not think I am alone in this here. Mongoose and Mary Jay seem to feel about the same way as I do, just to name two posting here, that we should keep Pym as Pym, and Goliath/Giant-Man & Wasp in their proper perspectives. I am one of those original fans, and yes, I think I and the characters do deserve better. Canon, canon, canon!!!

                • Oh sure they, “could”. I guess you have never heard of scripts going back to the drawing board even after casting, Directors changing, actors dropping out at the last moment. Happens ALL the time.

                  It won’t happen though, which I have already admitted. They obviously had Pym cut out of the Avengers at least 2+ years ago.

                  And of course, once you have had everything stolen from you there is nothing left. It didn’t HAVE to be that way though which was my point.

                  I did list though just one of the many ways Pym could have still worked but it doesn’t really matter now dies it.

                    • Casting a much older Pym makes sense. He and Howard can now be tied together and Pym can still make the ORIGINAL AI that Tony uses for JARVIS. Win/win. JARVIS is Ultron and Pym still created him.

                      People you need to look at the much bigger picture of the MCU.

    • Anim? Best comment on here- well balanced and without the usual hysteria. Personally, the jury is out for me regarding Marvels choice to deviate from it’s source material (most glaringly with IM3), but what’s done is now done, and just like the rebooted Star Trek, no amount of fan boy wailing is going to change things. Enjoy the ride! I grew up on Superman with Chris Reeve (still amazing despite the dodgy effects) and some appalling ’80s comic book movies so be thankful you have Marvel and DC BOTH producing better fare right now!!

  24. The Jeff Bridges / RDJ dynamic from Iron Man springs to mind after reading this article. I like that Marvel has landed iconic heavyweights like Bridges, Douglas and Redford for their films and look forward to seeing what they do with the characters.

  25. I wonder who the female lead in this movie will be. They should just add Darla Deering, IMO.

  26. I’m very excited to see how this turns out. With Michael Douglas on board there’s going to be a tremendous weight to this film, at least I’m assuming. As far as a villainous twist for Pym, I can totally see that coming, and while I’m not opposed to it, it’s not what I’d like to see.

    Hank Pym doesn’t have to be a wife-beater, I don’t know why everyone’s convinced that he will be. Just cause he was in Ultimate Marvel doesn’t mean they have to adapt that.

    I was more on board for Rudd as Pym and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Lang. That sounded more sensible to me age-wise. I wish they could have had Pym and Wasp as Avengers for the Avengers 2, especially considering Ultron. I can’t help but feel like Joss Whedon and the rest of Marvel don’t really care about Ant-man. This movie could have been made by now, but now they’re going to turn JARVIS into Ultron or something and just make more fans made ala The Mandarin.

    But potentially worst of all, in my opinion, is the Wasp situation. Since watching “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” Wasp has become one of my favorite characters and I really wanted to see her shine in the Ant-man film. But now, with it focusing on Lang and featuring an older Pym, I’m worried she won’t be included, or will be to old to be a hero or have any action, or join the Avengers down the line.

    • If they include the Wasp-wife-beater angle in this, which would be needless and unfair to the character who had so many other more interesting, important, relevant, & significant facets than that which some seem to focus on, I will personally call Marvel’s office and complain! Let’s honor and remember Pym for what made him great: scientist, biochemist, founding heroic member of The Avengers! Etc.-thundering-Etc!

        • Still a possible chance that PYM was in the first AVENGERS as one of the silhouette of the “avengers initiative” also that Jarvis is not Tony Stark creation but Howard Stark stealing Henry Pym notes.

  27. I see posts complaining about the back story. Folks, the movies and comics are separate universes. Back stories and characters will be and must be changed. For the most part Marvel has done a great job adapting their characters and stories. The news of Michael Douglas joining the cast is great news as he is a well establish and excellent actor

    • Yes, Marvel started off being fairly faithful but as time goes on they are drifting further and further from their roots and the canon they created.

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