‘Ant-Man’ Story & Character Details: Young Hank Pym In The ’60s?

Published 1 year ago by , Updated January 15th, 2014 at 11:36 am,

Young Hank Pym Ant Man Avengers Academy Cover Ant Man Story & Character Details: Young Hank Pym In The 60s?

Of all the already-released or in-production film projects at Marvel Studios, the one that’s been in actual development the longest is undoubtedly Ant-Man. Before Marvel Studios released their first self-financed project (Iron Man) and long before Disney acquired Marvel Entertainment, writer and director Edgar Wright appeared on stage at San Diego Comic-Con in 2006 where it was announced that he would be working on Ant-Man for the studio.

What many fans don’t know is that the Ant-Man pitch that got Marvel interested in working on the project with Wright way back then was actually based on something the director wrote a treatment of three years earlier for Artisan Entertainment. This is back when Artisan held the film rights to Ant-Man, before Shaun of the Dead even hit theaters in 2004. Skip forward to present and the film is finally happening at Marvel Studios, with two leads already attached in Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas. With news of another actor in talks (Michael Pena) for a key role, we wanted to compare the latest rumored plot details of the film to what Edgar Wright had in mind a decade ago.

With yesterday’s official news that Michael Douglas would be playing an older version of Hank Pym – one of the founding members of The Avengers in the comics – in Ant-Man, we also learned officially that Paul Rudd would therefore be playing Scott Lang, the second character in Marvel Comics to wear the suit and earn the title.

michael pena ant man movie Ant Man Story & Character Details: Young Hank Pym In The 60s?

From the casting alone, combined with previous announcements regarding upcoming films, we know Ant-Man won’t be following certain story arcs from the books. Obviously, the currently 69-year-old Michael Douglas won’t be suiting up alongside Iron Man in The Avengers sequels, and Ultron (a creation of Pym in the books) will have a new origin story in The Avengers 2, one that may end up not involving Pym at all (as far as we know at this point).

Looking at today’s reports that Michael Pena may also be cast in Ant-Man, we later learned a few more details thanks to This Is Infamous about his role and the story. Their sources indicate that Pena will be playing a villain named “Castillo” from the past who’s based on Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Much like Captain America: The Winter Soldier will use flashbacks to bring back from familiar faces from the WWII era and later in the timeline, to flesh out the backstories of Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), there will be flashbacks in Ant-Man to the ’60s.

They claim the film actually begins in the ’60s, with a young Hank Pym as the first Ant-Man using his tech to battle communism as a spy. Pena’s character is introduced here so think Cuban Missile Crisis. Then of course, we skip forward to present where Scott Lang (Rudd) is introduced, along with another villain. Pena is seemingly still active as a villain in the modern era too from the sounds of it.


Page 2: Edgar Wright’s Old Revealing Ant-Man Hints


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!

Sources: This Is FamousSHH

Header Art From Avengers Academy #7 Cover

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  1. This is movie is sounding better and better with each passing update! If Marvel wanted to get real ballsy, they could reference a tweaked Invaders team with Captain America, Ant-Man and the original android Human Torch as seen in the First Avenger. There is so much sh*t they can do, I am so excited for this!

    • Don’t forget about Stark senior. I am sure he can bring something to the game.

      • In ‘Iron Man 2′ Nick Fury states that he knew Howard Stark, who was a founding member of S.H.I.E.L.D. Both men, and SHIELD could have cameos in the 1960’s section of the film…

        • And it would be slick to maybe find out that Pym actually designed the first generation AI that Tony uses to make JARVIS. If they go this route it will satisfy the rage over who actually built Ultron.

        • Also, Peggy Carter. She worked for the predecessor of SHIELD and also a founding member next to Howard, right?

          If we can see young Hank and Howard, Peggy and other 60s era characters. That would be pretty damn awesome. Even if just cameos or small roles. It does wonders for continuity.

          • I’m pretty sure there’s a Peggy Carter (”Agent Carter”) series being made so perhaps then Hank Pym could cameo, have a small role or maybe even recurring part in that along with others.

        • I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Hank Pym was in some scene, in some form or another.

          Can’t wait on this movie either!

    • When was the human torch referenced in the Captain America the first Avenger?

      • He was not referenced explicitly, but he was an exhibit at the World’s Fair that (pre-Cap) Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes attended.

      • He was in a capsule at the World’s Fair. He was part of the Invaders and I believe he was an android. He is not Johnny Storm from Fantastic Four.

      • the human torch appeared in the Expo at the beginning of the film

    • i don’t like the idea of an older hank pym but if they do an invaders movie that would make up for it ! but how could they have captain america for the invaders if he was frozen at the time Hank creates his technology

    • If they did include the human torch in the film then in a later movie they could also have the remains of it being remade by Ultron, or even Hank Pym, into the Vision (in fact I think that that is/was the case in the comics for some time) as well.

      I didn’t know that the Human Torch actually appeared in the Captain America film until now (although I didn’t actually know who the android was until 3 days ago) but I wonder if it’s cameo was a way of joking about/ referencing the character Chris Evans had played in ‘Fantastic Four’ that shared that superhero name.

  2. I’m linking this film more and more but I still hope they cast a traditional villain. Scott Lang in the comics initially went against Cross Industries (Crossfire) so hopefully there is a bad guy with atleast some comic lore

    • His name is the only reason I started supporting Ant-Man when it was first announced. I keep telling people that its gonna be amazing just because of him. He is one of my favorite directors.

  3. Sounds AWESOME, this article really got me pumped! Really alleviated some of my concerns…Edgar Wright has a plan and vision can’t wait to see how it all comes to fruition.

  4. A 60’s version of The Invaders would be awesome! And the whole Tales to Astonish pulpy vibe I assume Wright’s going for will be stunning visually, The Wasp in the 60’s? Perfect! I don’t know why but I’m getting a bit of Raimi’s Spider-Man nostalgia.
    Question? Samuel L Jackson’s Nick Fury, does he have the Infinity Formula? Meaning does he age? I wouldn’t mind seeing a younger actor portraying Fury in the 60’s.

    • “A” for effort Goldilocks but I really think that ship has sailed. Marvel has no interest in Pym and only want to use him as a vehicle to introduce the now main protagonist Lang.

      /here’s your bone, hope you enjoy it. ><

      Really a shame because we will now be missing out on all of Pym's tweaks and inventions. It's one thing to be a simple and boring user but another to be able to add to the tech like Stark did with IM.

      • They might just go and make their version of Scott Lang just as smart as Pym, like a protogie of sorts. So it’ll be just like a merged Lang and Pym

        • Well now wouldn’t THAT be sad. If they are going to do that they might as well have just called him Pym then instead of using the Lang name.

      • MJ, those that say you are whining just are trying to take away one of the favorite characters of several of us. They should “Leggo our Eggos”! They can just put both feet where the sun does not shine and keep walking until they disappear. I for one am a BIG Pym/Goliath/Giant-Man fan as well, from the character’s inception, and he was always one of my favorite Avengers (and Wasp figures right up there as well). Kang might be able to mix things up a bit…I have always wanted Kang as a villain as well, either against The Avengers or the Fantastic Four.

      • Thanks for the bone! If it gets Marvel to reverse on it’s recent Pym decisions, every meal is a banquet!

    • You could always get your hopes back up if we learn that down the road, Kang is going to be a villain in a future Avengers movie, or one of the standalone movies. Kang is the master of time, after all…

      But I’m not getting my hopes high again. Personally, I’ve been too disappointed that Pym would not be a contemporary and join the Avengers to start wishing for things that Marvel won’t make happen for my favourite character.

      Having said that, since I’ve been accused of whining about it on SR, I’ll say that I’m still happy we’ll get Pym at all in a movie, and leave it at that.

      • You really think after Marvel has taken basically everything away from Pym they would make an effort to reverse that? Too bad too because the more I think about it, giving Stark the Ultron origin (when RDJ is close to stepping down, was a poor decision) means when he goes, Ultron will have no one to hate. If they had introduced Pym now, that story could have continued.

        In the end though, I think all a Kang, timeline change, would do is confuse the general public (see XM:DoFP for reasons why not…it’s gonna be a train wreck).

        And being accused of something and actually doing it are two different things. Don’t listen to Dazz, all he’s doing is using intentionally inflammatory words to get you riled up. I responded to that btw 😉

        • I agree, train-wreck indeed on the Days of Future Past thing. They started out with a good idea and story-line, and muddled it up with virtual unknowns, and by maing it once again the Wolverine and Magneto show. I got an idea: Let’s do an X-Men movie that has neither Wolverine or Magneto in it, but features Cyclops! “Heaven, I’m in Heaven!!!…and Cyke ain’t!

      • Those that say you are whining just are trying to take away one of the favorite characters of several of us. They should “Leggo our Eggos”! They can just put both feet where the sun does not shine and keep walking until they disappear. I for one am a BIG Pym/Goliath/Giant-Man fan as well, from the character’s inception, and he was always one of my favorite Avengers (and Wasp figures right up there as well). Kang might be able to mix things up a bit…I have always wanted Kang as a villain as well, either against The Avengers or the Fantastic Four.

  5. Way to give away the spoiler for who the winter soldier is in captain america the people who havn’t read the comic book will not know this luckily i have read it.

    • Um, would it really spoil the movie if people know going in who the Winter Soldier is? Really?

    • I thought it was common knowledge that Bucky is the Winter Soldier…

      • Me 2. As of Douglas!Pym and it starting out in the 1960’s tales of astonish style, I actually like that. Yeah with an older pym there are set backs and fans of that character are probably going more Agro on their own confused reasons. however, this could be a really good thing, I Trust cornish and Wright and these guys really seem to love both characters. My biggest concern is what about Wasp? will she be in the 60’s era? I Like to see a story on that.

    • Considering it’s the SAME ACTOR and they talk about it openly in interviews, it’s not a spoiler.

  6. No. dont de-age Douglas a la Tron. please.

    • This article hardly gave anything away. Any article on the internet about CA:TWS lists the winter soldier as being played by Sebastian Stan. IMDB lists Stan as playing Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier. Marvel has not tried to hide the Winter Soldier=Bucky Barnes factoid from the audience. In fact, in a press release 9 months ago they said: “Based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series, first published in 1941, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” features an outstanding supporting cast that includes Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier…..” Therefore, ScreenRant cannot be faulted for not keeping this a “secret.”

    • Sorry, my other reply was supposed to be to ryan above.

    • Yeah that was terrible. Maybe they will get the stunt guy who played ant-man in the test footage, and just have Douglas voice over the character.

      • Thanks for the bone! If it gets Marvel to reverse on it’s recent Pym decisions, every meal is a banquet!

        • Aw, nuts! This darned computer! Or is it the web-site? Now this reply was supposed to be for Mongoose way up high in the comments! Sheesh!

      • Actually, I did not mind the stunt-guy test footage clip or the costume there. I saw some concept art, on the other hand, that was pretty fruit-a-dork-a-dingo!

  7. Now i just want to see Cassie Lang in the movie.

  8. If the Cuban Missile Crisis is involved, this would be an another great opportunity to tie togather the Avengers and X-Men franchises, but it seems they let it slip again.

    • well they could still do it if they would stop being stingy with the properties and just do it.

  9. I like where this is going.

  10. It has a Watchmen feel to it. Flashbacks to he old gang, Antman, wasp, Cap, Union Jack, and hopefully a Namor cameo!

    • I thought that too. LOVE that movie btw.

    • Well, maybe not Steve since he was a Capsicle around that time, but maybe the first Human Torch, since he was referenced in the Stark Expo scene in CA:TFA.

      And maybe Howard Stark and Peggy Carter could rock the SHIELD side of the equation. Cause I just really like those characters too and would love to see more of them.

      I’m already sold to this 60’s thing.

  11. I still haven’t completely warmed up to Scott Lang as Ant- Man or an elder Hank, but those comments really got me interested. The idea of an Avengers precedent looks like it could be a solid movie point (although I’m not sure it would fit into this “heist film”). But bring back Howard Stark, Peggy Carter, and the Howling Commandos!

  12. So, having Hank Pym be re-written to have lived in the 60’s while the other people he was team mates with are existing in the 2000’s and then having him exist as a hero in the 60’s with “possibly” other hero’s fighting a Fidel Castro rip-off who I guess is going to come back to haunt the second rate Ant Man later makes everyone feel better? Fidel Castro?!?! Seriously? LOL.

    And on top of that Shield somehow missed Ant Man’s existence all this time and are ignorant of the Pym particles and people are okay with that, but then are complaining that the Shield on TV is not smart and crafty enough as in the one in the movies? The same one that the movies are now turning into idiots? LOL.


    But yes, I am sure if I suspend disbelief and just go watch the movie like everyone else as a fun standalone ant man movie I am sure it will be enjoyable and will make a ton of money. No doubt about it. But forgive me if I am still disappointed in the unnecessary messing up of not only my childhood but of what intelligible writing the movies have done so far ( i.e. Shield ).

    *shrug* Yell away LOL.

    • In the 60’s…maybe he will fight the new X-Men from the First Class movie???

    • Perhaps, if he was operational in the 60’s as Ant-man, Hank Pym worked for the early version of S.H.I.E.L.D. but didn’t reveal his formula to them, which would be pretty hard to replicate without his help, or it was too rare/hard to replicate for large scale use and as such over time it was forgotten or deemed unusable by S.H.I.E.L.D..

      And even if Hank was working as Ant-man without S.H.I.E.L.D. I could believe that they didn’t notice him considering at that point they would have just been starting up and not the superpower they are in the modern part of the MCU (athough I am expecting that S.H.I.E.L.D. will notice the activities of Ant-man/Scott Lang after the film if they haven’t already).

      Personally, I’m confident that the movie won’t contradict anything already established by t,he other films, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

    • they didnt missed Ant-Man existence, they know Pym. afterall Selvig said in Thor to know a collague that had experiences with SHIELD.

      Kevin Feige said that guy was Henry Pym

  13. A 60’s Ant Man who runs around fighting a Fidel Castro light after creating Pym Particles that Shield somehow has over looked for several decades and somehow missed not only in terms of its potential and significant usage in spy tech but possibly as a member of the Avengers Initiative. But he could have also have fought along side other heroes? Other heroes that apparently never existed in the other movies, were never heard of and all of them were completely over looked for membership in the Avengers?

    Yes, I can see how this would make a great script for a movie…

    We get to introduce the concept of Shield not only being idiots on TV but now they can be idiots in the movies, which will make it much easier to bring the Shield TV folks to the big screen and at least provide for consistency, not to mention that it only took what…a half dozen films to start screwing up continuity…we cut down several decades on the comics and just got to it right off. Who needs to be scared of Fury or Shield…after all they as an organization can over look a scientist who invents a couple of different types of superhuman tech and uses them to fight a second rate communist under there own nose and yet seem to be completely unaware of it.

    And yes, before everyone yells I am sure it will be an okay movie and I am sure it will make a lot of money, but excuse me while I am still not really overjoyed by that.

    • I Think you also missed the part of this movie was being made LONG Before any of the MCU started, and the fact that Hank was mention in Thor and the Avengers. Erik Selveg pretty much talked about Hank to furry. SHIELD probably covered up Hank’s experiences because they didn’t care about his tech that much, since it seems alot of people who I Talk to about ant-man just laugh at how lame Pym is, which he isn’t. He’s a mad scientist for good.

      All I can say is I trust these guys it may be good, it may be bad. we don’t know until we see it.

      Now I can understand why no one likes Lang,however, I Think hes gonna be funny. we knew about this for a long time so I Honestly don;t see why everyone is so grumpy about this.

      • As for why people are grumpy about this, I guess some people people just have ants in their pants. Hopefully the character of Lang will ‘steal’ over their hearts in the end.

        • @Metarean He will,but on tv 😉

    • Maybe the reason S.H.I.E.L.D. hasn’t replicated Pym’s tech is because Pym Particles are too rare for them to be used on a wide scale in the MCU or perhaps S.H.I.E.L.D. in fact has no idea the technology exists. As for superheroes from the 60’s not being recruited as a part of the Avengers Initiative you have to remember that most of them would be too old to fight by then (of course that doesn’t really apply for robots or anyone that might have an extended lifespan for whatever reason) and maybe S.H.I.E.L.D. ignored Pym in their selection as such or because they thought the powers of Ant-man wouldn’t be effective against a heavy hitter like Loki, a conception that could change after the events of ‘Ant-man’. Of course everything I’ve typed is speculation and I can understand your worries about this movie messing up continuity/logic of characters. But that’s one of the great things about not knowing just how this movie’s going to turn out: whether good or bad it’s still gonna be a surprise.

      • Oops. I think I might have copied that last sentence subconsciously from Tasha Wasp’s reply. There goes my philosophy career.

  14. I still think this movie should just be about a younger Hank Pym as Ant-Man (leaving Lang out of it). Then, sequels could be Giant-Man and Yellow Jacket stories. AND Ultron should totally be Pym’s creation. I’d love to see Pym in the Avengers, but it looks like that isn’t happening. Kinda burned out on Disney/Marvel studios.

  15. soon as I heard this I started thinking of a 60’s type Avengers. Sounds pretty good so far, hope to hear some solid info on Namor, and a Inhumans film soon. A Hulk sequel featuring S.H.I.E.L.D, General Ross,and The Leader would be sooo sweet.

    • I’m up for that Inhumans story as well!

  16. Here’s my theory.
    Paul Ruud is Young Hank Pym in the 60s. Douglas is Older Ant-man/Pym. And, (hey, i’m allowed to fantasize) Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is Scott Lang, who takes up the mantle in the Avengers continuity.

    • Except that Marvel has announced officially that Rudd is playing Lang 😉

  17. edgar wright is very underrated in terms of story telling and creativity. I have faith in this dude, I really think this could be marvel studios best movie

  18. Gosh, this move sounds terrible.

  19. this is gonna be the sleeper of all the big name CBM..i really hope they use this movie will fill in the blanks for some characters or organizations pre Iron Man

  20. Ok, now I’m feeling a little better about this movie from what I just read in this article. I’m very disappointed that we won’t see Hank Pym/Ant-Man in Avengers 3 or any other sequel but I’ll get over it. I really doubt that they’ll use CGI to de-age Michael Douglas a la Jeff Bridges in TRON: Legacy (but you never know), so if anything we COULD end up seeing Scott Lang/Ant-Man II in Avengers 3. Maybe Hank Pym can somehow have some involvement in the creation of Ultron though. I don’t think that we’re gonna see any Captain America history intertwined in this movie but it would be cool if we did. This does remind me of the Watchmen movie a bit (which I really liked.) For some reason I don’t think that they’ll cast a young Hank Pym so then again maybe we will see the use of CGI to de-age Michael Douglas. I just really want to see flashbacks and Janet van Dyne/Wasp.

  21. @ Rob Keyes…

    LOL! Did you get tipped off about the Castillo villain info from my post regarding Sandy’s story ‘Ant-Man’ Casting: Michael Pena in Early Talks for a Role… 😉

    I guess great minds and research think alike!

    All kidding aside, the dude is a good actor and will make a surprising villain if that be the case.

  22. How about a film that has Wasp as a main or at least important partial aspect of Hank’s story. Seriously though i think this movie could be really great if they decided to approach as a sort of drama and not solely action comedy, like all the other marvel movies do. but I doubt that would happen. I’d see the movie either way unless they actually show actual ants because then I’d have to leave the theatre.

    • This movie’s going to usher in a new way of seeing films as real ants actually walk the floors of the theatres, collecting popcorn: something that will draw viewers in even more than a 3D viewing. It will almost seem like ants are steadily approaching you- because they actually are.

      (Sorry if you’ve got a phobia of ants, and if you don’t sorry for the irrelevant concern).

  23. A film that has the old Ant-Man as part of a period piece, and then joins the present at some point would be cool. The First Avenger was probably my most favourite of Phase 1, so going back in time has potential. I just hope he is kept under wraps by a small team, because the public knows nothing of Ant-Man in the MCU.

    • Here are my responses to your different worries:

      1) Personally I don’t think Peggy Carter or Howard Stark are going to appear in this film and that the flashback/s to the past will be short and mainly focus on Pym. If you’re worried about the script being planned and written a few years ago, I heard that Wright had rewritten the script to fit in with the MCU to avoid continuity errors.

      2) The film won’t contradict the origin of Ultron of Joss Whedon’s using (which doesn’t necessarily involve Stark) as Edgar Wright has previously said ‘Ant-Man’ will not feature Ultron (at all).

      3) This movie is not related to the X-men days of future past at all (as you said) so I don’t see why that would be a concern to you as ‘Ant-man’ won’t reference it at all and although ‘Ant-man’ may involve the Cuban missile crisis as a part of a villain’s past that doesn’t mean this will be a studio crossover.

      4) S.H.I.E.L.D. has been depicted differently on T.V., at least in my opinion, because Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is showcasing a different part of S.H.I.E.L.D. than the movies do (I haven’t really noticed any difference in S.H.I.E.L.D. throughout the films). As for where S.H.I.E.L.D. was in Iron Man 3 you have to remember that the kidnapping of the president happened covertly. I also doubt any MCU heroes would investigate a seemingly random explosion where another ‘hero’ was involved as that’s S.H.I.E.L.D.’s job, and I would assume that S.H.I.E.L.D. is keeping their findings on Centipede secret. I haven’t seen Thor: The Dark World yet so I can’t comment on that.

      Sorry if I’ve misunderstood anything you wrote, I hope you’ll enjoy the changes to the characters more than you think you will.

    • Maybe the movie’s been in production for so long because Wright was waiting for Douglas to be the right age for this interpretation of Pym.

    • And that’s why the movie’s been in production for so long: because Wright was waiting for Douglas to be the right age for this interpretation of Pym.

      • Oops. Didn’t mean to reply twice.

    • “But in Marvel, Wright and Whedon I trust. As long as there isn’t another Mandarin style twist, I’ll be very happy.”

      It’s funny that I don’t hear/read “In MCU;Joss;whatever name I trust” too much any more 😉

  24. I’m hoping since Ant-Man is right after Age Of Ultron, they at least have some nods and names to throw at us, that way people are more aware of the next film.

  25. I wish people would get it thru their heads that X-Men & The Avengers will never share the same screen as long as Fox owns one, & Disney owns the other. All this “Maybe that will set this up” talk is really redundant & a waste of time even thinking about. Wishful thinking sucks pretty bad.