On top of being a longtime member of The Avengers, a genius scientist and a superhero with the ability to change size and communicate with ants, Hank Pym is known for two very specific decisions which will forever serve as major, perhaps even unforgivable, moments in his career.
Hank Pym creates Ultron who in Marvel Comics is responsible for so much death and carnage. From The Avengers 2 footage, Ultron is just as much of a killer in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it's not Pym who creates him this time. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) does, which is quite a deviation from the books. While that also resulted in the creation of the hero Vision (Ultron creates Vision), the fact that Ultron lives and does what he does is a result of Pym's research and experiments in the books.
The other major black mark on Pym's record (again, in the comics) is the moment he hit his wife, Janet. This is a story that was re-told where he again hit his partner in the Ultimate Marvel Comics version of The Avengers. Hank Pym beats women. Or at least, he did in two different Marvel Comics Universes. When we spoke with Kevin Feige today at a round table session, he was asked about that storyline and whether it'll factor into the Ant-Man movie when Michael Douglas plays him onscreen.
"Guess what we're not doing."
After a good laugh from him and the group, Feige continued:
"No, but look. I mean it's...Hank Pym did a lot of things in the comics and he's a super cool character. And the spin we have on him played by Michael Douglas is even more unique and more different, and I would say that some of the spirit of that plays into his temperament in the film, plays into his gruffness in the film. It certainly does not, in this movie, go to spousal abuse. (laughs)"
Much like Tony Stark's darker moments as a drunk in the Iron Man comics, the less heroic side of these Marvel characters aren't fully translated into the films to keep the heroes likable and more relatable, especially since these are big money, big audience family movies for Disney.
Still, Feige has a lot of confidence in Ant-Man, the studio's "heist film" and because of its unique story and unique action and visuals, it has a place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It's different like Guardians of the Galaxy is different by going to space or how Doctor Strange will be different by exploring mysticism and other dimensions.
Will Marvel one day go really dark with any of their characters? We've heard hints of R-rated potential for Frank Grillo's Crossbones character introduced in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Maybe they can do a Marvel Knights line of TV shows or films for characters like Punisher, Moon Knight, Ghost Rider and Blade - all of which Marvel Studios now owns after getting a few of the rights back from other studios.
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Guardians of the Galaxy opens August 1, 2014, The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 17, 2015, Captain America 3 on May 6 2016, and unannounced films for July 8 2016 and May 5 2017, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on July 28 2017, November 3 2017, May 4 2018, July 6 2018, November 2 2018 and May 3 2019.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie and TV news!