In the midst of Batman vs. Superman casting rumors earning major headlines, Marvel Studios stepped in with an official announcement to earn some buzz for one of their two films beginning to shoot early this year. After confirming in December 2013 that Paul Rudd will lead Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Ant-Man, the studio followed up by revealing that two-time Oscar winning actor Michael Douglas will be playing Hank Pym alongside Rudd.
The news doubled as a confirmation that the character Paul Rudd is playing is Scott Lang, the second man in Marvel Comics to take on the Ant-Man mantle, but not before committing a crime or two to steal the technology and use it to save his daughter. The story for the Edgar Wright written and directed adaptation remains largely a mystery but it's one that two-time Oscar winner Michael Douglas is excited to jump into.
Speaking with Reuters after the official announcement of his casting, Michael Douglas - who reportedly was sought out early on - reveals that joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been a goal of his for quite a while.
"I've been dying to do a Marvel picture for so long. The script is really fun, the director is really good. Dylan (the actor's 13-year-old son) will love it. He'll have a picture he can see."
He continues, explaining the decision to join the superhero movie genre this late in his career, that he likes to keep surprising moviegoers - "you've got to shake them up a little bit and have some fun" - like he did with his performance as Liberace in Steven Soderbergh's Behind the Candelabra.
Most actors joining the Marvel camp are required to sign lengthy, multi-picture deals so the studio can ensure the longevity and continuity of their characters and stories. Does that mean Hank Pym, one of the earliest Avengers in Marvel Comics, will stick around after Ant-Man?
"(Marvel) reciprocated well, there are sequels. Who knows?"
Take that for what you will, but with no current plans for another Iron Man solo film and only one more sequel coming for both Thor and Captain America (after The Winter Soldier releases in April), so Marvel may be relying on sequels to their newer characters like Ant-Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy if they cannot land some epic contract extensions with the current members of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014, The 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.
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