One of the biggest questions about Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man movie (other than if it would ever actually happen) is just which Ant-Man Paul Rudd is going to be playing. Today’s casting news brings that information with it, and possibly some other hints about the film as well.
Marvel announced that Michael Douglas has joined the cast and will be playing Hank Pym and that Rudd will be playing Scott Lang.
What this likely means for the film is that Douglas’ Pym will be a retired, former hero passing the mantle on to Rudd’s Lang (possibly through theft, as in the comics). Most interesting is the fact that Variety’s article on the casting first carried the title “Michael Douglas to play villain in Ant-Man” before a quick edit removed the word villain. While this could be a mistake by a writer unfamiliar with the source material, it’s easy to see a plot where Pym’s a bitter ex-hero holding a grudge and turning evil.
Pym as a villain is an extrapolation on the character that many fans would find to be a logical step, given the only story arcs of his anyone can really name are the one where he accidentally creates an evil robot (which he won’t be doing in the movies for some reason) and the one where he hits his wife (and the Ultimate version where he sprays her with Raid).
One of the nice side-bonuses of Ant-Man as a legacy character is that we could see some flashbacks of Pym’s time as a hero, which would be a welcome addition to the MCU, finally backing up Nick Fury’s words to Tony Stark in the first Iron Man, “You think you’re the only superhero in the world?” At the time, he essentially was. Perhaps this is Marvel’s chance to change that.